In one of their worst games of the season, the Raptors looked little like the team that won three of four games against Philadelphia in the regular season.
Toronto got off to a good start and led by one point late in the first quarter, but then turned icy, missing 14 straight field goals in a dry spell that straddled the second and third quarters.
When Embiid knocked down a three-pointer late in the third, the Sixers went up 27 points to the delight of the boisterous Wells Fargo Arena. Philly took a 95-71 lead in the fourth quarter.
The Raptors finally showed some life in the fourth, reducing the difference to just 11 points with a 15-0 run punctuated by an Anunoby three-pointer. The Sixers fought back, however, and when former Raptor Danny Green went to the hoop for a dunk, Philadelphia was back by 19 with 4:18 left.
VanVleet knocked down a three with 1:12 remaining, making it a 12-point game, but Toronto couldn’t cut the deficit to single digits.
Trent averaged 18 points against Philadelphia in the regular season but struggled a lot on Monday. He was held with no points and committed four fouls before calling it a night and heading to the locker room early in the third quarter.
Barnes, meanwhile, showed courage during Monday’s shoot. The NBA Rookie of the Year finalist, who was two assists away from a triple-double in his playoff debut on Saturday, said his ankle “felt better, every day for sure.”
Embiid’s 19 points in the first quarter – including 11 from the free throw line – tied his entire Game 1 total. But the Raptors got off to a good start, taking a nine-point lead.
VanVleet had four three-pointers and 15 points in the frame, and the Raptors led 33-32 to start the second. It was the first time Toronto had led Philadelphia after the first quarter of the season.
The Raptors went cold in the second quarter, shooting 1 for 8 from long range and 34.8 percent from the field. On the defensive end, they allowed the Sixers to shoot 57.9%.
Harden’s finger roll halfway through the frame capped a 27-13 Sixers run that led them by 13. They took a 67-52 advantage at halftime.
Embiid and the Sixers beat Toronto in a 131-111 rout in Game 1 on Saturday, prompting Raptors coach Nick Nurse to challenge officials ahead of Monday’s whistleblower.
“There were several shots to the face, which I don’t understand (why they) weren’t looked at,” Nurse said. “I hope they have enough guts to at least stop the game and watch this tonight.
“I don’t mind the physical and we expect it to get physical. You have to know how to manage that. »
Game 4 is Saturday in Toronto. The series would return to Phily for Game 5 if necessary.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on April 18, 2022.
The Canadian Press