Raptors crush Sixers 125-89 to take 3-2 NBA series lead
(Agence France-Presse) – May 8, 2019 – 11:51am
LOS ANGELES, United States — The Toronto Raptors moved one win away from a place in the NBA Eastern Conference finals Tuesday (Wednesday Manila time) with an overwhelming 125-89 rout of the Philadelphia 76ers.
With 76ers star center Joel Embiid ailing, the Raptors took full advantage on their home floor in Toronto to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven second-round playoff series.
Toronto forward Pascal Siakam scored 25 points to lead six Raptors players in double figures.
Star forward Kawhi Leonard scored 21 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and was able to rest the majority of the fourth quarter as the Raptors dominated every phase of the contest.
The outcome was enough to make Philadelphia’s center Embiid feel even worse than the upper respiratory infection that appeared to hinder him.
Embiid scored 13 points with six rebounds and also coughed up a game-high eight turnovers. With their star struggling, none of his teammates could fill the void.
Toronto led 64-43 by halftime — thanks to a 37-17 second quarter.
The 76ers showed signs of life when they opened the second half on a 10-2 scoring run, but the challenge proved short-lived.
Leonard, who punctuated the second quarter with a massive dunk, delivered another big jam to close out the third and send the Raptors into the final frame up 92-70.
Toronto would stretch the lead to 40 points — 123-83 — on Norman Powell’s dunk with 2:24 to play.
“I was certainly not expecting that kind of game tonight,” said Raptors coach Nick Nurse. “Obviously we’re certainly happy with the result. We did a lot of good things.”
Kyle Lowry scored 19 points, Danny Green had 17 and Spanish big man Marc Gasol contributed 11 for the Raptors, who can clinch the series on Thursday in Philadelphia.
Serge Ibaka scored 10 points for Toronto, despite needing stitches after taking an inadvertent elbow to the forehead from Leonard in the first quarter.
Jimmy Butler scored 22 points and handed out seven assists for the 76ers.
Sixers guard Ben Simmons connected on three-of-five shots from the field to finish with seven points and five turnovers.
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