Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors
When: 7:00 PM ET, Sunday, May 12, 2019
Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
TORONTO – The Philadelphia 76ers put it all together in Game 6 to force a decisive Game 7 in the Eastern Conference semifinals, with star center Joel Embiid leading the charge. Embiid will try to put together back-to-back solid games for the first time in the series when the 76ers visit the Toronto Raptors for Game 7 tonight.
Embiid battled illness and injury throughout the postseason but logged a series-high 36 minutes in Thursday’s Game 6 and collected 17 points and 12 rebounds while recording a plus-minus of plus-40 – the highest of any player in any postseason game this season. “It’s the playoffs,” Embiid told reporters. “I got to play. If I got to play 45 minutes and push myself out there, that’s what I got to do. If that’s what it takes to win, if my presence on the court is needed, I got to be there. It doesn’t matter if it takes the whole game, and I’m fine with it. Going to keep on pushing myself, and in Game 7, we’re going to need it.”
The Raptors appeared to have all the momentum in the series before shooting 43.2 percent from the field in Game 6, including 9-of-36 from 3-point range. “We had a lot of open looks early and we missed them,” Toronto All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry told reporters. “They played really well but we have to continue to look at the film and see what we can do to get better and see what we messed up.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, TNT
ABOUT THE 76ERS: Embiid wasn’t the only Philadelphia All-Star to bust out of a slump in Game 6 as point guard Ben Simmons scored a series-best 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting. “What he did today was lots of the reasons he was an NBA All-Star at age 22, as an NBA point guard with the ball,” 76ers coach Brett Brown told reporters of Simmons. “I really loved his no turnovers, and I really loved his offensive rebounds. I thought those two things, amongst all those comments I just made, are what stood out the most. It’s the evolution of a 22-year-old, 6-10 point guard (who) used to be a college four-man.” Simmons totaled 17 points in the losses in Games 4 and 5 and committed five turnovers in Game 5.
ABOUT THE RAPTORS: Toronto fell behind 2-1 in the series before winning Games 4 and 5 and knows what it has to do to bounce back after falling in Game 6. “It’s not unlike where we have been a couple of times already in this series,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse told reporters. “They are critical games; they are all critical. We’ve got to play with great physicality, great speed, connected on the defensive end. I think we have to play one of our best defensive games of the year and play with some gusto on offense.” Star small forward Kawhi Leonard, who could be playing his last game in a Toronto uniform, recorded a double-double in each of the last three games and is averaging 33.7 points and 10.2 rebounds in the series.
- Embiid was assessed a flagrant foul in Game 6 – his third of the postseason – and will be suspended one game if he draws another.
- Toronto C Marc Gasol is 6-of-20 from the floor in the three losses and 14-of-27 in the three series wins.
- Philadelphia reserve PF Mike Scott is 8-of-10 from the floor over the last two games, including 5-of-6 from 3-point range.