By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers faced the Toronto Raptors in Game two of their first-round match-up. The second match-up in a series are usually when adjustments are made by both sides. Despite some more aggressive play from Toronto. Philly used a second and third quarter offensive barrage to beat the Raptors 112-97 and take a commanding two-to-nothing lead. As the series shifts to Toronto on Wednesday night.
The Sixers did not get off to the roaring start like they did in game one. They were missing their shots early in the game, and Toronto took full advantage of the early power outage. Before Philly could even get settled, they were down by 12 early in the first quarter. Fred VanVleet (20-points) and OG Anunoby (26-points) led them they combined for 46 of Toronto’s 97-points. They got whatever they wanted early on from the field and there was nothing Philly could do to stop them. They were making rainbow shots with multiple hands in their faces. VanVleet especially would hit some backbreaking three-pointers early on. He made four three-pointers by the end of the first quarter. Philly made a defensive adjustment by putting Tobias Harris and Danny Green on him. To make him work for his shots and that forced him to take some harder shots.
Despite the scoring barrage by VanVleet and Anunoby. Philly was able to storm back late in the first quarter thanks to Joel Embiid. Who came out like a man possessed as he scored 19 of his 31-points by the end of the first quarter. He refused to let his team lose in this game and when he sensed that it was getting away from the Sixers. That is when he took the game over and brought his team back into the game. The rest of his teammates picked it up after that. Embiid did not have a stellar performance in game one, but he returned the form in game two. If he can return to form the Sixers may end up sweeping the overmatched Raptors.
As the series now shifts to Toronto for games three on Wednesday night and four on Saturday afternoon. The Sixers know they will get better performances from the Raptors. As role and star players play better at home. The Sixers will need to get another balanced scoring night and continue their aggressive play on defense if they want to take a three-to-zero lead over Toronto.