By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors faced off in game four of their playoff matchup. The Raptors were fighting for their lives as they tried to avoid getting swept by their division rival. Philly just did not have it throughout this game and the Raptors took full advantage of their disorganized play beating them 110-102 and getting their first victory of the 2022 NBA Playoffs.
The Sixers seemed a little bit out of it to start the game. Despite having two days off they played like a tired team. They got outworked throughout this game and the Raptors took full advantage of Philly‘s disjointedness. Pascal Siakam(34-points) and Gary Trent Jr (24-points) led them. They combined for 58 of Toronto’s 110-points. Both of them played like their legacies were on the line. They got whatever they wanted from the field, and it did not matter if there was a hand in their faces or not. Philly had no answers for them.
Despite the offensive explosions from Siakam and Trent Jr this game was within reach for Philly. They were only down five points at half-time and at the end of the third quarter. They just could not take advantage. Their shots were not falling, and the moment seemed too big for them this afternoon. Especially in the fourth quarter nobody but James Harden (22-points) and Joel Embiid (21-points) contributed significantly. Harden and Embiid combined for 43 of Philly’s 102-points. They did not play their games tonight and paid for it. Both players will need to find a way to adjust to more aggressive defensive play from the Raptors and to the refs. Both things took them out of their games. The Sixers will need to maintain their play and composure if they want to beat the Raptors in Philly on Monday night.
On what happened this afternoon, “They deserved to win the game. I’m not going to sit here and complain. I’m not going to, like they do. We got beat tonight,” said Sixers Head Coach Doc Rivers.
As this series shifts back to Philly. The Sixers will need to get some better play out of their role players, especially with a significantly hampered Joel Embiid. The play of James Harden, Tobias Harris, and Tyrese Maxey will be significant. The trio will need to find a way to impact the game significantly on both sides of the ball to take the pressure off him. They will also need to limit their turnovers and play better perimeter defense, if they want to send the Raptors home and move on to the second round of the NBA Playoffs.
On tonight’s game being good for them, “This is probably good for us. We thought things were sweet. We thought things were easy. Its not about anybody else but ourselves,” said Sixers Point Guard James Harden.