By: Kylan Watson
The Toronto Raptors had all the momentum as they prepared to play Game six on their home floor against the Philadelphia 76ers. They have staved off elimination the last two games and had the Sixers reeling. However, tonight the Sixers took the Raptors souls as they used a third quarter explosion to put an end to the Raptors season 132-97.
Philly showed the Raptors it was not going to be their night from the opening tip-off. As they their shot were making their shots early in the game. Vintage James Harden showed up in this contest. He answered the call from Joel Embiid to play more aggressive. He took full advantage of the fact nobody on Toronto’s roster could stay in front of him. He began the game with an emphatic dunk to start the game. Harden scored 22-points and had 15 assists. He set the pace for Philly as they fed off of him throughout this game. He powered Philly to a one-point lead by half-time.
The Raptors continued to fight throughout this game. They had the Sixers on their heels earlier in the game. Pascal Siakam led them he scored 24-points and got whatever he wanted from the field. It did not matter if there was a hand in his face or not. The Sixers were able to turn up the heat on defense to stifle him in the second half and force other players to beat them. His teammates could not answer the call and the Sixers were able to pull-away in the second half of the game.
On their mindset heading into the game, “We really knew what was at stake. Coming up here, we knew we had one goal – to win this game and do it by any means,” said Sixers Power Forward Tobias Harris.
The Sixers were able to end the Raptors hope in the third quarter. They scored 37-points and that was the difference in this game. Tyrese Maxey (25-points) and Joel Embiid (33-points) led them as they combined for 58 of Philly’s 132-points. Maxey made sure his presence was felt in the third quarter as he scored 15-points in the third quarter. Making up for his lackluster performance in game five. The game was there for the taking and he led them in the third quarter to put his team in the second round. His scoring opened up the paint for the Harden, Embiid, and Tobias Harris.
Philly now will prepare to face the Miami Heat in the second-round matchup of the 2022 Eastern Conference Playoffs. They will need another series of balanced scoring and good defensive play on the perimeter. If they want to beat the Heat and move on to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in the Embiid era.