Following an impressive start to the postseason, the Philadelphia 76ers traveled to Toronto for a big game 3. This would be the Raptors’ first playoff game in Canada since winning the title in 2019, and the fans brought the intensity.
Things did not look great for the Sixers for the majority of this game, but they managed to get within striking distance in the final minutes. They had a chance to win in the closing seconds, but Tobias Harris could not get his put-back layup to fall.
Heading to overtime, the matchup remained neck-and-neck. Once again with a chance to seal a victory, the Sixers got the ball into the hands of their best player. In true superstar fashion, Joel Embiid knocked down a fallaway three with less than a second to go that silenced the home fans. Philly walked out of game 3 with a 104-101 win to take a 3-0 series lead.
Like most big Raptors games, hip-hop artist Drake was courtside to cheer on his home team. After hitting the game-winning shot, Embiid got in a few words to him on the way to the locker room. He told Drake he’s coming for a sweep when these teams square off in game 4 Saturday.
Joel Embiid Puts on Another Masterclass
Easily the player of the game for the Sixers in game 3 is MVP finalist Joel Embiid. Along with hitting the biggest shot of the game, he tallied 33 points and 13 rebounds. Free throws have been a common topic in this series but were a non-factor in game 3. Embiid only got to the line nine times, and there was little to no free-throw disparity between the two teams. Proving that the All-Star center does not need foul shots to be dominant.
Turnovers were a bit of an issue, but outside of that, this was another dominant showing from the Sixers’ franchise cornerstone. Toronto has no answer for Embiid, and he continues to roll over any player put in front of him. Shooting 60% from the field and 37.5% from beyond the arc, the Raptors’ only way of slowing down Embiid was hoping he missed.
Many wondered what kind of shape Embiid might be in after a long regular season, but it does not appear to be taking a toll thus far. He is a man determined on the court, and is leading the charge for the Sixers in incredible fashion.
Sixers Come Away With Statement Win
As mentioned before, this was not a good night for the Sixers, to say the least. They committed 22 turnovers as a team, which resulted in 27 points for Toronto. Not to mention they were forced to play the overtime period without James Harden after he fouled out.
Despite all the factors, the Sixers still managed to come out on top. It’s like the saying goes, good teams always find a way to win. While their first two victories were impressive, game 3 was a statement victory for Embiid and the Sixers.
This game was by far the Raptors’ best chance at stealing a win in this series. After suffering a loss in this fashion, Toronto must be feeling defeated. Now the Sixers have to take care of business in game 4 and earn some added rest before the second round gets underway.