The Toronto Raptors have evened their Eastern Conference Semifinals series against the Philadelphia 76ers, defeating Philly 101-96 in South Philadelphia in Game 4. It wasn’t a pretty outing from either team, and the Sixers’ looked out of sorts, especially on the offensive end.
Kawhi Leonard continued to light it up for Toronto, as he shot 13/20 from the floor and an excellent 5/7 from three on his way to 39 points, 14 rebounds and 5 assists. The Sixers did have a little success on Kawhi, forcing him into 7 turnovers, but ultimately the rest of the Raptors roster stepped up to help with the load. Marc Gasol had a series-high 16 points, doubling his previous high of 8 points. Kyle Lowry also shook his recent funk, contributing 14 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists.
For the Sixers, Jimmy Butler looked fantastic. He dropped 29 points on 50% from the floor, tacking on 11 rebounds and 4 assists. That was about the only bright spot for Brett Brown’s crew. Joel Embiid looked completely gassed and could not establish any sort of groove on offense, attempting just seven shots and missing crucial free throws in the 4th quarter (although Joel did play solid defense and terrorized Serge Ibaka with two vicious rejections). Tobias Harris had a brutal shooting night, going just 7/23 from the floor and 2/13 from three. Perhaps most concerning for Philly was the performance of Ben Simmons, who just had absolutely synergy within the game. He disappeared through large portions of the game.
The Sixers gave this game away, plain and simple. Toronto was never able to really pull away until the closing seconds after some fouling. They give Philly multiple opportunities to sneak out a win and for Philly to put all the pressure in the world on Nick Nurse and the Raptors, but the Sixers could not capitalize and made mental errors down the stretch in the 4th quarter. The series will head back to Toronto tied 2-2, and the Raptors have two home games in hand. Game 5 will be crucial for both teams.