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Lifeless Sixers stumble through embarrassing Game 5 loss to Raptors


Toronto Raptors play the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 5 Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Tonight, the Sixers lost to the Raptors, 103-88, in Game 5 of their first-round series,

Here is a quarter-by-quarter running diary of tonight’s game.


  • Sixers’ defense on its heels to start the game, and a couple turnovers have led to Raptors leak-outs. Toronto goes up 16-9 early.
  • A couple really nice finds by James Harden of Joel Embiid gets Joel a dunk and two free throws. MVP chants rain down. Really need to get the big man engaged in this one early, despite the thumb injury, which is clearly hampering him.
  • Five turnovers by the Sixers through six minutes.
  • Extremely strong start by Tobias Harris, much needed.
  • Much more aggressive start on the boards by Embiid than in Game 4 (after the game, he attributed his timidness there to the thumb injury).
  • Excellent starts on both ends for Harris and Harden.
  • 29-27, Raptors.


  • Matisse shoots the hardest ball in the league and looks absolutely lost on offense but his defense (especially in the Sixers’ zone) has been very good thus far.
  • Oh God, Thybulle cannot play offense at all, scared to shoot at this point. Yikes. Have to take him out. His only points were put in the basket by Precious Achiuwa.
  • Offense had screeched to a halt without Embiid in the game. He re-enters with the Sixers down 10 at the 8:17 mark of the half.
  • The deficit is 14. Yuck.
  • The Sixers have not scored in their first 12 second-quarter possessions. Finally, Danny Green hits a three.
  • Three threes for Green in this quarter, which have been huge in keeping the Sixers within striking distance.
  • Maxey has been mostly invisible.
  • Really bad half from the Sixers. 54-41, Raptors.


  • Better energy out of the half from the Sixers. If they take care of the ball they *should* be able to gut out a comeback win in this one, but they need a much better James Harden in the second half than they one they got in the second quarter.
  • Pascal Siakam has hit a handful of really tough shots over good Harris defense to start the half, which has been painful.
  • Embiid’s defense has not been up to snuff tonight.
  • Maxey is 3/10 from the field so far.
  • This might be the worst defensive quarter of the season for Joel. He’s getting scored on a ton, it’s jarring.
  • Harden is 2/8 from the field so far.
  • Four points from the Sixers (two Harden free throws and a floater from Maxey) get it down to single digits. 75-66, Raptors.


  • C’mon.
  • Sixers start the quarter with Joel on the bench, so it’ll be Harden and BBall Paul minutes. Sixers badly need a stint where James Harden looks like James Harden.
  • The lineup to start the fourth: Harden, Maxey, Harris, Niang, Reed.
  • Embiid is back with 10 minutes left, a quick hook for Reed. Sixers down 11.
  • Harden coughs it up, Toronto gets a dunk, goes up 13. Awful.
  • The Raptors don’t have Fred VanVleet, by the way.
  • Nine-point game with six minutes left after a stepback Harden three. Has to happen now.
  • Embiid picks up his fifth foul with 5:36 left, a killer.
  • OG cans a three to put Toronto up 12 with just under 4:00 left, which might just about do it.
  • This game was an embarrassment, Now, the Sixers go back to Toronto for Game 6, on their heels, with an injured superstar, having lost two straight, and basically no one playing well. Say goodbye to that layoff in between series we thought we were looking at for the Sixers. At this point, we just need to hope there’s another series to be had.
  • 103-88, Raptors.

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