The Philadelphia 76ers traveled to Toronto on Tuesday to face off the Raptors in a very intriguing contest. Both of the teams’ top players, representing Cameroon, would take on each other for yet another time in their careers. Joel Embiid is still eager to get his revenge for the 4-3 loss in 2019 Eastern Conference Finals.
The Raptors are not the same as from 2 years ago, but they still retained a couple of their stars. However, in the absence of Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, and Goran Dragic, the situation within the team became a bit tighter. Philly, on the other hand, didn’t have a lot of missing names for the fixture as Doc Rivers could use almost everybody on his roster.
The game lived up to the high expectations as it remained a narrow contest until the very end. The Raptors entered the game more concentrated as they took on a 5-point lead early on. However, the 76ers turned things on 180 degrees as they went on to close out the first quarter, 24-27. Their lead slipped away just once in the third quarter as they entered the last 12 minutes with an advantage, 81-85.
Philly further increased their lead to 12 points in the beginning of the last quarter. A 9-0 run for the Raptors almost erased their deficit, but it took a bit more time for them to come out on top once again. With 01:41 on the clock, Trent Jr. sank a 3-pointer, thus giving the lead to the Raptors, 106-107.
In the end, a clutch put-back layup from Joel Embiid gave the 76ers the much-desired advantage and a couple of free throws from Tobias Harris sealed the deal for Philly. The Raptors tried to find an answer to that, but came up short, losing 109-114.
Behind-the-head and-one from Embiid 🤯 pic.twitter.com/CNKv2Lv9Xk
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) December 29, 2021
Joel Embiid led the way for his team with 36 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists. He shot 68.8% from the field, making 11 out of 16 shots. At the same time, Tobias Harris achieved his first career triple-double. Although shooting just 25% from the field, he managed to finish off with 19 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists.
Chris Boucher was the most valuable player on the Raptors’ roster. He finished off with a monstrous double-double (28 points and 19 rebounds). The other Cameroonian in the game, Pascal Siakam, slightly underperformed as he drained down 11 out of 21 shots. He went on for 0-4 from deep as he wrapped up the match with 28 points, 6 rebounds, and 8 assists.
Philadelphia improved to 18-16 as they remain in the mix in the Eastern Conference in 6th place. On the other hand, the Toronto Raptors dropped further down to 12th place, holding onto a 14-17 record.