No team in NBA history has come back from an 0-3 deficit, but the Toronto Raptors are two games away from being the first to do it after winning Game 5 against the 76ers 103-88 at Wells Fargo Center.
The 76ers hold a 3-2 series lead, but the momentum is with the Raptors as the series shifts to Toronto for Game 6 Thursday night.
Toronto was without Fred VanVleet(hip), but Pascal Siakam had a game-high 23 points to go along with 10 rebounds and seven assists.
Joel Embiid led the 76ers with 20 points and 11 rebounds;
Tobias Harris, who had 16 points and seven rebounds, says the 76ers did not bring the right energy in Game 5.
“To be honest with you, this is a tough loss for us, a game that we wanted,” Harris said. “We didn’t put enough effort into getting the W, but we gotta stick together. We gotta figure out how we can gather that type of energy and be able to be at our best; we really just gotta focus on what’s worked for us through the series in the games that we have won and what has been successful, and we have to just do more of that, we can’t get away from what has really worked during our three games that we have won, and that’s just the motto for the next game, we gotta be better.”
James Harden had 15 points and seven assists on 11 shots(4-11). That’s not bad, but Philly needed more, and Embiid, who is battling a torn ligament in his thumb, says the former MVP has to be more aggressive.
“I’ve been saying all season since he got here, he needs to be aggressive, and he needs to be himself,” Embiid said about Harden. “That’s not really my job. That’s probably on Coach to talk to him and tell him to take more shots, especially if they’re going to guard me the way they’ve been guarding.”
The 76ers shot 38% from the, including 27% from deep. Also, they had 15 turnovers, which led to 20 points for Toronto. But despite the struggles on offense, Embiid is not concerned.
“I don’t know if you can see, but they double me just like last game, really everywhere whether that’s the post, the elbow, the three-point line,” Embiid said. “You can tell they are really trying to get the ball out of my hands, so we didn’t make shots today, but we just gotta keep trusting, and we will be better.”
As they get ready for Game 6, Philadelphia must be better. Embiid looks noticeably uncomfortable with his injured thumb, but he has to fight through it. Harden is either hurt or lost a step, but like Embiid, he has to be better.
The 76ers are still in control, but they don’t want this series to go back to Philadelphia for Game 7 because anything can happen at that point.
Expect the 76ers to bounce back Thursday night in Toronto.
Joel Embiid and Luka Doncic were named NBA Players of the Week in their respective conferences for games played between Monday, April 4 and Sunday, April 10, the league announced Monday.
Doncic led the Mavericks to a 3-0 week with averages of 30.3 points (.467 FG), 9.0 rebounds, 10.0 assists and 1.0 steals in 30.8 minutes, while Embiid led the 76ers to a 2-1 record in games which he appeared. This last stretch of games led to him capturing the league scoring title at 30.6 points per game.
The 23-year-old Doncic began the week by posting game highs of 26 points and 14 assists to go with a team-high 8 rebounds in the Mavericks’ 131-113 win in Detroit. The win put the Mavericks 20 games above .500 for the first time since the 2010-11 season ended and marked the 50th win of the season for Dallas, its 15th 50-win season in franchise history and their first since 2014-15.
The following game, Doncic registered 39 points (12-21 FG, 7-14 3FG, 8-11 FT), 11 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 block and a game-high +41 rating in 30 minutes during the Mavericks’ 128-78 victory over Portland, all without appearing in the fourth quarter. His +41 rating was the second-highest plus-minus of his career (+45 in 26 minutes vs. GSW 11/20/19, in what was a 35-point, 10-rebound, 11-assist, 4-steal effort). It marked Doncic’s 39th career 30-point, 10-rebound, 7-assist outing and he now needs just one such game to become the 11th player in NBA history to record 40-or-more 30-10-7 games. Michael Jordan currently ranks 10th ahead of Dončić with 44 career 30-10-7 games.
Doncic capped the week by helping the Mavericks defeat San Antonio with 26 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists in the team’s 130-120 win in the season finale. With the team’s fourth consecutive win, the three-time All-Star helped Dallas improve to a season-high 22 games above .500 (52-30).
Embiid continued his streak of strong performances, extending his streak of 25-point, 10-rebound outings to 10 straight contests, which was the longest such streak of the season. No other player did so in more than seven straight games.
The week saw Embiid post averages of 38.7 points, 14.3 rebounds along with 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks per game while also shooting .609 from the floor. Embiid was the only player in the league to post such numbers over the week.
Last Tuesday, against the Pacers, Embiid notched his second 45-point double-double of the season with 45 points and 13 rebounds, which made him one of three players with multiple such games. For his career, Embiid has six games of at least 45 points and 10 rebounds which are the second-most in franchise history.
In the second game of the week, Embiid posted his league-best 30th game of the year of at least 30 points and 10 boards against the Raptors.
In Embiid’s final game of the week, he finished with 41 points (14-17 FG) and 20 rebounds against the Pacers. This made him the fifth player in NBA history to score at least 40 points and collect 20-plus rebounds while shooting 80-percent-or-better from the floor. He joined John Drew and Hall of Famers Charles Barkley, Wilt Chamberlain and Bob Pettit as the only players to do so.
Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff was fined $15,000 for public criticism of the officiating, the league announced Monday night.
After the Cavs fell to the 76ers 112-108 Sunday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Bickerstaff was unhappy about Joel Embiid and James Harden combining for 32 of the team’s 42 free throw attempts.
“That game was taken from us,” Bickerstaff said after the game. “We deserved to win it.”
With the 76ers holding a 107-106 lead, Darius Garland’s floater was blocked by Embiid with 15.2 seconds left in the game. Bickerstaff thought Garland was fouled on his drive to the basket.
“Darius was fouled,” Bickerstaff said. “He did his job and got to a spot and got fouled. No whistle.”
According to the NBA’s Last Two-Minute Report, Bickerstaff was right.
The league said the following:
“While defending his drive to the basket and shot attempt, Embiid (PHI) reaches across Garland (CLE) and makes contact to his left arm.”
Cleveland(43-36) returns to action Tuesday night as they travel to Orlando to face the Magic(20-59).