The Toronto Raptors defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in a high-octane game. How did everyone grade in the win?
A moment that has been replayed and recounted in dozens of languages around the world was “The Shot.” Kawhi Leonard’s series-winning Game 7 buzzer-beater was the last time we saw the Toronto Raptors take on the Philadelphia 76ers, and though both teams went through major changes this season, they both entered Monday’s game with 11 wins, with the Sixers having accumulated one extra loss.
The Raptors were still without Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka, but the return of both key players feels only moments away. While it would have been nice to have both, the Raptors were still able to pick up the win to progress to 12-4 on the season. Once again, it was the defense that prevailed in the biggest moments of the game.
The two stars of the Sixers, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, had little impact in the game. Embiid incredibly finished scoreless in the game – in large part thanks to Marc Gasol, who continues to live rent-free in his head – while Ben Simmons finished with 10 points, 14 assists, but seven turnovers.
Nick Nurse had the Raptors commit to doubling Embiid in the paint, forcing the Sixers to take 40 three-pointers. They responded and shot 37-percent, but only came out the game with 28 points in the paint, and the Raptors gameplan clearly worked.
Offensively, they were able to lean on the dynamic duo of Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam – who tipped a pass for the game-winning moment – on offense, and also Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who came away with a double-double in a strong performance.
This was a big win for the Raptors, who remain shorthanded, against one of their biggest rivals for seeding this season. The rival is only just beginning, and so are the grades.
Next: Starters Grades