PHILADELPHIA — Joel Embiid took his nuggets and propelled himself to 31 points and 11 rebounds, Tyrese Maxey showed he wasn’t a one-game postseason miracle, and the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Toronto Raptors 112-97 for a 2 : 0-lead the first round series.
Maxey had 23 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Tobias Harris had 20 points and 10 rebounds. James Harden scored 14.
Game 3 of the Eastern Conference series takes place in Toronto on Wednesday.
The Raptors were 27 points down but showed some life in the fourth game, clipping it to 11 until Game 1 star Maxey buried a 3 that got the Sixers rolling again.
OG Anunoby led the Raptors with 26 points. Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet each had 20.
The Raptors were ready to rumble after coach Nick Nurse accused officials of letting the Sixers get away with hard fouls in Game 1. Not even 2 minutes into the game Anunoby shoved Embiid, Embiid shoved back and both teams had to be separated crowd erupted. Anunoby and Embiid were both whistled at for technical fouls.
The Raptors took an 11-2 lead and had the first six fouls on none for the 76ers.
All that pushing and shoving might as well be cold water for the Sixers’ slumbering big man.
Embiid, the NBA scoring champion who had just 19 points in Game 1, was fouled hard by Siakam and made a free throw — one of 11 he made in the quarter on 12 tries. He matched his Game 1 total with 19 points in the quarter.
VanVleet scored 17 points in the half, trying to keep the Raptors in the game. Maxey, who had 38 points in Game 1, didn’t score until he hit a swimmer in the lane with an 8:03 left in Game 2. He followed with an acrobatic layup for a 50-42 lead and suddenly the Sixers had some juice. Harden hit a 3 for an 11-point lead.
Halftime ended with an exciting moment.
Harden tried to separate two defenders on a drive down the lane in the final seconds of the half and his knee slammed into Embiid’s left knee. Embiid’s left ankle seemed to buckle and both players went down together. Both stars lay sprawled on their backs for a few moments: Harden rubbing his neck and head. Embiid hobbled down the pitch on the next possession.
Sixers fans held their breath at halftime.
Philly’s first bucket of the third quarter? How about harden-to-embiid on an alley that calmed the nerves and shook the rim.
Embiid scored nine more points in the third and Maxey had seven for a 95-73 lead by the end of the third. Embiid had 28 points and 11 rebounds before catching his first foul midway through the fourth.
https://nypost.com/2022/04/18/joel-embiid-scores-31-to-lead-76ers-past-raptors-in-game-2/ Joel Embiid scores 31 points and leads the 76ers past Raptors in Game 2