Philadelphia 76ers defeat Toronto Raptors in the second half of Game 6 and clinch the series

TORONTO — One day, a team can come back from being down 3-0 to win a NBA playoff series.

But it won’t be 2022 Toronto Raptors.

After falling behind by 3-0, the Raptors became the 14th team that forced a best-of-7 series to Game 6. However, the Raptors did not have enough to win another game. The Philadelphia 76ersThey won thanks to a dominating third quarter in which they outscored Toronto 37-17 and at one stage scored 17 consecutive points. 132-97 victoryToronto will be their opponent Thursday night in Game 6 at Scotiabank Arena.

Philadelphia moves into the Eastern Conference semifinals, for the fourth consecutive year in five years. The 76ers hope to break through and reach their first Eastern Conference finals since 2009. Allen IversonThey reached that point in 2001. Philadelphia takes on the Heat, who are top-seeded in Miami, Monday night.

The 76ers had a balanced attack that covered all bases. Joel EmbiidA torn ligament in his thumb prevented him from scoring 33 points. Harden finished the game with 10 rebounds and 33 points in 36 minutes. He was also 12-for-18 on the field. Harden scored 22 points, grabbed six rebounds, and had 15 assists, showing the aggression that the 76ers needed. The second-year guard Tyrese MaxeyA huge bounce game was also had by the team, which finished with 25 points as well as eight assists after scoring 23 in Games 4 and 5.

The 76ers had exactly what they needed, but it was not certain that this performance would be the case when the game ended at 7:01 p.m. on Thursday night. The 76ers seemed to have put aside their sorrows over their loss to Toronto in the 2019 Eastern Conference semifinals with Game 3.

However, things didn't go according to plan. Toronto won Game 4 with a slow performance by the 76ers, and then the Raptors took control of Game 5 in Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center.

“I think again that we got in a big hole, 3-0, so we just knew that getting one would get us back into this thing and give our chance to keep it running,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse stated Wednesday. “Listen. Everyone was disappointed with the 3-0 start. It felt a bit heavy for a time, but not too long.

“I felt that when we finally returned to the film room on the next day I liked the body language, what I was hearing communication-wise, and that we were ready for the next day.”

This mentality enabled Toronto to get back in the series and bring it back to Toronto for Game 6. However, it was not enough to take Toronto to the top of history.

Philadelphia was instead the host, which had spent the last three days listening to endless talker about Joel Embiid's team. James HardenDoc Rivers, the 76ers coach, would be able close out this series and reverse playoff heartbreaks. That ensured that it wouldn't end up with another disappointing postseason result.

The offensive attack that the 76ers used to win the game left the sold-out crowd in shock. After Philadelphia led 62 to 61 at the half, the 76ers came back to the court to begin the third quarter. This almost put an end to any doubts that this series would return home for a seven-game playoff. Philadelphia was able to score on eight of their first eight court visits, opening up a 13-point advantage before Raptors fans could get back in their seats after halftime.

The run ballooned eventually to a 30-9 stretch in the third. This was capped by a Harden stepback 3 pointer that made it 92 to 70 in favor of 76ers. Toronto had to call its second quarter timeout and Harden to celebrate.

Game 6 was a moment of redemption for several 76ers. Harden was the most prominent, having taken just 11 shots in Game 5 and Embiid saying that Harden needed more aggression. Rivers wanted him to change his mind.

Harden showed that he was listening to the message and started Game 6 by dunking — his second in two weeks after not getting one in his first two 76er months — in what was perhaps his best quarter of this series. He scored 10 points as well as 5 assists, helping to stake the 76ers at a 34-29 advantage after one.

Both teams started the game with a fast pace offensively. The second half was a continuation of that pace, with both sides executing their plans offensively and getting contributions from all over the roster. For Toronto, it was backup big men Chris BoucherPhiladelphia scored 19 points, which was a playoff-record high. They also got eight rebounds before the break. Danny GreenYou hit four 3-pointers, and you scored 12 points in the second half.

Philadelphia shot nearly 58 percent in the first period; Toronto was just below 50 percent. Toronto once again struggled from 3-point line (3-for-15), had 10 offensive rebounds and had a 12-3 edge for second-chance point.

The most important thing was that the 76ers had a lead of 62 to 61 — setting up both sides for what looked like it would be an exciting second half with everything on the line.

Instead, the 76ers stepped up and put an end to any talk about history made in this series.

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