Philadelphia (USA), .- The Cameroonian center had a triumphant return to Philadelphia where he was reunited with his best game and led the local team of the Sixers to the convincing triumph on Thursday of 116-95 against the Toronto Raptors in the third match of the Eastern Conference semifinal tie.
Embiid contributed a double-double of 33 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and five blocks that made him the undisputed leader of the Sixers in all facets of the game and without the tall men of the Raptors, led by the Spanish power forward Marc Gasol they had an answer
Quite the opposite of what had happened in the first two games when Gasol had canceled Embiid with averages of only 14 points.
Amid the cries of support of “MVP !, MVP! …”, Embiid became owner of the inside game, and in the 28 minutes he played he scored 8 of 18 field goals, with three triples of four attempts and 12 of 13 from the personnel line.
“It was very important for us because we had to maintain the field advantage we had achieved in Toronto,” said Embiid. “We not only won but we responded with a team that can beat any opponent.”
If they could do it against some inconsistent Raptors and where only, again the forward Kawhi Leonard, who contributed 33 points, had consistency in the offensive game, but had no role in the inside game.
The dominance of the Sixers, which went from less to more, allowed the Philadelphia team to be always in control of the game and the scoreboard until securing the victory that leaves them in front of the tie with a 2-1 to 7 best mark.
The fourth game will be played on the same stage as the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, next Sunday.
The Sixers, seeking their first NBA title since the 1983 season, also had the support of guard Jimmy Butler, who along with Embiid, in the fourth period, sentenced the game with partial 27-14, despite the hardness used by some players of the Raptors.
Among them the Spanish Congolese power forward Serge Iba and the Cameroonian Pascal Siakam, who received flagrant fouls.
Butler, who had already been the figure in the second game when the Sixers won in Toronto by 89-94, was again decisive to contribute 22 points, including a mate who completed after having made a steal before leaving the Raptors no option to recover.
Four other Sixers players also had double-digit numbers, including guard J.J. Redick, who reached 15 points, forward Tobias Harris scored another 13, with eight rebounds, five assists and two blocks that helped the great team work that made the Philadelphia franchise that seeks to reach the finals of the Western Conference for the first time since 2001.
Australian baseman Ben Simmons could not with the individual duel he had against Leonard, but finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
While the forward James Ennis III returned to be the sixth player and surprise factor to get another 10 points after scoring 4 of 6 field goals and captured five rebounds.
The Sixers finished the game with 51 (43-84) percent of hits in field goals and 44 (10-23) of triples, in addition to capturing 45 rebounds for 42 (35-83) and 26 (7 -27)% and 35 balls recovered under the hoops, respectively, of the Raptors, who only won the Philadelphia team in better control of the ball with nine losses by 13 of his rival.
Hall of Famer Allen Iverson and rapper Meek Mill watched the game and with a big hug showed their happiness for the triumph that the Sixers, their team, had achieved.
Leonard showed all the class he has as a star, but he did not receive any help from the rest of the teammates with the exception of Siakam, who scored 20 points, but only three rebounds.
While the escort Danny Green reached the 13 points and was the third and last player of the Raptors who had double-digit numbers.
Leonard with all kinds of penetrations and shots in suspension was able to score six baskets and achieve 14 points in the third period when the Raptors got back into the game to get partial 25-28.
But it all ended in the fourth as the Sixers’ defense regained control over Leonard’s individual actions, and the rest of the teammates did not appear, on the contrary, they continued to fail in the offensive game.
Among them were Gasol and Ibaka who combined for 10 points and 11 rebounds, without it being a winning factor.
Gasol disputed 29 minutes in which he contributed seven points after scoring 2 of 6 field goals, missed a triple attempt, and hit 3 of 4 from the personnel line.
The player of Sant Boi fulfilled inside the painting with six rebounds -five defensive-, gave two assists, recovered
The player of Sant Boi fulfilled inside the painting with six rebounds -five defensive-, gave two assists, recovered two balls, lost one, put two plugs and pointed three fouls.
While Ibaka barely played 16 minutes and scored four goals, after hitting 2 of 6 field goals, he captured five defensive rebounds, recovered one ball, lost another, and committed a foul, which was flagrant.EFE