As TSN and Sportsnet continue to air every Raptors game from last year's road to the NBA title, we'll be featuring game recaps and other written content to transport you back in time for a complete experience of reliving the most memorable stretch of basketball in Toronto's history.
For a complete listing of when TSN and SN are showing each game, check out the broadcast schedule right here.
This story was originally published on May 9, 2019.
Game 7 it is.
With their backs against the wall, the Philadelphia 76ers took care of business at home, earning a 112-101 win over the Toronto Raptors to even the Eastern Conference Semifinals at three games apiece and force a decisive Game 7.
Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons set the tone in the first half with their energy and aggression and the Sixers benefitted from contributions off the bench from Mike Scott and James Ennis III.
Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam did the majority of the heavy lifting on the offensive end, but the Raptors couldn't overcome a rough shooting night and a lack of contributions elsewhere.
Here are a few takeaways from the game:
Toronto's shooting woes return
It should come as no surprise, but there has been a direct correlation between the Raptors offensive efficiency and winning in this series.
Leading up to Game 6, Toronto averaged 111.3 points on 48.9% shooting from the field and 33.7% 3-point shooting in its three wins while the team averaged just 92.0 points on 39.3% shooting from the field and 26.6% shooting from deep in its first two losses.
Unfortunately for the Raptors, Game 6 aligned with the inefficient extreme.
Thanks to a flurry of offence late, Toronto finished the game scoring 101 points but did so while shooting 9-for-26 (25.0%) from beyond the arc. Before each team's reserves came in to close the game, the Raptors had shot 29-for-73 (40.3%) from the field.
Credit goes to the Sixers defence for their ability to swarm and make things difficult for some shooters, but the Raptors also failed to connect on a number of high-quality open looks they received throughout the game.
Whether it was rhythm, an inability to adjust to a different arena or fatigue, Toronto must find a way to remedy its shooting issues to have any chance to advance past Philadelphia in Game 7.
Ben Simmons bounces back
Last year's Rookie of the Year hadn't enjoyed a stellar opening five games of the second round series against the Toronto Raptors, but that all turned around in Game 6.
From the opening tip his mindset was set to attack mode and Simmons played with nonstop pace when he was on the floor.
"He's unstoppable when he gets up a head of steam," analyst Doris Burke said. "From end to end, he's as fast as anyone in the league."
It opened the court up and showcased Simmons at his best.
When he can get downhill and push the tempo, it's almost impossible to stop Simmons and he benefitted in a big way. In the opening quarter alone he finished with more points and assists (eight & five) than he did in the entire Game 5.
👀 @BenSimmons25 with the no look feed! #PhilaUnite pic.twitter.com/zLsjpnH6SO- NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) May 10, 2019
Throughout these playoffs, the Sixers are now 7-0 in games when Simmons has five or more assists, and if the Sixers are to advance into the Eastern Conference Finals they'll need Simmons to keep his aggressive mindset.
He finished the convincing Game 6 win with 21 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
Philly dominates the glass
Philadelphia asserted its dominance on the glass early and often throughout Game 6, and the margin wasn't really close.
The Sixers finished outrebounding the Raptors 52-34 on the game; for perspective, Philadelphia had more defensive rebounds (36) than Toronto had total rebounds in the game. The home team also grabbed 16 offensive rebounds that led to 18 points while Toronto was limited to nine offensive rebounds that resulted in 10 second-chance points.
As rebounding is a team effort, the Sixers benefitted from the rebounding of a number of their players.
Joel Embiid led the way with 12 rebounds while Tobias Harris grabbed nine and both Ben Simmons and James Ennis III grabbed eight rebounds apiece. For perspective, Kawhi Leonard (12 rebounds) was the only Raptor to grab more than six rebounds in the game.
Philadelphia's size advantage in certain lineups may have contributed to such a large disparity on the glass, but Toronto will have to put forth a better rebounding performance in order to advance in Game 7.
A game of runs
During the NBA Playoffs, you expect the two teams facing off to go back and forth for the majority of the game with very little separating the two. Game 6 in Philadelphia had a different feel about it.
Two of three best teams in the Eastern Conference continued to trade runs throughout the contest with the momentum swinging like a pendulum.
In total there were seven different stretches in the game where one team scored seven or more points.
Philly's four separate runs included going 7-0, 10-0, 11-0 and 9-0. Toronto continued to fight back with 10-0, 12-0 and 7-0 runs, but it was the Sixers who had the most answers, ultimately earning a convincing victory thanks to their spurts.
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