Embid scores 31 in carrying 76ers to 2-0 series lead over Raptors

Joel Embiid stiffened his arm just moments after tipoff, and the 7-footer pushed back. Embiid tried to maintain his composure and took a few more blows from the Raptors defense, clearly trying to bully him.

Embid scores 31 in carrying 76ers to 2-0 series lead over Raptors

Coach Doc Rivers quickly sent Embiid a message: "No Jo, you be dominant."

The NBA MVP finalist stopped deferring and began dominating.

Embiid took a deep breath and powered through to 31 points, 11 rebounds and a 2-0 lead in the first round series. TyreseMaxey also showed he is no one-game wonder. The Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Toronto Raptors 112-97 Monday night.

"They put me on to the floor a few time and to me, that is where it gets exciting," Embiid stated. "I'm like, cool. "I'm going back with more power, and you will foul me."

Embiid was a foul-after-foul player. He rubbed his elbows and shoulders, and he also suffered a foot injury. He made 12 of the 14 free throws. He took 9 of 16 shots to the floor during the game.

Maxey stated, "That's all we need from the Big Faella."

Maxey scored 23 points, had nine rebounds, and had eight assists. Tobias Harris scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. James Harden scored 14.

Game 3 of the Eastern Conference series will be played Wednesday in Toronto.

Although the Raptors trailed by 27 point, they showed some life in fourth quarter, cutting it down to 11. Maxey, Game 1's star, made a 3 that brought the Sixers back on track.

OG Anunoby was the Raptors' leading scorer with 26 points. Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam each had 20 points.

After Nick Nurse, coach of the Raptors, accused officials of allowing the Sixers to get away with Game 1 hard fouls, the Raptors were ready to roar. Just two minutes into the game, Anunoby shoved Embiid. Embiid retorted and the crowd erupted. Both Embiid and Anunoby were whistled for technical fouls.

"I didn’t want them to set that tone," Embiid stated. "I wanted me and us to set that tone. This is why I took up technical foul early on."

The Raptors raced to a 11-2 lead and had six fouls to none for 76ers.

Rivers stated that Rivers wanted the players to play physical and muck it up. I just told Rivers that Rivers wanted to play physical and muck the game up, and told Rivers' men to let it go.

Embiid was the NBA scoring champion, who scored only 19 points in Game 1. Siakam fouled him hard and he made a free throw. This was one of 11 free throws Embiid made in the quarter after 12 attempts. With 19 points, he matched his Game 1 total.

Nurse was informed by Embiid in the final minutes of the game that he would continue making free throws if Toronto continued fouling him.

Nurse's retort? Nurse's reply?

Embiid laughed, and stated that he had told Nurse to "respectfully" stop b ----ing over calls.

VanVleet scored 17 in the second half to try and keep the Raptors in it. Maxey, who scored 38 points in Game 1 didn't score until Maxey hit a floater on the lane at 8:03 in the second. The Sixers were now in control with a 50-42 lead thanks to Maxey's acrobatic layup. Harden scored a 3, giving the Sixers an 11-point advantage.

The second half ended in a tension.

Harden attempted to split two defenders with a drive down lane in the last seconds of the half, but his knee collided into Embiid’s left knee. Embiid's left leg seemed to be buckling and both players fell in a heap. Both stars lay on their backs for a while. Harden rub his neck and head. Embiid limped down to the court for the next possession.

Sixers fans held their breath during the half.

Philly's third quarter bucket? Harden-toEmbiid's first bucket of the third quarter?

Embiid added nine points to the third while Maxey scored seven, giving Maxey a lead of 95-73 at the final whistle. Embiid finished the fourth with 28 points and 11 rebounds. He then took his first foul, which occurred midway through.

Embiid performed exactly like the All-Star that he carried the Sixers this year.

Rivers stated that Rivers was the most dominant player of the league.

TIP-INS

Raptors: Gary Trent Jr. was forced to withdraw from the game due to illness. He didn't score and was fouled four times in the first half. In the second half, he did not return.

76ers Dawn Staley, a native Philly and two-time South Carolina National Championship coach, rang the ceremonial Bell.

TRAINER'S ROHROOM

Scottie Barnes, Raptors forward, was forced to sit out due to a left ankle injury he sustained in Game 1. Barnes didn't give a timetable but stated that he is "getting better every day".

CRYING FOUL

"There was another open-handed slap on the face. Again, I don’t get why they won’t call me. "Aside from that, there weren't as many elbows thrown at the face tonight than we had to bear." -- Nurse, on officiating.

NEXT

The Sixers will travel to Toronto, where they will be without Matisse Thybulle, their defensive ace. Thybulle, who was awarded a third-place vote for the NBA defensive player award voting, cannot enter Canada as he isn't fully vaccinated.

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