Philadelphia 76ers Whipped the Toronto Raptors 94-89 on Monday night to even their Eastern Conference semi-final series at one win each.
It was the first win in Toronto for the 76ers since November 10, 2012, following 14 consecutive losses as Jimmy Butler scored 30 points and added 11 rebounds
James Ennis III added 13 points off the bench for the 76ers, Joel Embiid had 12 points, JJ Redick had 11, Greg Monroe 10 and Tobias Harris nine points and 11 rebounds Kawhi Leonard scored 35 points for Toronto, Pascal Siakam added 21 and Kyle Lowry 20.
The 76ers, who led by as many as 19 points in the second quarter, took a six-point advantage into the fourth quarter.
Philadelphia opened the final period with a 7-2 surge to lead by 11 with 8:44 to play. The advantage reached 13 on a seven-foot shot by Harris with 5:44 to go.
Lowry struck with a three-pointer to bring Toronto within four points with two minutes left.
After Butler sank two free throws, Lowry made another three-pointer with 1:36 left. Siakam reduced the deficit to one with a put-back lay-up before Embiid banked in a hook shot with 24.3 seconds to play.After Toronto’s Danny Green missed a three-point attempt for the tie with 10.3 seconds to go, Harris ended the game by hitting two free throws with 3.8 seconds left.
Ennis closed the first-quarter scoring with a three-pointer to give the 76ers a 26-17 lead.
The 76ers led by 18 when Ennis nailed a triple with 4:19 remaining in the half. Raptors coach Nick Nurse was called for a technical foul, and Butler made the foul shot to boost the lead 19. The Raptors cut that to 13 on Siakam’s layup with 2:09 to play.
Philadelphia pulled ahead by 18 before Green made a three-pointer after a steal by Leonard to complete the scoring in the first half. Philadelphia led 51-38 at half-time with Butler scoring 13 points and Ennis adding 12. Leonard topped Toronto with 15 first-half points, and Lowry had 10.
The Raptors shot 32.6 per cent from the field in the first half, and the 76ers shot 41 per cent. For the game, Philadelphia had an edge in field-goal shooting 39.5 per cent to 36.3 per cent.
Leonard scored the first five points of the third quarter, trimming the deficit to eight. Siakam made a three-pointer and a lay-up to cut the margin to five.
The 76ers led 69-63 after three periods. Game 3 in the best-of-seven series is scheduled for Thursday in Philadelphia while game 3 takes place in the early hours of Friday morning (1am).
By Olukayode Oniwinde