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Toronto Raptors: 3 takeaways from Game 6 loss vs. 76ers

Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

The Toronto Raptors came up short in the potential series-closing Game 6 against the Philadelphia 76ers, losing big on the road, 112-101.

The Toronto Raptors will face the Philadelphia 76ers for Game 7 at home Sunday night. The victor of that match will advance to face the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals. Thursday night’s Game 6 was a tough pill to swallow for Raptors fans, as the team was thoroughly beat no matter how many runs they went on to close the gap.

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Kawhi Leonard was his productive self with another double-double effort, notching 29 points and 12 rebounds on 9-for-20 shooting. His partner in crime, Pascal Siakam, did his best to provide energy for him team, but offensively he was out of his element for most of the game as the defense forced him to be a shooter. He contributed 21 points, six rebounds, three assists and two from deep on 8-of-16 shooting from the field. Kyle Lowry was just okay after two great games, but they needed him to be great. He finished with 13 points, six assists and five rebounds on 5-of-11 shooting.

Jimmy Butler lead the way again for the Sixers, providing his team must-needed effort on both ends of the floor while posting 25 points, eight assists, six rebounds and two steals on 9-of-18 shooting. Right beside him was the emergence of Ben Simmons, who was averaging 9.4 points per game prior to Game 6. He exploded offensively for 21 points, eight rebounds, six assists and zero turnovers — a first for him in the series.

From the beginning of the game the Sixers were full of energy, feeding off the home crowd’s rowdiness. They forced the Raptors into four turnovers in the opening frame and ended the first quarter on a run, leading 29-21.

The start of the second frame was more like the first for the Sixers, relentlessly attacking the rim and getting great outside shooting from their bench role players. They led by as many as 17 until the Raptors responded with a run of their own, cutting the lead down to eight. The Sixers were able to gain momentum (and a few favorable calls) and went on a 12-2 run to end the half.

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Final. pic.twitter.com/OyxtFdGK2o

— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) May 10, 2019

The Raptors did their best to cut the deficit back to eight again in the third quarter. They did this approximately four times throughout the game, but the Sixers always had answers for them. The Raptors constantly missed wide open looks, which deflated the team defensively, and the Sixers took full advantage. The game was practically over by the end of the third, with Toronto down by 20. The Raptors were resilient for most of the night, but came up short.

The outcome was never in question when the Raptors’ reserves were making a late push. The Philadelphia 76ers were the better team Thursday night. Here are three takeaways from the Game 6 loss.

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