Kawhi Leonard scored a career playoff high 45 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the Game 1, 108-95 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.
With both teams entering the second round of the playoffs with four straight victories, much was expected out of the matchup. However, the Raptors used a prolific scoring attack from their forward duo to dominate the 76ers at home. Pascal Siakam poured in 29 points (in three quarters) and 7 rebounds during the win. They were the only two players to reach double figures, yet it was a team effort in the first 48 minutes.
Despite a dominant effort through the first three quarters, the game was on the line entering the fourth period. However, a quick two buckets turned an 11-point lead Raptors a 96-81 lead 42 seconds into the final period. A steal by Kyle Lowry transitioned into an alley-oop dunk from Fred VanVleet to Serge Ibaka.
From there, the Raptors used a dominant defensive effort to hold the 76ers to 14 points in the final period. Moreover, the Raptors won every quarter in Game 1. The last three quarters were won by a combined five points. Yet, the 76ers had trouble competing for most of the night. Yet, they almost had some help from a fluky play late in the third quarter.
Danny Green attempted a quick 3-pointer with roughly 15 seconds remaining in the quarter. A make would have pushed the lead to 18 points. Instead, Green missed and it led to a and-1 opportunity for Ben Simmons. Although Simmons missed the free throw, Ibaka was called for a foul on the rebound attempt, sending Joel Embiid to the line. Embiid made both shots and it seemed like the 76ers were right back in the game. The lead was down to 11 and momentum seemed to have switched sides. Thanks to Leonard and company, the game was never really in doubt.
The Raptors shot 51.9 percent from the field in Game 1. They held the 76ers to 39.3 percent from the field. Neither team shot great from 3-point range. However, the 76ers were slightly better connecting on 11 of 32 shots from long range. Meanwhile, the Raptors were 9 of 27 from downtown.
The Raptors took a 61-52 halftime lead over the 76ers. They shot 57 percent in the first half on 24 of 42 shooting. Meanwhile, the 76ers were 22 of 48 from the field. Both teams made four 3-pointers in the first half. However, the Raptors were 4 of 10 from beyond the arc while the 76ers connected on 4 of 14 from deep.
More importantly, they held Redick in check until the opening minutes of the third period. Redick was held scoreless in the first half. He exploded for 17 second half points, including 5 of 6 3-pointers in the third quarter. Redick was 5 of 12 from the 3-point line overall. Despite not scoring in the first half, Redick led the 76ers in scoring. Embiid finished with 16 points.
The Raptors held a 14-point lead early in the game. The two-man show for the Raptors, began immediately. Leonard dropped 27 first half points. Siakam scored 22 points in the first half. The scored 17 points apiece in the first quarter. Yet, the 76ers were only down 39-31 entering the second quarter. They also combined to go 3 of 5 from 3-point range in the first half. However, the pair of forwards did an abundant amount of damage in the paint. They scored all but 12 points in the first half for the Raptors. The duo also continued to do their damage in the second half, especially the third quarter.
The 76ers had a much more balanced attack in the first half. Embiid and Tobias Harris scored 12 points apiece in the first 24 minutes. Meaning, Embiid was held to four points in the second half. Ben Simmons chipped in with 10 points, including an one handed rim-rocker in the second quarter. He only scored four second half points as well. Jimmy Butler scored six points in the first half. As stated earlier, Redick did not score in the first half.
The Raptors made 13 consecutive shots in the first quarter. They shot 72.7 percent in the first quarter to open that 39-31 lead. The 76ers shot 59 percent from the field to open the series. However, they really cooled off the rest of the way.
Game 2 is set for Monday at 8 p.m. The Raptors have opened as a 6.5 point favorite.