With games already brewing in the 1st round in the Western Conference, we will be looking at the only game that happened in the Eastern Conference which is the matchup between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors. Coming into the match, the Raptors were considered a very troublesome opponents for the 76ers as they had defense and a team oriented playstyle.
The 76ers went with a starting lineup of Joel Embiid, James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris and Danny Green. The Raptors started with Fred Van Vleet, Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam, Gary Trent Jr. and OG Anunoby.
With the opening tip itself, both teams went head to head with one another. Their defense was up and so was their offence. The 1st quarter was a really close one with Embiid, Maxey and Harris going to work for the 76ers. The Raptors were keeping close in the 1st quarter. But once the 2nd quarter commenced, the 76ers started to show their dominance as the better team.
The trio of Harden, Embiid and Harris were attacking the midrange and the paint area as much as possible. The Raptors were not being able to keep up their defense and they were struggline in the offensive side as well. The 76ers hence took the 1st half 69-51.
The 3rd quarter started and this time the 76ers were struggling to find their grove. Harden was performing but Harris and Embiid slowed down a bit. The Raptors went all in on the offensive and might have wiped off the lead if not for a dazzling 3rd quarter performance from Tyrese Maxey. Seeing Maxey on a scoring spree, Harden fed him the ball and he kept delivering going for 21 points in the 3rd quarter.
The 4th quarter rolled in and the Raptors had one last hope to push through. Unfortunately, their rookie Scottie Barnes suffered an injury when Embiid stomped in his foot and Van Vleet got his 6th and last foul, putting him out of the game. Sensing the game is within their hands, the 76ers went ahead and gave them the killing blow and took the win.
Surprisingly Tyrese Maxey led the 76ers in scoring with 38 points going 67% from the field and 62% from beyond the arc. Joel Embiid put up a double-double with 19 points and 17 rebounds. James Harden ended with a double-double himself too with 22 points and 14 assists. Tobias Harris was the 2nd leading scorer for the 76ers with 26 points, 6 assists and 6 rebounds.
For the Raptors, Pascal Siakam had 24 poinst, 7 assists and 3 blocks. Van Vleet had 18 points, 6 assists and 2 blocks before fouling out. OG Anunoby went for 20 points and 7 rebounds. Scottie Barnes was the only one with a near triple-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists before injuring himself.
The 76ers took Game 1 with a scoreline of 131-111. This was a great way to shut down the critics who said the Raptors would have the upper hand. The 76ers proved that they are a threat and the rest of the teams better watch out for them.