It was over when… Danny Green hit his second pair of free throws in eight seconds to keep Toronto ahead by six with 30.4 seconds remaining. Toronto would go on to collect a 101-96 Game 4 victory to tie the series at 2-2 through four games.
Up and down start: The Raptors got off to a solid start in Game 4, leading by as many as 11 in the opening quarter, before the Sixers closed on a 10-2 run to cut Toronto’s lead to three after the first 12 minutes. Though Toronto’s defence was working, holding the Sixers to just 33 percent shooting in the quarter, offensively, the Raptors struggled to make shots from outside and shot just 2-for-11 from beyond the arc.
Keeping pace: Toronto built its lead back up to nine points in the second quarter, before the Sixers again closed within two at the halftime break. Kawhi Leonard led all scorers with a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double in the first half, but the Raptors still couldn’t find their range from deep, shooting 5-for-21 from beyond the arc. Toronto went to the locker room with a 47-45 advantage.
Tied up: Things remained close in the third with both teams rebounding from a sub-par shooting first half to shoot better than 60 percent in the quarter. With the score going back and forth and the teams trading leads, a bucket from Serge Ibaka tied the game at 75 all heading into the fourth. Kawhi Leonard continued to lead the way for Toronto, scoring 14 of Toronto’s 28 points in the third. Tobias Harris led the Sixers with eight points in the quarter.
Closing time: The fourth quarter was a nail biter. Philadelphia went ahead by four on a three-pointer from JJ Redick before a Marc Gasol jump shot and a dunk from Pascal Siakam tied the game at 81 with 9:47 remaining. The score would be tied again, at 84 points, with 7:09 remaining before the Raptors took a one-point lead on a Leonard free throw and did not trail again. With the lead down to one, Leonard drilled the shot of the game, making a three-pointer to put the Raptors ahead by four with 1:01 on the clock. Toronto won the fourth quarter 26-21, shooting 50 percent while holding the Sixers to 24 percent shooting.
Raptors player of the game: Kawhi Leonard continued his run of phenomenal play here in the postseason, scoring a game-high 39 points in 43 minutes. He shot 13-for-20 from the floor, including 5-for-7 from beyond the arc and 8-for-12 from the free-throw line. He added a game-high 14 rebounds to go with five assists. Leonard is second to only Kevin Durant in postseason scoring, averaging 32.3 points per game.
Underrated Raptors player(s) of the game: Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol came up big with Pascal Siakam slowed because of a right calf contusion sustained in Game 3. Gasol scored 16 points, including a huge three-pointer in the fourth quarter to tie the game. He finished shooting 7-for-13 from the floor to go with five rebounds, three assists and a solid defensive effort inside in his 39 minutes. Toronto was a game-best +13 with Gasol on the floor. Ibaka came off the bench to play 33 minutes, finishing with 12 points and nine rebounds. He shot 6-for-12 from the floor and added three blocked shots without a turnover.
That’s a rap…
“This team’s got some character, some fight, not giving up, not giving in. Even when things aren’t going our way, we can still find a way, regardless of how bad we’re playing, how bad things get. We still always have a chance to make some things happen. It wasn’t pretty. But we got it done.” – Danny Green on the win
By the #’s…
40… Percent shooting for the Sixers, compared to 46 percent shooting for the Raptors.
43… Rebounds for each team in Game 4, with Philadelphia owning a 11-8 edge on the offensive glass.
10… Lead changes in the game.
11… Ties in the game.
14…Points, six rebounds, seven assists for Kyle Lowry in 41 minutes of action. Toronto was +11 with Lowry on the floor.
They said it…
“We played a lot harder tonight than we did in the previous game. It was very similar to Game 2, I thought. A little bit more of a grind-out affair, neither team was shooting the ball that well, especially in the first half. We played hard and tried to make it as tough as we could on them and made some plays there at the end.” – Nick Nurse on his team earning a tough road win
“I came off the pick-and-roll and they tried to stagger us. Jo is a good defender, really long. At the time I looked up at the shot clock and tried to create as much space as possible. I just took a shot and believed it would go in, and it did.” – Kawhi Leonard on his big three-pointer with a minute remaining to put Toronto ahead by four
“Tonight was one of those nights where we say, you know what, even though we didn’t have an opportunity to play together a long time, we’re going to just try it out there. We’ve been playing basketball for so long. We’re just going to try to figure it out and play hard.” – Serge Ibaka on sharing the floor with Marc Gasol
“It was a good win, it was a good win for us. It was a stepping stone, we got to build off it though, we can’t be satisfied with it, we’ve really got to build off of it, watch the film tomorrow, get our rest and prepare for Game 5.” – Kyle Lowry, on the mindset shifting toward Game 5
Up next: With the series tied 2-2, things shift back to Toronto for Game 5 at Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday, May 7 at 8 P.M. ET.
Published at Mon, 06 May 2019 05:41:20 +0000