Kyle Lowry: Raptors 'Got to Help' Kawhi Leonard

Team's Resiliency Shines in Game II Victory

The 76ers, beaten in the Eastern Conference second-round series opener, thwarted the Raptors' second-half comeback bid, notching their first win in Toronto since November 2012 to head home for game three on Thursday all square.

Greg Monroe has gone this season from Toronto to Brooklyn to out of a job after being waived by the Nets without playing a game to Boston to an apparent insurance option for the Sixers to Joel Embiid's primary backup vs. the Raptors. Early shots weren't falling and instead of slowing the game down and trying to create offence at the free throw line, the Raps kept trying to shoot jumpers to get out of the slump. "We won Game 1, but at the same time we knew it wasn't going to be an easy series". The franchise center's sweetest play came when he blocked Leonard's layup in the lane, hustled back and got the ball in his hands, and connected with Tobias Harris in the corner for a triple.

Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said his team took control of the game in the fourth quarter after they made a decision to "blitz" Leonard with multiple defenders rather than Simmons predominantly guarding Toronto's star.

Besides Leonard - who was spectacular in defeat, finishing with 33 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists as he tried to keep Toronto in the game - there wasn't much about Toronto's performance that could be described as pretty.

There's much more for the 76ers to be fretting over than just Leonard.

The series returns to Toronto for Game 5 on Tuesday. "We just got to play better defence".

Pascal Siakam would add 20 points on a rough 7-of-15 night.

The third watched both teams battle, but it was the beginning of the fourth quarter when this game was decided. "Even when I came to Philadelphia, those years that I was in Philadelphia looking in the rear-view mirror of him evolving under Pop and in the San Antonio Spurs' system, you could just see this thing's trending in an incredible way".

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"It's going to be hard to shut everybody down", Butler said. The Raptors had their injury issues and they had a season-long Kawhi-management protocol in which he missed 22 games. He's pushing it up the floor, he's punching the gaps with force, he's determined to get to spaces.

The 76ers, ahead 89-82 at the end of the third-quarter, exploded at the start of the final period scoring the first 11 points to subdue the Raptors.

It's not that Brown made coaching mistakes in Game 1.

Philadelphia's Ben Simmons, centre left, goes to the basket against Toronto's Marc Gasol in Game 3 on Thursday. "I mean if we don't do that, the prettiest things we chose to do offensively aren't going to matter much".

Butler scored 12 in the final quarter to help the 76ers withstand a late Toronto rally. And when Leonard checked back in, the Sixers outright disrespected the other four Raptors on the floor by aggressively double teaming Leonard and daring anyone else to beat them. The play gave the Sixers a 26-point lead, their biggest of the game.

The Raptors will have a couple of days off to regroup as Game 4 goes down on Sunday in Philadelphia.

76ers: Simmons, an Australian, smacked Kyle Lowry right in the land down under and sent the Raptors guard down and smacking the court in pain. Embiid scored 18 points in the half and pushed the Sixers to a 64-53 lead at the break.

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