To Beat the Raptors, the 76ers Played Throwback Basketball

The Sixers played old-school ball in their 94-89 win over the Raptors

Kawhi Leonard dribbles by Joel Embiid and James Ennis III. (Vaughn Ridley/Getty)
Kawhi Leonard dribbles by Joel Embiid and James Ennis III. (Vaughn Ridley/Getty)
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Last night, the Philadelphia 76ers won a game in Toronto for the first time since November 10, 2012. In their 94-89 win over the Raptors, Philadelphia played a style of basketball that dates farther back than that.

To beat the Raptors on their home floor in the second game of their Eastern Conference semifinals, Philadelphia slowed the game down and did their best to limit the number of offensive possessions Toronto had.

They were forced to rely on lumbering backup big man Greg Monroe because franchise star Joel Embiid was limited because of gastroenteritis and played poorly to the tune of six turnovers compared to only 12 points.

But Monroe, who was with the Raptors and Boston Celtics the last two seasons, came through and was able to produce in the paint, scoring 10 points and grabbing five rebounds in 12 minutes. Monroe’s inside dominance, as opposed to the outside shooting that most teams rely on, allowed Philadelphia to build a 19-point lead in the first half.

Philly’s leading scorer, Jimmy Butler, pumped in 30 points in the win and went 8-for-8 from the line after being rewarded for slashing and attacking the basket. Butler also played tough defense and chipped in 11 rebounds and five assists in 43 minutes of play.

“Now the series shifts to Philadelphia, and perhaps the Sixers have found a way to battle a favored team with more weapons: slow the game down and, to use the old sports cliché, grind it out,” according to The New York Times. “They certainly have the tools to do that, with Embiid and a re-emerging Monroe in their frontcourt.”

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