Game 2 Preview: Raptors vs Sixers
Philadelphia 76ers (0-1) @ Toronto Raptors (1-0)
When: Monday, April 29th, 8:00 P.M. ET
Where: Scotiabank Arena
Leading into tonight’s game:
- Injury report: For the Raptors, OG Anunoby (appendectomy), and Jordan Loyd (coach’s decision) will be out. For the Sixers, Mike Scott (bruised heel and plantar fasciitis) is listed as out.
- Home court: The Raptors took care of business in Game 1 against the Sixers, and now will play one more game at Scotiabank Arena before the series shifts to Philadelphia for Games 3 and 4. With Saturday’s Game 1 win, the Raptors have now won five straight games in the postseason, setting a new franchise-record.
- Recent history: Toronto recorded a 108-95 victory over Philadelphia in Game 1 at Scotiabank Arena to take a 1-0 series lead. After the Sixers led 7-2 to start the game, the Raptors regained the lead and didn’t look back. Toronto led by eight after one, nine at the half, 11 points after three quarters, and took its largest lead of the game — 20 points — with 4:17 remaining. While Toronto’s stars shone bright (Kawhi Leonard scored 45 points and Pascal Siakam finished with 29 points), once again it was their defence that was clicking on all cylinders as the Raptors held the Sixers to just 39 percent shooting in the win. Toronto has now held opponents under 42 percent shooting in all six games this postseason.
- Career night: Kawhi Leonard recorded a playoff career-high 45 points in Toronto’s Game 1 victory. He scored from all over the floor and was mostly unstoppable as he shot 16-for-23 from the floor in 38 minutes, adding 11 rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a blocked shot for good measure. Leonard’s 45 points bested his previous playoff career-high of 43 points, scored in 2017 when he was a member of the San Antonio Spurs, and it is also the second-highest scoring total by a Raptor in a postseason game, trailing only Vince Carter’s 50-point performance against the Sixers in 2001.
- Excellent efficiency: While Kawhi Leonard was setting a career-high, Pascal Siakam was letting everyone know he’s ready to go, too. Siakam finished with 29 points in Game 1, shooting a ridiculous 12-for-15 from the floor, including 3-for-4 from beyond the arc. Credit goes to Siakam and Leonard for helping Toronto to set the tone in the first quarter on Saturday. The duo scored 17 points apiece in the opening quarter, each shooting 7-for-9 from the floor to help Toronto establish an eight-point lead after the first quarter. The Raptors wouldn’t trail the rest of the way through. Siakam excelling is not a surprise to his teammates, they’ve watched his rise all season long. Still, when the opportunity to praise Siakam’s play arises, Kyle Lowry is ready to oblige. “There's never enough nice things to say about a guy that you really appreciate and that you care for,” Lowry said. “It's unbelievable. He's just growing, man. The talent is there. He's fantastically just understanding how to play and his confidence level just keeps getting bigger and bigger.”
- Getting it done: Kyle Lowry had a nine-point, eight-assist performance in Game 1, adding a steal, a block and three rebounds and the Raptors were a +25 when he was on the floor. Not mentioned on the stat sheet were the two charges Lowry drew in the game, adding to his postseason league-leading total of eight charges drawn through six playoff games. Lowry is also leading the NBA with 16 loose balls recovered and is second with 21 deflections. Lowry’s 8.5 postseason assists per game is also fourth in the league. Of players still participating in the playoffs, only Nikola Jokic (9.1) is averaging more assists per contest than Lowry.