Star Performances Prevail on a Must-Win Night

by Lauren Rosen

It was a must-win Game 6 in South Philadelphia Thursday, and the 76ers sure played like it.

Playing with an aggressive, attacking style all night, the Sixers maintained control throughout and walked away with a 112-101 victory to force a Game 7 Sunday in Toronto.

Jimmy Butler led the Sixers with 25 points, six rebounds, and eight assists. Every starter shared at least one assist, and finished in double digits.

Here’s more of what stood out from the team’s massive outing:

Bigtime Ben

Ben Simmons was all over the place in Game 6 -- finishing with 21 points, eight rebounds, and six assists in 34 minutes.

Brett Brown was thrilled with his point man’s performance:

“What he did today was lots of the reasons he was an NBA All-Star at age 22, as an NBA point guard with the ball. I thought that on missed shots and him pushing it, he was really good. I thought him getting us organized out of our offense after they made a shot was really good. I really loved his no turnovers and I really loved his offensive rebounds.”

Simmons was hot early, scoring eight points and dishing out five assists in the first quarter. He made an impression on the opposition as well.

“I think he was certainly aggressive, give him credit,” Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said. “He was really good tonight. He’s a really good player.”

Jovial Joel

Joel Embiid recorded 17 points and 12 rebounds in Game 6, resulting in a huge plus-40 rating. He may have made his biggest mark on the defensive end, with two big blocks on Kawhi Leonard (29 pts, 12 reb, 5 ast) in the third quarter.

“He’s a big body. He’s a force on both ends,” Kyle Lowry (13 pts, 5 reb, 6 ast) said. “He’s an All-NBA player, All-Defensive Team type of player. You’re conscious of where he is on the floor.”

Embiid scored 10 points and grabbed six boards in the third quarter. The team has outscored Toronto by 80 points when Embiid is on the floor in the series.

“I thought he was just brilliant all over the place,” Brown said postgame.

Magnificent Mike

Mike Scott brought fire off the bench, leading to his best game of the series. He finished with 11 points, four rebounds, and two assists. 

The vet was plus-29 in his 20 minutes of play.

“I think the energy from the crowd fueled us,” Scott said postgame.

Playing with his signature energy, Scott converted four of his five field goals, and three of his four 3-pointers. Looking ahead to Sunday’s pivotal Game 7, he feels he knows how to prepare.

“Watch film, get your rest, get ready for a hostile environment, and go up there and win.”

Check out our Game 6 recap for more details on the win. Game 7 tips off at 7:00 p.m. ET on TNT.

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