TORONTO — Kawhi Leonard scored 21 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as the Toronto Raptors defeated the visiting Philadelphia 76ers 125-89 Tuesday night to take a 3-2 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
The Raptors can clinch the best-of-seven set by winning Game 6 (on Friday, Manila time) in Philadelphia. Game 7, if necessary, would be played Monday in Toronto.
Pascal Siakam had 25 points and eight rebounds for the Raptors. Kyle Lowry added 19 points, Danny Green had 17 points, Marc Gasol contributed 11 and Serge Ibaka scored 10.
Ibaka needed stitches after getting elbowed in the forehead by Leonard in the first quarter, but the center returned to start the second quarter.
Jimmy Butler scored 22 points and added seven assists for the 76ers. Tobias Harris contributed 15 points, Joel Embiid had 13 and Mike Scott chipped in with 10. Embiid committed a game-high eight turnovers.
The Raptors took command of the game by outscoring the Sixers 37-17 in the second quarter, and Toronto led by 22 points entering the fourth quarter.
The margin increased to 31 points when Gasol hit a 3-pointer two minutes into the fourth period.
Ibaka’s layup and free throw bumped the lead to 33 with 6:32 to play. Norman Powell’s running dunk got the advantage to 40 with 2:24 to go. The Raptors used a 7-0 surge to establish a 27-26 edge after one quarter.
Toronto had an eight-point lead early in the second quarter on Gasol’s 3-pointer.
The Raptors continued to pull away, and when Green made a 3-pointer with 40.5 seconds to play in the first half, they led by 19 points. Leonard made two free throws with 29 seconds left to increase the gap to 21. Toronto led 64-43 at halftime. — Reuters