Joel Embiid vs Drake, video, trash-talking, Toronto Raptors vs Philadelphia 76ers, buzzer-beater, response

When the Philadelphia 76ers needed someone to stand up in an overtime thriller with the Toronto Raptors, was it ever going to be anyone but MVP candidate Joel Embiid?

With the scores locked at 101-101 and a few seconds left on the clock, the game seemed destined for another overtime period.

Embiid though had other ideas, nailing a 27-foot shot from deep to cap off an epic performance from the Sixers big man and seal a 104-101 win.

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Thu, 21 Apr

Thursday April 21st

Joel Embiid came up clutch. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

It was redemption for Embiid, who was left in tears after Kawhi Leonard’s buzzer-beater ended Philadelphia’s playoff hopes in Game 7 of the 2019 playoffs.

It was also later revealed by Sixers teammate Tobias Harris that Drake had been trash-talking Embiid, telling him “he can’t play here”.

“I said to him, he can play here for sure,” Harris said, with Embiid later picture firing back at the rapper telling him: “I’m coming for the sweep too”.

Embiid had just five points at halftime but exploded to add 28 in the rest of the game, ending with a double-double (33 points, 13 rebounds).

The Sixers now hold a 3-0 series lead and look destined for the second round of the playoffs.

The Raptors were the far better team in the opening half, although the scoreboard did not show it, with Toronto holding just a 10-point lead.

That was despite Philadelphia turning the ball over 14 times in the first half.

Embiid took it upon himself to will the Sixers back into the contest in the third quarter, scoring 12 of the Sixers’ first 17 points after managing just five in the opening half.

Philadelphia was able to get to the line more easily in the second half too, although the shots were not always falling, keeping Toronto well in the game.

It set up a thrilling finish and the Raptors had a big chance to push ahead late when Precious Achuiwa had two free-throws in the final 30 seconds, with the scores locked at 95-all.

He missed both though, giving Harden and Tobias Harris a chance to close the game for Philadelphia but both missed their shots, sending the game to overtime.

Maxey may have not been as dominant as he was in Game 1 but the much-improved 21-year-old made Philadelphia’s first two buckets of overtime to give the Sixers a 99-97 lead.

Embiid came up with the game-winning shot. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

OG Anunoby then hit a step-back 3-pointer to put Toronto ahead by one, although that lead was short-lived as Embiid responded with a 14-foot shot to put Philadelphia in front.

Anunoby, like Achiuwa, had a chance to put the game away with two late free-throws but could only drain one, leaving the scores level at 101-all until Embiid came up clutch.

Maxey had exploded to lift the Sixers to victory in Game 1 of the series but was not as efficient this time around, shooting 8-for-18 from the field.

It meant that someone else had to stand up and the two most obvious candidates — Harden and Embiid — did just that.

Neither side went too deep into its bench, with Achiuwa a standout for the Toronto second unit, making his pressence felt on both sides of the floor (20 points and a block).

The Raptors were also bolstered by the return of Gary Trent Jr., who had been dealing with a non-Covid related illness, finishing the game with 24 points.

OG Anunoby, meawhile, had 25 points, four assists and five rebounds.

Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet combined for 24 points with VanVleet also recording eight assists, although his shooting struggles continued (3-for-13 from the field).

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KD, KYRIE HIT 55-GAME LOW AS CELTICS TAKE 2-0 LEAD

Trailing by 17 points late in the second quarter, the Boston Celtics have staged a remarkable comeback to down the Brooklyn Nets 114-107 and take a 2-0 lead in their playoff series.

Boston’s stunning resurgence during the regular season was built on its relentless defense and Brooklyn learned that the hard way on Thursday.

Kevin Durant scored 27 points but 18 of them came from the charity stripe, otherwise shooting 4-for-17 from the field and turning the ball over six times.

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Kyrie Irving, meanwhile, finished with just 10 points as he shot 4-for-13 from the field.

It was the first time in 55 games as teammates that the pair had shot at worse than 33 per cent.

Durant is now 13-for-41 shooting from the field this playoff series and has made 12 turnovers.

He was unsuccessful with all 10 field goal attempts in the second half — a career-first for Durant.

“They’re (Celtics) being physical,” Nets coach Steve Nash said post-game on Durant’s struggles.

“They’re up and into him, grabbing him, holding him, all that stuff. He’s been uncomfortable. He has n’t looked like he’s been able to quite get his rhythm from him.

On the other side of the court, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown heated up when the Celtics needed them most.

Tatum in particular made his presence felt on both ends, also locking down Durant and dishing out dimes with 18 assists this series — the most in a two-game span in his career.

The Nets got off to a fast start from an unlikely source, with Bruce Brown shooting 3-for-3 from the field and two free-throws to spark an early 9-0 run.

Brown finished the quarter with 12 points, a block, steal and rebound in the opening six minutes before being substituted off.

In contrast, Brown struggled to get going as he went scoreless in the first seven minutes, managing just the one shot while Tatum had two points and shot 0-for-3 from the field.

The Nets shut Tatum and Brown down early but could not contain Grant Williams, who added a crucial eight minutes late off the bench along with a block to reduce the deficit to 33-24 after one quarter.

Tatum had just two points at that point to go with three assists, having shot 0-for-5 from the field. Brooklyn, on the other hand, was lighting it up from deep, shooting 75.0 per cent of 3-pointers compared to 28.6 per cent from Boston.

Boston was far too good on Thursday. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images/AFPSource: AFP

The Nets continued the charge into the second half, bolstered by a big performance from Goran Dragic off the bench.

Dragic was leading Brooklyn for scoring at the half with 16 points on 70 per cent shooting, while Durant had 15.

While Brown only added two points to his first-quarter tally, he and Dragic had still outscored Boston’s lethal duo of Tatum and Brown 30-14.

The Celtics needed something miraculous in the third quarter and found it in their swarming defense, shutting Durant and Irving down to spark a fightback.

Only helping their cause was the fact that Dragic, who was in foul trouble, only re-entered the game with just over two minutes left in the third.

While Tatum and Brown were struggling to find their rhythm, Boston had done its job on Irving and Durant, who had shot 7-for-21 from the field at the end of the third quarter.

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Five quick points from the Celtics saw the gap closed to 90-85 heading into the final 12 minutes and that Brooklyn lead quickly evaporated.

The Nets could only manage two points in the opening seven minutes as Brown started to heat up, scoring nine points in three minutes as the Celtics took the lead.

With only a few minutes left in the game, it was Boston up 105-96 and Durant was helpless to save the Nets, having shot 0-for-9 from the field and made four turnovers at that point.

Tatum, meanwhile, came up clutch late to score seven points in one minute as the Celtics ended up comfortable winners.

Ben Simmons is reportedly targeting a Game 4 return but by that point it may be too late and not even he will be able to solve Brooklyn’s scoring woes.

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