Joel Embiid believes he, Sixers will be better in Game 6 vs. Raptors

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PHILADELPHIA — As the Philadelphia 76ers prepare for Game 6 on Thursday back in Canada, it isn’t a do or die situation, but it certainly feels like one.

The Sixers once led this first-round series with the Toronto Raptors, 3-0. It looked as if they were going to take care of business pretty easily.

However, the Raptors started playing their style of basketball. Scottie Barnes returned to the lineup. They have begun to feel confident they can win this series and pull off the unthinkable. No team has ever come back from 3-0 to win a playoff series. After winning Game 5 on Monday, they have a chance to force a Game 7.

“I was terrible defensively,” said Joel Embiid who is playing with a torn ligament in his right thumb. “Especially in that third quarter, so there’s really no explanation, I guess. I gotta play with more energy and move my feet better. I just gotta be better.”

The Raptors used a big second quarter to build their lead and held off the Sixers every time they rallied. Toronto closed it out to get themselves back in this series.

“They got everything they wanted,” said coach Doc Rivers. “They got everything they wanted, and not only did they get it, they used 23 seconds dang near every possession. They turned the game into a slow-paced slugfest, but whenever they could run they did run so they got both.”

The Raptors scored 24 fast-break points as they really turned the game into their style of play.

“They beat us in transition,” Rivers continued. “When they didn’t have transition they backed it out, used the clock, got the iso they wanted and scored on us. They scored from every single guy looking at our guys in the face. We are going to have to do something better to help our guys defend better.”

Embiid had success offensively in the first half by getting deep position in the paint and scoring at the basket. Other than that, he was unable to do much. Toronto made sure he did not get much of an opportunity in the second half.

“They just kept scoring and scoring and scoring and we kept playing against a set defense and, obviously, they just doubled me just like last game really everywhere,” Embiid said. “Whether it was in the post, the elbow, the 3-point line, you can tell they were really trying to get the ball out of my hands. We didn’t make shots today, but just gotta keep trusting. I think we will be better.”

Game 6 is back in Toronto on Thursday.

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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