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10 mind-boggling stats from a historic Sixers close-out win originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
You don’t win road playoff games by 35 points. You don’t outscore anybody by 34 points in a half. You don’t win a quarter by 20 points.
Unless you’re the 76ers.
The 76ers, reeling after their 3-0 series lead turned into a 3-2 lead, made all kinds of NBA history Thursday night in their 132-97 win over the Raptors at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
Let’s take a look!
A HISTORIC BLOWOUT: The 35-point margin of victory was the 76ers’ largest ever in a road playoff game and their second-largest in any playoff game. The 76ers’ largest previous margin of victory in a road postseason game was their 29-point win over Washington (132-103) last year in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference first-round series at Capital One Arena. From Stathead, this was only the 13th time in NBA history a road team won a playoff game by 35 or more points. The only bigger postseason win in franchise history came in 1978 at the Spectrum when the 76ers beat the Knicks by 40 points (130-90) in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series (which the 76ers wound up sweeping). The 76ers also beat the Hawks by 35 (111-76) in Game 1 of their 1982 Eastern Conference first-round game at the Spectrum. The 35-point margin of victory is the sixth-largest in franchise history in any game. There have only been four bigger blowouts in elimination games in NBA history.
ONE OF THE GREATEST SECOND HALVES EVER: The 76ers outscored the Raptors 70-36 in the second half, and according to Stathead that 34-point margin is the fifth-largest in a second half in NBA postseason history and third-largest on the road. The only bigger second-half blowouts in NBA postseason history on the road came in 1973, when the Lakers outscored the Warriors by 36 points in the second half of a 126-70 win in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals and in 2009, when the Nuggets outscored the Hornets by 36 in Game 4 of their 121-63 win in Game 3 of their Western Conference first-round series. So it was the greatest second half on the road ever in an elimination game.
THIS DOESN’T EVEN HAPPEN IN THE REGULAR SEASON: The 76ers have only outscored an opponent by 34 points in a second half twice in the regular season – and they were based in Syracuse one of those times. In 1960, they outscored the Knicks by 35 points (84-49) in the second half of a 162-100 win in Syracuse, and in 2003 they outscored the Bulls by 34 points (63-29) in the second half of a 110-82 win at the United Center. So they matched their greatest road second half in franchise history in the regular season or postseason. There have only been 17 more lopsided second halves in NBA regular-season history.
SECOND HALF BY THE NUMBERS: In the second half alone, the 76ers outrebounded the Raptors 22-7, they had 17 assists to five for Toronto and their shooting percentage was more than double the Raptors’ – 60 percent to 28 percent. The Raptors shot 4-for-20 from 3 in the second half and 11-for-39 from the field.
PILING UP THE ASSISTS: James Harden had 15 assists Thursday night on the heels of a 14-assist performance in Game 1 of the series. He’s the first 76er ever with two 14-assist games in a series and only the second with two 14-assist games in a single postseason. Johnny Dawkins had two in 1990 – one vs. the Cavs, one against the Bulls. Even though he’s only played six games in a 76ers uniform, Harden is tied for most career postseason 14-assist games in franchise history. Dawkins, Maurice Cheeks, Allen Iverson and Ben Simmons also had two. Harden had 61 assists in the series, most ever by a 76er through six games of any postseason series. The previous high was Iverson’s 55 in the 2003 Eastern Conference semifinal series vs. the Pistons.
EMBIID BOUNCING BACK: Joel Embiid had 33 points and 10 rebounds, his 12th career game with 30 points and 10 rebounds. That puts him just two behind Wilt Chamberlain for the franchise record and one behind Dolph Schayes. Embiid had three 30-10 games in the series, which ties the most ever in an Eastern Conference first-round series. Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James and Nikola Vučević also had three.
BIG FINISH: Embiid had as many baskets in the fourth quarter (6) as the entire Raptors team. Embiid shot 6-for-7 in an eight-minute run in the fourth quarter, and the Raptors were a combined 6-for-20 from the field in the final period.
JOEL, CHARLES, MOSES AND WILT: In the series, Embiid averaged 26.2 points and 11.3 rebounds and shot 52 percent from the field. The only other 76ers to average 26 points and 11 rebounds and shoot over 50 percent from the field in a playoff series are Moses Malone once, Charles Barkley twice and Wilt Chamberlain four times.
CAN’T MISS FROM THE LINE: The 76ers made 22 of 23 foul shots for 95.7 percent Thursday, third-highest in franchise postseason history. All three times they’ve shot 95 percent from the line in a playoff game have been against the Raptors. In 2001, they shot 96.2 percent (25-for-26) in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series (George Lynch had the only miss) and a week later in Game 5 they shot 100 percent on 16-for-16. In this year’s Raptors series, the 76ers shot 85 percent on 129-for-152. That’s the third-highest free throw percentage in franchise history for a series. In 1959, the Syracuse Nationals shot 86.5 percent against the Knicks and in 1984 the 76ers shot 87.3 percent vs. the Nets. Incredibly, they attempted 104 foul shots in that two-game series sweep of the Knicks in the Eastern Division Semifinals. They were 45-for-53 in Game 1 and 45-for-51 in Game 2. That 1959 Nationals team is one of only three in NBA history to make 45 foul shots in consecutive playoff games.
KEEP SHOOTING, RAPTORS: The Raptors became the second NBA team ever with three games in any series where they took at least 30 3s and made 26 percent or fewer. The Bucks did it last year. Overall, the Raptors took 197 3-pointers in the series but shot just 29.9 percent. No NBA team has ever taken that many 3s in a seven-game series and shot worse. The 76ers, meanwhile, shot 41 percent from 3 in the series, their highest ever in a first-round series.