Player grades: Raptors stave off elimination again, beat Sixers in Game 5

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PHILADELPHIA–The Philadelphia 76ers returned home on Monday for Game 5 with the Toronto Raptors looking to close out and move on to Round 2. Considering the thumb injury that is bothering Joel Embiid, the Sixers needed a win to ensure he gets enough rest to prepare for Round 2.

However, the Raptors had other plans. Led by their Rookie of the Year in Scottie Barnes as well as their former All-Star in Pascal Siakam, Toronto was able to overcome the absence of Fred VanVleet in a 103-88 win and force this series back to Scotiabank Arena for a Game 6 on Thursday.

Embiid led Philadelphia with 20 points and 11 rebounds, Danny Green had 14 points, Tobias Harris had 16 and seven rebounds, and James Harden had 15 on 4-for-11 shooting and seven assists. Tyrese Maxey added 12 points.

Here are the player grades following the loss at home:

James Harden: D

In a game where Philadelphia needed more out of him, Harden was very active on the defensive end. He had a weakside block and he got his hand in the passing lanes to force some turnovers. He did a very good job of making plays for others as well. However, overall, he did not deliver. With a chance to close out and move on to Round 2, he came up extremely small on the offensive end and that cannot happen. He absolutely has got to be better in order for Philadelphia to get it done in the playoffs.

Tyrese Maxey: D

The Raptors got into Maxey a bit in this one in order to make him uncomfortable and to limit his ability to get to the basket. That bothered him a bit as he began settling, but he did deliver a SportsCenter Top 10 play with an acrobatic layup amidst their defense. Overall, he has not been able to overcome Toronto’s physicality and that has been a problem for him since Game 2.

Danny Green: B

Toronto is such a tough matchup for Green because of their length and their athleticism so it is important that he gets open from deep and converts those looks in order to make contributions out there. He is tough and he competes on the defensive end, but he just isn’t able to really keep up there. He knocked down three triples in the second quarter to really settle the Sixers down after Toronto built a 14-point lead. His offensive contributions were very helpful in this one.

Tobias Harris: B

When Harris is knocking down open looks like he did to start the game, that is a huge lift. The Raptors give so much attention to Embiid and Harden that it frees Harris up from deep and he did an excellent job of staying ready and taking advantage of his opportunities. His defensive work and his intensity on that end was really impressive as well as he continues to take strides forward on that end. His effort on both ends in this one was essential for Philadelphia to stay in the game when it looked like the Raptors would pull away.

Joel Embiid: C+

This was a big test for Embiid. Following a tough Game 4 up in Toronto, he established deep post position early in this one and he was constantly going to the basket in order to get himself some easy looks. He was playing with much more aggression as it looked like he was dealing with pain management better than he did in the previous game. The third quarter was tough for him on the defensive end, however, and that caused a lot of issues in this one. He was constantly getting beat off the dribble and it was weird to see. The thumb did seem to bother him whenever he tried to make passes as well.

Matisse Thybulle: F

After being ineligible to play up in Toronto, Thybulle made his return to the lineup and it was a really tough start for him. He could not convert on any of the open looks that the offense generated for him and he was a part of their turnover problems early in this one. He did play solid defense on Pascal Siakam, but he was a train wreck on offense. The one “bucket” he scored was due to a Raptor tipping in a miss on a corner triple.

Georges Niang: D-

As is always the issue with Niang, he is not great on the defensive end. He competes on that end, but he does not have the lateral quickness to keep up with more athletic players. When he is not making triples, he is another one who is tough to play at times. He gets points for making a corner triple in the fourth quarter.

Shake Milton: F

This was a tough outing for Milton, as it was for everybody on the bench, and it was due to the way the Raptors scramble around on the defensive end. He couldn’t get anything going on the offensive end and he had a tough night on defense.

Paul Reed: F

The Sixers turned to Reed to give the big fella a break, but his minutes weren’t great and the Raptors went at him every time due to his tendency to foul often. He was in there to start the fourth quarter and he was a wreck in those two minutes.

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