76ers-Raptors: Joel Embiid sinks Toronto with 3 game winners in OT, powers Philly to commanding 3-0 lead - New Style Motorsport

Game 3 between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors blessed us with an epic finish. With 2.5 seconds remaining in overtime and the game tied at 101-101, Sixers All-Star center Joel Embiid knocked down arguably the biggest shot of his entire career.

The ball reached Embiid just beyond the 3-point line with less than a second remaining on the shot clock, and the burly guy cornered the pass, spun and blasted a shot over Raptors guard Fred VanVleet. The ball headed for the rim like a heat-seeking missile and hit nothing but the back of the net. Splash.

The shot, Embiid’s first career game-winner, gave the Sixers a 104-101 lead and, in turn, a commanding 3-0 series lead over Toronto. The series isn’t over, but that lead has historically proven insurmountable in the past, as no team in league history has come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a best-of-seven series.

The shot had to be especially daunting for the Raptors after they played their best game of the series by far. Trailing 2-0 and obviously wanting to avoid falling into that 3-0 hole, Toronto came out with an added sense of urgency and intensity on Wednesday night, and led for much of the game because of it. The Raptors had a 10-point lead after one quarter, and they held that lead heading into the halftime locker room.

However, the Sixers began to rally in the second half, largely thanks to an 18-point third quarter from Embiid. Philadelphia cut Toronto’s lead to one after 36 minutes of action, and they were obviously able to tie it at the end of regulation. In overtime, Embiid’s dagger finally proved to be the difference. The Sixers never had a single lead in the game until overtime. With that stat alone, the Raptors will have to feel like they let one slip away.

After having his and the Sixers’ playoff hopes dashed by a Raptors game winner in the same arena in 2019, Embiid had to feel good to get some revenge. But while the big man was obviously happy with the outcome of Game 3, he’s also well aware that the series isn’t over.

“That’s the best [shot of my career]but the job is not done,” Embiid said after the game. “We have one more, so we have to come back here in two days and try to beat them again.”

Embiid (33 points, 13 rebounds) paved the way for Philly in Game 3, but he also got a fair amount of help as he has every series. James Harden and Tyrese Maxey had 19 points, and Harden combined their point production with 10 assists. Tobias Harris also had a double-double (11 points, 12 rebounds). The Sixers have benefited from a balanced scoring attack in every series.

On the other hand, OG Anunoby had 26 points and five rebounds for Toronto, Gary Trent Jr. added 24 points despite battling illness and Precious Achiuwa had 20 off the bench. As a team they forced 24 turnovers, but in the end it wasn’t enough. After three games, it’s clear they’re outclassed in the series, and at this point, any outcome other than the Sixers advancing would be shocking.

For Embiid, his 3-pointer in overtime was the most memorable singles shot of his career thus far, and while it might have been the first game-winner of his career, there’s a good chance it won’t be his last.

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