Sixers-Raptors best/worst: Joel Embiid’s unimaginable night, a pitiful and inexcusable loss
Raptors center Marc Gasol gets defensive honors for not giving Embiid room to breathe.
TORONTO — Here is my look at some of the best and worst performances from the 76ers’ 101-96 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Monday night at Scotiabank Arena.
Best performance: Even on a night that Josh Richardson excelled, it would have been foolish to give this to anyone not named Pascal Siakam. He and Richardson finished with co-game-high 25 points on 9-for-19 shooting. However, Siakam scored the Raptors’ go-ahead points on a three-point play to make it a 97-96 advantage with 1 minute, 1 second remaining. The Cameroonian did most of his damage in the first half, scoring 16 points. Siakam then came through down the stretch with the game on the line.
Worst performance: I had to give this to Joel Embiid on a night he finished with a game-high 13 rebounds. That’s because the Sixers center failed to score a point for the first time in his career. He missed his 11 field-goal attempts and three foul shots. He settled for jumpers and perimeter shots instead of playing bully ball down low. The two-time All-Star also committed the foul on Siakam’s go-ahead three-point play.
Best defensive performance: This award goes to Marc Gasol. The Raptors center didn’t give Embiid room to breathe. Gasol also finished with two blocked shots.
Worst statistic: This goes to Embiid’s failure to score a point. His previous career low was five points against the New York Knicks back on March 28, 2018. Back then, Embiid played just 8 minutes, 23 seconds before leaving the game with a broken bone in his face with 11:40 left in the first half. This was also just the third time in 171 career games he failed to score in double figures.
Best statistic: This goes to Richardson for shooting 5-for-9 on three-pointers.
Worst of the worst: I had to give this to the Sixers’ losing to a team with six players out with injuries. I don’t care how impressive the Raptors are. A team picked to contend for an NBA title should not lose to a team with six sidelined players.