Kawhi and the Raptors roar back late to even series with 76ers

Kyle Lowry Kawhi Leonard Yao Ming Raptors

Three days after suffering a soul-crushing beat-down in Game 3, the Toronto Raptors earned a 101-96 bounce-back road win over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 4 to knot their series 2-2, behind another MVP-calibre performance from their superstar.

The Raptors' second-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers has become, basically, a mathematical equation: [Raptors plus-minus without Kawhi Leonard] - [Sixers plus-minus without Joel Embiid] = victor.

Marc Gasol recorded 16 points, five boards and three assists while Kyle Lowry went off for 14/6/7 (points/rebounds/assists).

Embiid ultimately logged 35 minutes, finishing with 11 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and a pair of blocks. Jimmy Butler is averaging 18.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, while Tobias Harris is averaging 15.6 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.

For now, his future will be no further than Game 5 today, with the series heading back to Toronto. Embiid, who'd scored a playoff career best 33 points on Thursday, managed just 10.

"We got humbled", Butler said.

"We didn't try to make it look pretty", Ibaka explained to HopopsHype after the game.

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In Game 2, he had arguably the worst game of his career in scoring nine points shooting 4-for-18 from the field. Said record also shows he had 15 points on 6-of-21 shooting, including just 1 of 7 from 3-point range.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski noted on "Get Up" Monday morning that Leonard might take meetings with the Knicks, Nets and 76ers, but the No.1 NBA Insider believes it's really a two-team race for the star forward.

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid struggled against the Toronto Raptors on Sunday. The Raptors replied with 6-0 run before a Redick three-pointer sliced Toronto's advantage to just a point with 2:07 left.

After the career he's had, capped by that notorious quad injury and the introduction to Uncle Dennis that eventually led to his being traded to the Raptors for DeMar DeRozan, Jacob Poeltl, and a protected first-rounder, it's an important reminder to repeat that age while watching Leonard dismantle the long and swarming Sixers defense.

Denver outscored the Blazers 27-14 in the third quarter to take an 84-77 lead into the fourth. "[We've] got to build off it though", Lowry said. "I don't care if we didn't have space tonight". But the Sixers outscored Toronto 10-2 to cut the deficit to 24-21 after one.

The three-pointer came right before the shot clock expired and Leonard had Embiid in his face. In their last game, Embiid, who was dealing with an ailment that required getting IV treatment, finished with 11 points, which was a playoff low for the big man.

Fatigue was more of a concern for the second-seeded Nuggets, who had just one day off after their seven-game, first-round series against San Antonio. We do our best to show him a crowd but, at the end of the day, that's a hell of a player.

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