Raptors dominate 76ers in Game 5 to take 3-2 series lead

Raptors dominate 76ers in Game 5 to take 3-2 series lead”

From a stomach virus to an upper-respiratory infection.

Embiid's health should not overshadow how extraordinary the Raptors were in pushing the 76ers to the brink.

With the clock winding down in the second quarter, Leonard controlled the ball at the top of the key, waiting until he was able to ensure the Raptors would get the final shot.

But Leonard showed he's still the most risky player on the floor by throwing down a poster dunk in the dying seconds before halftime.

Philadelphia's Simmons didn't score his first points until a three-point play with 5:34 left in the first and his team trailing 44-32.

Kawhi Leonard got some help from his teammates to stay close and then finished it off himself.

Inside and out, the Raptors outscored the Sixers 37-17 in the second quarter, turning a one-possession game into a blowout.

Joel Embiid struggled after scoring 33 points in Philadelphia's 21-point victory in Game 3.

Toronto, which earned the No. 2 seed after winning 58 games, have been bounced out in the semis two straight seasons.

The Raptors, who've made the conference finals just once in franchise history (2016), were back on home court after splitting their two games in Philly, bouncing back from a 116-95 rout in Game 3 to beat the Sixers 101-96 in Game 4, one of the biggest wins in franchise history. Pascal Siakam's nine point led the way, while Kawhi Leonard did all the stuff that makes him such a special player, compensating for an off quarter (five points on 2-for-6 shooting) with seven rebounds and a steal. Jimmy Butler had his least efficient shooting night since Game 1, and Tobias Harris was a game-worst minus-34.

Ahead 92-70 at the start of the final quarter, Toronto extended its lead to a game-high 40 points on a dunk by Norman Powell with 2:24 remaining.

Game 6 is Thursday in Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, Toronto is one win from returning to the conference finals, three years removed from the organization's only trip that deep into the playoffs. This time, LeBron James isn't waiting on the other side. Giannis Antetokounmpo might be, but the Raptors now have Leonard and the confidence they can still dominate a worthy opponent even when their superstar is not at his absolute best.

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