The last time Toronto and Philadelphia played was on February 5, a night where the Raptors went into the 76ers' home building and had absolutely no trouble on the way to an easy win. "But like I said, I just got to keep managing it and see how I feel and then go from there".
But then, kaboom! Much like Raptors fans have been tortured in previous seasons when Playoff LeBron chose to show up and leap buildings and smash jet fighters out of the air with his fists, Playoff Kawhi was fully operational in three of Toronto's four consecutive wins, and he was fighting an illness in the other. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.
Embiid said following the shootaround Saturday in Toronto that he still is bothered by tendinitis in his left knee but will play through it.
Leonard, in his first season in Toronto, had a remarkably under-the-radar season for someone who is sure to be on one of the all-NBA teams.
"We know what we are and what we can be", guard Kyle Lowry said. "The context needs to be somewhat considered". The Raptors bench, which was so effective last season, went scoreless through the first half.
Toronto's 119-107, wasn't-as-close-as-that-looks victory hadn't been in the books for an hour before news broke that the 76ers were sending three players and four draft picks to the Los Angeles Clippers for Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott.
Joe Embiid and James Ennis II each has seven points for the Sixers. Playing with that type of intensity in a hostile environment could help propel them to stealing Game 1.
The Raptors played a near-perfect first frame, going 16-for-22 (72.7%) from the field with zero turnovers. Kyle Lowry has sparked the run with a couple solid plays on the defensive end and a couple buckets. "They really loaded up". After the first round, we're now at the round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs were the top contenders are ready to do battle.
Liverpool boss Klopp hopeful on Firmino fitness despite 'small' muscle tear
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane scored two goals apiece and Naby Keita got the other as Liverpool moved two points clear. Having made it seven league wins in a row, Liverpool are in pole position once more .
It wasn't just the trade deadline where teams were thinking about these 2019 playoffs. Leonard also made all six of his free throws.
Game 2 is Monday in Toronto. The Raptors have won 13 straight at home over the 76ers.
The key for the 76ers will be trying to minimize Leonard, who is 13-0 against them between his former team, the San Antonio Spurs, and the Raptors. Toronto does boast the best player in the series in Kawhi Leonard, while the Raps also have a better frontcourt in general with Pascal Siakem, Serge Ibaka, and Marc Gasol comprising a very talented four-man rotation.
For the first time, a pair of players born in Cameroon - Embiid and Siakam - will face off in a playoff series.
Embiid is a native of Yaounde, while Siakam hails from Douala. "People on Twitter were like, 'Oh, it's Douala against Yaounde. and at the end of the day, Cameroon wins,"' Siakam said. Unfortunately, I think that sets the tone for the series and the Raptors win in seven.
In his short time with the Memphis Grizzlies, the 7-foot 26-year-old has been excellent, averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds and showing exactly what he could do when a team makes him a primary scoring option.
Although Gasol hasn't faced Embiid since joining the Raptors, he's had decent success against the 76ers star.