Toronto Raptors keys to beating Philadelphia 76ers in Game 7

Vibes and Sounds on the Eve of Game 7

The Sixers have dominated the glass, outrebounding Toronto in every game but one. "Then it got one bounce and it was like, 'OK.' And then the second bounce it was 'Oh s--, we might have a chance here.' Once it went in I think everyone was just ridiculously excited". The Sixers were collapsing and smothering Leonard, but the determined superstar just kept shooting.

At a time when the number of available high-end coaches is low in the NBA, Philadelphia's management seems intent on firing Brett Brown.

Denver and Portland see themselves as the teams who have got next in the West, franchises poised to rise up as Golden State fades away. The Sixers went on to play Milwaukee in the conference final.

KEEP AN EYE ON: Denver's 3-point shooting.

A Scotiabank Arena crowd, that included former Raptors point guard Jose Calderon, was on its feet for most of the final nailbiting 12 minutes that saw Leonard score five straight points to put Toronto up by five with 4:48 to play.

Toronto managed a 41-34 rebounding advantage in Game 7, including 13-3 on the offensive boards through three quarters, a major reason why the team led by three points at that time.

For the Raptors, they're just not good enough and one day, likely in a few weeks, the team's management will have to explain why more wasn't done to provide Leonard with better options.

Leonard was fouled with 10.8 seconds left.

It's the most a player has scored in a playoff series in nearly 30 years.

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Toronto has shot just 25.9-percent on "open" three-pointers in this series, per - with a pretty significant 9.7 attempts nightly. "Game 7 memories, what do you learn, what do you remember?" We gave this exciting matchup the NBA Live 19 playoffs simulation treatment to see who might win.

Butler is the calming influence on a Sixers team with young stars in Simmons and Embiid.

That led to a fight on the court, and the Sixers' Jimmy Butler and Nets' Jared Dudley were ejected.

However, Ben Simmons may be the bellwether. Siakam and Leonard each scored seven points in the second and Lowry added six to give Toronto a 44-40 lead at halftime.

"We just missed so many shots early and they were just playing off the rebound so often", Raptors coach Nick Nurse said after Game 6. "We've got to go up and grab 'em with two hands and squeeze 'em and hold onto them and get in a strong body position". Damian Lillard is going to get his, he's one of the best scorers in the sport - and he's clutch. He was made for Game 7s. "If I've got to play 45 minutes and push myself out there, that's what I'll do". McCollum has been so critical for Portland in this series.

However, Portland will need scoring from a third source to win on the road, and that may be Rodney Hood.

Leonard had a monster game with 41 points. Toronto is holding opponents to just 95.7 points per 100 possessions at home in the playoffs and in their three home games against the Sixers, they have limited them to 95.5 points per 100 possessions. You've got to continue to grow whether you like how it's going or not.

Embiid doesn't have much to improve in his already dominant all-around game and it's only a question of whether the big man could string together a consistent set of games and be healthy, as he continues his successive campaigns to the postseason.

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