PHILADELPHIA — If a 20-point loss to the Philadelphia 76ers wasn’t bad enough, the Toronto Raptors lost rookie Scottie Barnes to an ankle injury.
Tyrese Maxey scored 21 of his 38 points in the third quarter and dashed the Raptors’ hopes of coming out from behind in Game 1 of the first round of the series with a 131-111 win for the 76ers on Saturday.
Pascal Siakam scored 24 points in a tough night for the Raptors that saw Barnes leave the game with a left foot injury and Fred VanVleet was sent off early in the fourth quarter. OG Anunoby added 20 points for Queen City squad.
Barnes had 15 points and 10 rebounds in a stellar start to the series before 280-pound 76ers center Joel Embiid tripped over his foot, leaving him on the ground in agony. VanVleet had 18 points and six assists before exiting the game at the same stretch.
“For a young rookie in his first road playoff game against a really good team, I thought he belonged on the field,” said Barnes Raptors head coach Nick Nurse.
Hit the Raptors
X-rays of Barnes’ wound were negative and he will undergo further imaging on Sunday.
Embiid had 19 points and 15 rebounds.
The Raptors improved to 5-17 in their first meeting of a series. The second duel will take place in Philadelphia on Monday.
“We could have lost by 50 points tonight but it’s just one game,” said Siakam. Of course we know we have to play better than today to be able to win against them. We need to watch the videos and improve, but that’s the nature of the show. There are ups and downs and we have to keep the same focus and intensity. »
The teams will return to the collar for Games 3 and 4 on April 20 and 23 in Toronto, respectively. The series will return to Philadelphia for the fifth installment if necessary.
It was the first playoff matchup between the two Atlantic Division rivals since Kawhi Leonard’s basket defeated the 76ers in the 2019 Eastern Semifinals.
The 76ers’ 21-point lead in the second quarter grew to 24 points early in the second half. Precious Achiuwa had a three-point game to cap a 10-2 series for the Raptors, who closed the gap to 11 points.
But James Harden, who had 22 points and 14 assists in his first playoff game for the 76ers, had a three and a running shot before making a deft pass to Maxey.
The 76ers led 107-88 with just one quarter remaining.
“We weren’t ourselves in a lot of aspects of the game,” said VanVleet. Most of the things we do come from our aggression, our size and our play with the ball. We make turnovers, we block shots. Whether it was the nervousness of some of our new players or the whistle from the referees, we were a bit slow. You have won the battle of physicality. »