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Raptors stave off playoff elimination, crush 76ers

Raptors stave off playoff elimination, crush 76ers
Forward Pascal Siakam (L) and the Toronto Raptors still trail 3-2 in their best-of-seven game playoff series with the Philadelphia 76ers. Photo by Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE

April 26 (UPI) -- The Toronto Raptors dominated in the paint and forced a poor shooting night from the Philadelphia 76ers to win Game 5 of their Eastern Conference playoff series and stave off elimination for the second consecutive time.

Raptors forward Pascal Siakam totaled a game-high 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in the 103-88 victory. The 76ers still own a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven first-round series.

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"It wasn't always pretty, but everyone figured it out and we were always locked in," Siakam told reporters. "We focus on ourselves."

The Raptors outscored the 76ers 56-36 in the paint, 24-16 off fast breaks and 29-11 off the bench. They led by as many as 19 points. The game featured just one lead change.

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NBA MVP candidate Joel Embiid scored a team-high 20 points and totaled 11 rebounds, but was 0 for 4 from 3-point range for the 76ers. The 76ers shot just 38.3% from the field and 27% from 3-point range. The Raptors made 51.2% of their shots.

"I was terrible defensively,'' Embiid said. ''There's really no explanation. I've just got to play with more energy and move my feet better.

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"I've just got to be better.''

Embiid scored 10 points over the first 12 minutes, but the Raptors took a 29-27 edge into the second quarter. They outscored the 76ers by 11 in the second and led 54-41 at halftime. The Raptors outscored the 76ers 49-47 over the final 24 minutes.

Precious Achiuwa scored 17 points off the Raptors bench. Gary Trent Jr. and O.G. Anunoby scored 16 points apiece in the win. 76ers forward Tobias Harris also scored 16 points. James Harden scored 15 points in the loss.

Game 6 will tip off at 7 p.m. EDT Thursday at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. Game 7, if necessary, is scheduled for Saturday in Philadelphia.

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