Joel Embiid knows how to silence a hostile crowd. He did just that with his clutch game-winner in Game 3 of the first-round playoff series between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors.
With 2.6 seconds left in overtime, Embiid received an inbound pass from Danny Green. He turned and knocked down a three-point shot from the left wing to give Philadelphia a 104-101 victory in Toronto.
Embiid’s big bucket at the end has pushed the Raptors to the brink as they trail 0-3 in the best-of-seven series.
Joel Embiid finished the night with 33 points on 12-of-20 (60.0%) shooting. His game-winning triple was his third shot from downtown on Wednesday. He also had 13 rebounds in the game.
Speaking to the media post-game, Embiid complimented Toronto fans for their passion but said that he also enjoyed seeing them go home. The MVP candidate remarked:
“I enjoy it. I love it… Then that last shot – everybody’s quiet. I enjoy seeing them go home.”
“All I had to do was finish it” – Joel Embiid about the terrific setup provided by his teammates that led to his game-winner
Joel Embiid credited his teammates for setting him up nicely for the game-winning play. He was particularly effusive in his praise for Tobias Harris and Danny Green, who were involved in the late bucket for Philadelphia.
The big man remarked:
“Great play call. Tobias set an amazing screen. Danny had a great pass. All I had to do was finish it.”
Embiid knows what it feels like to lose in Toronto. Three years ago, he and the 76ers were ousted by the Raptors from the Eastern Conference semis in seven games.
Philadelphia lost a hard-fought Game 7 in Toronto, with Kawhi Leonard knocking down a clutch triple at the buzzer.
Embiid recalled that moment when he told the media about the emotions he experienced after his crunch-time basket in Game 3. He said:
“It felt great. Obviously we know what happened a couple years ago. They’ve got great fans. They’re loud. I knew coming into Toronto, I was definitely going to be the bad guy. It felt great, but the job is not done. We’ve got to get one more.”
The Philadlephia 76ers will have an opportunity to close out the series versus the Toronto Raptors on Friday.