TORONTO — Joel Embiid hit the shot that will be remembered from Philadelphia's 104-101 overtime victory over Toronto on Wednesday. His teammates did well to set him up for the turnaround three-pointer that gave the 76ers a 3-0 lead in the first-round playoff series.
Tobias Harris nailed Toronto's Precious Achiuwa with a screen, Danny Green found Embiid with the inbound pass as he emerged from the pack and the Sixers big man drilled a game-winner with 0.8 seconds to play.
Embiid said the screen was as big as the shot.
"He got me so wide open," Embiid said. "He's the reason why I made the shot."
It wasn't just in the Sixers' final offensive possession that Harris showed his worth on Wednesday. He was a defensive force throughout the game and helped shut down Raptors star Pascal Siakam.
"Tobias Harris tonight was unbelievable," said 76ers head coach Doc Rivers. "(He was) all over the floor defensively, he did so many little things, he set the last pick of the game, he was fantastic."
Over the course of this series, Embiid has grabbed much of the attention, and for good reason. He's an MVP finalist this season and had 33 points in Game 3, including 23 in the second half alone.
Siakam had 12 points over the first 24 minutes but Harris helped keep him off the scoreboard in the second half and overtime.
"We make adjustments on trying to guard (Siakam)," said Rivers. "The guy is a load and he's a hell of a basketball player, but to put one guy one him -- basically we ask (Harris) to match his minutes -- is asking a lot.
"And to have the energy at the end of the game to still guard is fantastic."
Philadelphia trailed by 17 at one point in the first half but cut the deficit to 10 points entering the third quarter. Guards James Harden and Tyrese Maxey, who both finished with 19 points, helped the Sixers stay within reach.
Harden fouled out with 49.7 seconds left to play in the fourth quarter but Maxey delivered four big points in overtime.
"Thank the Lord that we played without James for however many games before he got here," said Maxey, referring to the trade-deadline move that brought Harden to Philadelphia. "Everybody knew what to do, knew what to run and everybody knew where they needed to be."
Though only 21, Maxey was unafraid of the moment when his time came, like all of the 76ers stars on Wednesday.
"Great play call, Tobias set an amazing screen, Danny made a great pass, so all I had to do with it was to finish it," Embiid said of his game-winner. "And I'm glad I did."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 20, 2022.
Steven Loung, The Canadian Press