Tobias Harris hit a 3-pointer in overtime that put Philadelphia ahead to stay, and Joel Embiid had 28 points, 11 rebounds and four assists as the 76ers extended their winning streak to a season-best five matches with a 104-101 victory over the struggling Toronto Raptors on Monday night.
“He’s a star in his role,” Embiid said of Harris’ performance. “That’s what he’s been doing all season, knocking down big shots.”
Harris put the Sixers ahead with 2:12 left in OT and concluded with 21 points, making five of his seven 3-point attempts.
“He dedicated this summer to being a spot-up shooter, making shots, and he’s doing that,” Sixers head coach Doc Rivers said of Harris’ evolution. “You can see he’s worked on improving the quickness of his release.”
Harris then came down and made another 3-pointer on the next possession. The referees initially called a shooting foul on Scottie Barnes, which would have sent Harris to the line for a chance to complete the 4-point play, but after a review the referees determined that PJ Tucker committed an illegal screen before Harris’ shot.
“I still don’t understand the call. That will have to be explained to me,” Rivers said of the sequence.
“I wasn’t gonna complain, but that was probably the most ridiculous game I’ve ever been a part of. That’s all I’ll say about that game,” Embiid stated, indirectly referencing the play. “I’m just glad we got the win. But the way the game was, it was ridiculous.”
James Harden added 14 points for Philadelphia, which has won the first five games of a seven-game homestand, the Sixers’ longest of the season.
The 76ers close out the stretch versus the Pistons on Wednesday and Clippers on Friday.
The 76ers won despite a stellar performance from Toronto All-Star forward Pascal Siakam, whose 38-point performance was the highest point total permitted by 76ers this season. Siakam, whose driving layup with 5.1 seconds left in regulation sent the game to overtime, added 15 rebounds, six assists and strong defense down the stretch in a losing effort.
The Raptors used a 19-1 run, which stretched from late in the third quarter and into the start of the fourth, to erase Philadelphia’s lead, which reached as many as 14 points early in the third. Siakam fueled Toronto’s comeback, scoring 10 of Toronto’s 19 points during the run.
“We got the win. Even when it’s ugly, it still counts. We were up a lot the whole night, they made that run at the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth, but we reacted,” Embiid said.
It is the sixth consecutive loss for the struggling Raptors, who fell to 13-18. Toronto shot just 42% from the field and 11 for 40 from 3-point range.
Besides Siakam’s 38 points, no Toronto player scored more than 13. Fred VanVleet (nine points) shot just 3 for 15 from the field, and 2 for 11 from 3-point range.