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James Harden and the Philadelphia 76ers are heading for the second round, not home for Game 7.
Joel Embiid had 33 points and 10 rebounds, Harden added 22 points and 15 assists, and the 76ers beat the Toronto Raptors 132-97 in Game 6 to end their first-round series Thursday night.
“We were not going back to Philly for a game 7,” Harden said.
Philadelphia will face Miami in the second round, with Game 1 Monday night in South Florida. The top-seeded Heat beat Atlanta in five games.
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“They’re good, they’re deep, they’ve veterans,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers said of Heat. “We have to play grown men and we look forward to the challenge.”
Tyrese Maxey scored 25 points, went 5 for 12 from 3-point range, and Tobias Harris had 19 points and 11 rebounds to help the 76ers finish the Raptors with a blowout after losing the last two games.
“We knew what was at stake for us,” Harris said. “No respect for our fans, but we did not want to return to Wells Fargo for a match 7. We wanted to finish it tonight out here.”
Danny Green scored 12 points and shot 4 for 7 from 3-point range as the Sixers finished 16 for 40 from beyond the arc. The Raptors fought from 3-point range and went 7 for 35.
Chris Boucher had 25 points and 10 rebounds for Toronto, Pascal Siakam struck out with 24 points, Gary Trent Jr. had 19 and Scottie Barnes 18.
“We fought hard, but we did not get the result we wanted,” Siakam said. “We just have to go back and learn from it.”
Toronto lost in the first round for the first time since being swept by Washington in 2015.
“I thought we were going through a huge amount this year,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “They just kept fighting, kept playing, kept getting better and kept figuring it out.”
Harden credited the Raptors for extending the series after losing the first three games.
“It was one of the toughest series I’ve played in, just because of their shifts and their athleticism, their length,” Harden said of the Toronto lineup. “They throw different defenses against you, box and ones and zones. They just ruin the game.”
The Raptors played without all-star guard Fred VanVleet. He missed his second game in a row due to a strained left hip flexion.
Toronto’s Precious Achiuwa had 17 points in Game 5, but did not score on Thursday until he made a free throw in the fourth quarter. Achiuwa ran after a thump at the end of the third, but the basket was waved off because it came after the buzzer. He shot 1 for 7 and scored three points.
The Raptors were 70-67 behind after Siakam made a hook shot with 9:42 left in the third, but Maxey hit three 3-pointers as the 76ers opened the game with a 17-0 run over the next four plus minutes that opened. an 87-67 lead with 5:20 left of the neighborhood.
“During the break, I looked out and we had amazing shots and we would keep getting them,” Rivers said. “I said to them, ‘if we can rebound the ball, we can stretch that lead quickly.’ “Of course it was faster than I thought. We made every shot.”
Nurse called the timeout after Harden joined from distance with 3:52 left in the third, bringing the Sixers up 92-70. Philadelphia led 99-78 to the fourth.
After being called up for a foul in the third quarter, Embiid responded to vulgar shouts from fans by holding his hands around his ears. He did the same while on his way to the bench for a timeout in the fourth quarter.
Boos rained down after Embiid thumped in the fourth, then ran down the field with his arms raised in the flight celebration he used against Toronto in the 2019 playoffs.
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Rivers named veteran guard Danny Green for a clear performance in Game 6.
“If you’re going down the road, you should take Danny Green with you,” Rivers said. “Really. He’s not confused at all.”
Toronto made seven of its first eight field-goal attempts and then missed its next 10. The Raptors shot 12 for 17 in the first quarter, making 5 out of 19 after their hot start.
76ers: Embiid had a bandage over his eye as he left the arena. Embiid got an elbow in the face as Siakam drove to the basket in the fourth. … Rivers was called for a technical foul in the fourth to claim that Harden had been fouled on a three-point basket. … Embiid went 9 for 10 on the free throw line, while Harden was 6 for 6.
Raptors: Siakam had seven of Toronto’s 15 assists. … Former Raptor Guard Cory Joseph participated in the fight.