In Game 3 of their Conference Semifinals series against the Philadelphia 76ers, the Toronto Raptors suffered their biggest loss of the 2019 postseason (21).
The Raptors had no answer for Joel Embiid, who had a dominant Game 3 after a sub-par couple of games in Toronto.
In just 28 minutes of action, he registered a double-double of 33 points and 10 rebounds while also recording 5 blocks and 3 assists. He shot 9-of-18 (50.0%) from the field, 3-of-4 (75.0%) from beyond the arc and 12-of-13 (92.3%) on free throws. He finished with a game-high +31 in the +/- category.
Takeaways: 76ers win Game 3 at home to take 2-1 series lead
However, the Toronto franchise had a superstar of their own who had a spectacular night. Kawhi Leonard also put up 33 (13-of-22 shooting) and recorded his fifth 30-point game of this postseason, tying a franchise record.
In Game 3, while he shot 59.1% from the field, the rest of the team went 22-of-61 shooting (36.1%).
The team's All-Star Kyle Lowry, who scored 7 points on 2-of-10 shooting, recognized the greatness on display. He elaborated in a postgame interview on how he and the rest of the team need to step up and support Kawhi (via Josh Lewenberg):
"We've gotta help him, myself especially. I've gotta help him, score more, gotta help him on the floor. We've all gotta help him. He's playing unbelievable right now, but we're not giving him any help. Me, I'm not giving him any help. Gotta help him."
This series, Kawhi is averaging 37.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 3.7 assists on 61.0% shooting. He has really carried the team offensively but the team's offensive numbers are abysmal when he's off the floor.
The Raptors offense has been abysmal sans Kawhi- Micah Adams (@MicahAdams13) May 3, 2019
Raptors Offensive Rating
Kawhi On Floor Kawhi Off Floor
Game 1 126.0 47.8
Game 2 101.2 35.7
Game 3 105.4 70.8
Series 110.7 54.1
Danny Green, the team's starting shooting guard that arrived in Toronto along with Leonard in the trade with the Spurs, echoed Lowry's thoughts on the support the team needs to provide to the 2014 NBA Finals MVP (via Josh Lewenberg):
"This is what he does, it's what he's used to doing, it's what he came he for, it's what they brought him here for, to carry that load on both ends. But we've gotta do a better job of helping him, myself included."
If they wish to utilize their home court advantage in this series as a #2 seed, the Raptors will have to win Game 4 on the road on Monday otherwise face the uphill task of attempting to make a comeback from 3-1 down.