TORONTO, ON - APRIL 28: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers calls for a foul during Game Six of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena on April 28, 2022 in Toronto, Canada.

By Dylan MacKinnon

You could practically hear the collective sigh of relief across the Delaware Valley after the Sixers sailed to an easy win in game 6. After starting better than anyone could have hoped, the series got ugly. The Sixers became just the 14th team in NBA history to let a series they led 3-0 get to game 6. But none of that matters anymore. They beat the Raptors and will advance to face the Heat in Round 2. They av

The first half may have been close, but in the second the Sixers pulled away. Tyrese Maxey finished this series the way he started it. By stealing the soul of the Raptors in the third quarter. He scored 14 in the frame, including multiple 3pters. All part of a 37-17 quarter from the Sixers. They had a 21pt lead going into the final frame. Maxey finished with 25pts.

But it was the performance of Joel Embiid that stood out the most. It was a struggle for him the past couple of games. The ligament tear was clearly bothering him, and it impacted his play on both ends of the floor. But not tonight. Tonight he played like the MVP we saw all year. Not only did he score 33pts on 12-18 shooting, but he got 10rebs, 3blks, and 2stls. If he was feeling any pain, it did not show. He dominated both ends of the floor. Joel did not play with a brace tonight on the injured thumb, which may have contributed to him looking much more comfortable. He even acted like the normal Embiid, egging on a Toronto crowd loudly jeering him, telling them to be louder.

James Harden also showed up with a very impressive performance. After struggling from the floor all series, he shot 7 for 12 while scoring 22pts. He also racked up a staggering 15asts. Early in the game, he looked like a younger Harden when driving to the time. His scoring slowed down a bit after the first quarter, but he stayed aggressive, and that aggressiveness got other players open.

It was a strong team win. They looked like the team we saw in games 1 and 2 that made us all think the team had flipped a switch. The question will be do we keep seeing this team. The Sixers Jekyll and Hyde act makes it hard to predict what they will do. Some nights they look unstoppable. Others look disengaged and the ball movement stagnates. But tonight in a game with the chance to advance, we got the good version. The Sixers sailed to an easy win. We will have to wait until the second round begins to see if it carries over.