Sixers’ Ben Simmons has been using meditation to get ready for games

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"Prepare for a great player", Gasol said Thursday about facing Embiid. "It will definitely feel different". It takes a good team to understand situations, mismatches ... for me, it's about being a good teammate, helping my guys.

But the 76ers have dropped 13 straight games at Scotiabank Arena - their last road win in Toronto came in November 2012.

Brett Brown said before practice Friday that, if Scott was unavailable, Zhaire Smith would be "in the mix" for the Sixers. "The context needs to be somewhat considered". How will the matchups look and you have to go back and review that stuff again and see what looks good and what doesn't look so good, what can be improved. Sixers forward Mike Scott - the hero of Game 4 in Brooklyn - is out with a heel contusion and plantar fasciitis in his right foot and was in a walking boot Saturday.

The favourites lead every remaining Western Conference series also, although DeMar DeRozan and the seventh-seed San Antonio Spurs are threatening to force a Game 7 against the Denver Nuggets. "But Marc is a great player, a great defender, so it's going to be a tough series". "They really loaded up".

76ers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 Conference Semifinals games. For Toronto, Kyle Lowry averaged 16.8 points, while Siakam averaged 16.3 on 52per cent shooting.

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The Raptors were able to get the game at a pace they prefer, scoring 10 of their points in transition and forcing Philadelphia into a much quicker game.

When the Gasol trade was made, the immediate question was whether the 34-year-old Spaniard had enough left in his big body to shoulder a significant offensive load on a team with designs on a long playoff run.

Leonard drew chants of "M-V-P!" both after a attractive spin move around Jimmy Butler early in the night and when he surpassed his previous best playoff points - set in 2017 versus Memphis - with a pair of free throws down the stretch.

"He's pretty damn good", 76ers guard J.J. Redick said. Their defense in the fourth quarter of Game 4 and the first half of Game 5 was noticeably at another level.

Bottom Line: Toronto wins this series, and it could easily go seven.

As much as the Raptors will face a Philadelphia 76ers team in the second round with a lot more top-end talent than the Magic, they remain the clear favourites, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that Leonard is on their team.

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The 76ers will start Ben Simmons, J.J. Redick, Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid.

Behind Leonard's play and the Toronto starters outplaying the Philly starters, the Raptors raced out to an early lead, held off charges, and when things got tight played like a team who had largely been together for a while - not adding players through trades during the season - on their way to an easy 108-95 win.

Embiid and Siakam hail from the same Central African country, though they have only gotten to know each other in recent years.

"That's always been this little rivalry between Douala, where I'm from, and Yaounde, where he's from", Siakam said. Unfortunately, I think that sets the tone for the series and the Raptors win in seven. The Sixers' center played in four of the team's five games against Brooklyn and averaged 24.8 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.8 blocks in just 24.3 minutes per game.

Aside from having to deal with Gasol's elite defence throughout the series, it's also worth monitoring the health of Embiid's knee.

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