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Philadelphia 76ers will ‘ride or die’ with Joel Embiid in Game 6, says Jimmy Butler

Watch Raptors @ 76ers live on Sky Sports Arena in the early hours of Friday morning (1am)

Thursday 9 May 2019 16:35, UK

Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler in playoff action for the Philadelphia 76ers
Image: Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler in playoff action for the Philadelphia 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers will attempt to keep their season alive when they host the Toronto Raptors in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference semi-final series and they enter the elimination game with some huge question marks.

Live NBA: Toronto @ Philadelphia

Playoff Picture: How things stand

Playoff Picture: How things stand

How do the second-round series currently stand?

Thursday night's playoff games

  • Toronto Raptors @ Philadelphia 76ers - Game 6, 1am, live on Sky Sports Arena
  • Denver Nuggets @ Portland Trail Blazers - Game 6, 3:30am

Philadelphia's franchise cornerstone, Joel Embiid, produced one of his poorest performance of the season with 13 points, six rebounds and eight costly turnovers as the Sixers fell to a humiliating 125-89 Game 5 loss in Toronto.

Embiid has been bothered by a sore left knee and an upper respiratory infection. He was visibly ill on the bench.

Kawhi Leonard backs down Ben Simmons in Game 5 2:46
Highlights from Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals series between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors

Embiid will likely be listed as probable once again for Game 6 and his team-mate Jimmy Butler said the Sixers back their All-Star center to deliver.

"Like I said before, we're going to ride or die with big fella," Sixers guard Jimmy Butler told reporters about Embiid.

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"Everybody around this locker room knows that, everybody in the world should know it, the fans should know it. We'll be just fine, we're going to keep doing what we're doing, encouraging him to keep battling through all injury, through all sickness and we're here with him."

Philadelphia's other young star, Ben Simmons, also struggled mightily in Game 5 with seven points, seven rebounds and five turnovers. Butler scored a team-high 22 points, but it was lost in the 36-point defeat.

preview image 0:13
Toronto superfan Drake mocked Joel Embiid's 'Airplane' celebration after the Sixers center left Game 5 after a disappointing outing

"We just got to do what we're supposed to go home for," Butler said. "That's it. Keep competing, play hard, stick together. We win together, lose together, and we're going to play together [until] the end."

The loss in Game 5 was ugly, but the Sixers are still alive with a chance to even the series.

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"We're excited to go back to Philadelphia," Sixers head coach Brett Brown said. "Nobody's walking out of here woe-is-me. I promise you that. We have a prideful team."

The Raptors enter Game 6 off the back of their most offensively-balanced performance of the series. Pascal Siakam led the Toronto with 25 points despite playing with an injured calf in their Game 5 romp while Kawhi Leonard added 21 points and 13 rebounds and Danny Green scored 17 points.

Kawhi Leonard posterizes Joel Embiid in the Raptors' Game 5 win 0:13
Kawhi Leonard threw down an emphatic dunk on Joel Embiid in the Toronto Raptors' Game 5 blow out win over the Philadelphia 76ers

"We needed for everyone to play well," point guard Kyle Lowry told the Toronto Star. "Not individually, but just more of a team, well-rounded game, when everyone played well, everyone played together, everyone worked.

"We felt good about ourselves. Everybody did. You know what I mean? Not, I did it. We did it. That's the thing about it that was good for us.

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"I don't think we had a game like this in a while. We needed that type of win, just for our team."

Despite his injury, Siakam remains probable for Game 6. "It's my calf, and it's my hamstring, so it's both combined," Siakam told reporters.

"The staff are doing a great job to make sure that I get treatment, keep icing and keep taking care of it. It's going to need some rest, but we don't have time, so I just have to do my best to make sure when game time comes I'm ready."

Game 6 takes place in Philadelphia in the early hours of Friday morning (1am) live on Sky Sports Arena.

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