Ben Simmons and his Philadelphia 76ers have taken the lead in their NBA Eastern Conference semi-final series against the Toronto Raptors, winning game three 116-95 in Philadelphia on Thursday (Friday AEST) to go up 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.
They never trailed and have given themselves a great chance of extending the series lead in game four also in Philadelphia on Sunday.
Edging ahead: Simmons (right) had the defensive assignment on Toronto superstar Kahwi Leonard.Credit:AP
It was a team effort from the 76ers with starters Simmons, Joel Embiid, Jimmy Butler, JJ Redick and Tobias Harris all scoring in double figures.
Simmons had 10 points, seven rebounds and seven assists and was given the defensive assignment on Toronto's All-Star Kawhi Leonard.
Embiid had a monster game with 33 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks and three assists.
Leonard was still a handful with 33 points but did not get enough support to keep the Raptors in the game.
The 76ers, ahead 89-82 at the end of the third quarter, exploded at the start of the final period, scoring the first 11 points to subdue the Raptors.
Simmons may find himself in trouble with the NBA after he threw an elbow that appeared to hit Raptors' guard Kyle Lowry in the genitals.
They were tangled up under the basket in the second quarter, with Simmons on the ground and Lowry standing over him.
The referees missed it as the play had moved to the other end of the court.
A short time later Simmons was on the receiving end when Leonard lifted his elbow and struck the Australian in the face.
Leonard was called for a foul.
Simmons drew a technical foul after the clock wound down at the end of the third quarter when Toronto's Pascal Siakam threw up a practice shot.
Simmons jumped up and pushed it back at Siakam.
The 76ers' other Australian, Jonah Bolden, was scoreless while playing the final five minutes when the game was decided and the starters were on the bench.
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