Thursday 9th May 2019

Event of the Day: Philadelphia 76ers versus Toronto Raptors

Our event of the day is Game 6 in the NBA’s Eastern Conference Semi-final between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors at the Wells Fargo Center. After their blowout win in Game 5, Toronto are now just one win away from booking their spot in their first Conference finals series since 2016. Meanwhile, the 76ers will be desperate to try and force a Game 7 but know they will have to improve upon their performance last time out on the road, as Toronto ran out 125-89 winners. Philadelphia will look to lean on the support of their vocal fan base as they return to the Wells Fargo Center after a far from profitable trip to Toronto earlier in the week.

During the regular season, the 76ers made their home a fortress, losing only ten games there all year. Should they manage to overturn the deficit and progress to the Conference finals, this would represent their best playoff run since 2001, when they reached the NBA Finals only to lose out to the Los Angeles Lakers. They will call upon the defensive capabilities of Joel Embiid who currently sits fourth in rebounds and third in blocks since the postseason began, but he will have the task of slowing down one of the league’s most efficient scorers in Kawhi Leonard. The former San Antonio man has had a playoff campaign to remember so far, averaging 31.2 points per game. Leonard has dropped more than 30 points in all but one of the clashes with the 76ers so far this series and he will look to produce another dominant display as he goes in search of his second NBA ring. Though Philadelphia have proven to be a tough nut to crack on their home court all season, only two teams won more games on the road than the Toronto Raptors and they will be confident of securing their second win at the Wells Fargo Center this series to secure safe progression to the Conference finals. It should make for a thrilling night of basketball.

Honourable mentions around the globe go to the Europa League where the Semi-final second legs will take place. Firstly, Arsenal will look to defend their 3-1 lead as they travel to face Valencia at the Mestalla where the home team have only lost once during this European campaign. Back in London, Chelsea will play host to Eintracht Frankfurt as Maurizio Sarri looks to become the first Chelsea manager to reach a Europa League final since Rafa Benitez in 2013. Other honourable mentions go to the British Masters golf competition which will get underway at Hillside Golf Club today. After last year’s incredible edition of the tournament, the patrons will be hoping for similar excitement this time round, as the curtain opens on this prestigious competition, hosted this year by Tommy Fleetwood. The Eastern Conference finals get underway today in the NHL as six-time Stanley Cup winners, the Boston Bruins host the Carolina Hurricanes at TD Garden, with the latter in search of just their second NHL Championship. There is another NBA clash to keep tabs on tonight as the Portland Trail Blazers host the Denver Nuggets at the Moda Center. A win for Denver would see them progress to the Conference finals, but Portland will look to extend the series to a Game 7, which would be the Nuggets’ second of this playoff campaign already. Elsewhere, the Unibet Premier League has reached the penultimate week of the campaign, and tonight’s proceedings will take place at the FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield. In NRL, the Gold Coast Titans welcome the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks to Suncorp Stadium as the hosts look for just their third win of the season. There is also plenty of MLB action to look out for today as the LA Dodgers host the Washington Nationals whilst the Chicago Cubs face the Miami Marlins. Finally, the round of 16 ties at the Madrid Open will get underway today, as Novak Djokovic takes to the court with Jérémy Chardy whilst Roger Federer does battle with Gaël Monfils.

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!

Fixture

Photos by Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors

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