Kawhi Leonard gets the better of Ben Simmons.
Kawhi Leonard gets the better of Ben Simmons.

Simmons, 76ers back in hunt

BEN Simmons and his Philadelphia 76ers have held off a fast-finishing Toronto Raptors to even their NBA Eastern Conference semi-final series.

The 76ers won 94-89 in Toronto on Tuesday (AEST) led by 30 points from Jimmy Butler, to even the best-of-seven series 1-1.

The next two games are in Philadelphia.

The 76ers were successful in hampering Toronto’s All-Star Kawhi Leonard, who dominated game one with 45 points.

Leonard had 35 points in game two, with Simmons given the defensive job on the forward at the start of the game and in the final tense minutes when the Raptors made their late charge.

The 76ers led 83-73 with 10 minutes to go, but with Simmons all over Leonard Toronto point guard Kyle Lowry found his shooting touch and with 24 seconds to go cut the lead to just one point with a three-pointer.

Lowry finished with 20 points for the night.

Simmons, focusing on defence, had six points, seven rebounds and five assists for the game while Joel Embiid scored 12 points in 32 minutes despite missing the morning shootaround because of flu-like symptoms.

Game three is on Friday (AEST).

News Corp Australia

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