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The championship title has proven elusive for James Harden so far in his career
  1. NBA

NBA - US Sports: Embiid trusts the Sixers will be better

Joel Embiid is confident Philadelphia 76ers will put in an improved showing when they head to Toronto Raptors on Thursday.

Philadelphia are 4/5 to win in the Money Line and the Raptors can be backed at 21/20.

Sixers struggling for closure

The Sixers raced into a 3-0 series lead but have twice failed to close out the series and now have a 3-2 advantage after back-to-back defeats.

Embiid admits his side put in a below-par performance in their Game 5 defeat, a 103-88 loss in front of their own fans, but he remains convinced they can bounce back and complete a series win in Toronto without needing a decider in their best-of-seven series.

"I was terrible defensively [in Game 5]," said Embiid, as reported by the Kansas City Star. "Especially in that third quarter. So, there is really no explanation, I guess.

"I need to play with more energy and move my feet better, but I just have to be better."

He added: "They just kept scoring and scoring and scoring, and we kept playing against a set defense and, obviously, they just doubled me just like last game really everywhere.

"Whether it was in the post, the elbow, the three-point line, you can tell they were trying to get the ball out of my hands.

"We didn't make shots, but just we gotta keep trusting. I think we will be better."

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Fitness doubts for Game 5

Toronto were without key guard Fred VanVleet in Game 5 due to a hip injury and he is expected to sit out again on Thursday.

The Sixers have concerns over reserve guard Matisse Thybulle, who is rated as questionable, and they will be hoping for bigger performances from star pair Embiid and James Harden on Thursday.

Embiid managed 20 points in Game 5, while Harden had just 15 on 4-for-11 shooting.

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