Today in Philly Sports History: Sixers and Raptors Battle Without Iverson or Carter, 2002

Today in Philly Sports History: Sixers and Raptors Battle Without Iverson or Carter, 2002

Just a low-scoring time of the year, I guess. Nobody could ever fault the turn-of-the-century Sixers for being too run-and-gun in their methodology--only one player on the '02 Liberty Ballers even broke the millennium mark in points for the season, though that one player was NBA scoring leader Allen Iverson. Rather, those teams were more of a grind-it-out, defensive-oriented mindset, which resulted in a fair amount of wins, but also in a fair amount of gruesome pitchers' duels that just were none too pretty.

Such a contest was played on March 31st, 2002, when the Sixers welcomed an old foe back to town in the Toronto Raptors. The Sixers had dispatched the Raptors in an exceedingly tight seven-game Eastern Conference semifinals the previous year, with Iverson and Raptors superstar Vince Carter trading off 50-point games in one of the great scorer-on-scorer duels in recent playoff history. But here was the catch with this rematch--neither Iverson or Carter suited up for the game, leaving both clubs without their offensive focal point.

So what happens when two defensively-built clubs lose their only offensive firepower? Well, your teams score a combined 142 points and shoot an average of 39% from the field. No player on either side scored more than 16 points, and seven players racked up four or more fouls. The Raptors squeaked in two points' more worth of offense than the Sixers, and were able to escape with the 72-70 victory, dropping the reigning Eastern Conference champs to seventh in the standings. "Those guys woke up and decided they wanted to play," said guard Aaron McKie. "We laid down." A month later, Philly and Toronto would end disappointing seasons by
bowing out of the playoffs in the first round of action.

By the way, you're not seeing things in that above picture--that is indeed a photograph of eventual hall-of-famer Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon, playing in his one and only season as a Toronto Raptor. The Rockets legend came off the bench (behind Eric Montross, insultingly enough) in the game and scored nine points on 4-8 shooting, as well as grabbing five boards in 17 minutes of action.

Best of MLB: Mike Trout (thumb) leaves early as Marlins crush Angels

Best of MLB: Mike Trout (thumb) leaves early as Marlins crush Angels

MIAMI -- Mike Trout sprained his left thumb stealing second base Sunday, and the Los Angeles Angels took a thumping without him, losing 9-2 to the Miami Marlins.

Trout yelled in pain as he rose after sliding headfirst in the fifth inning. He was examined by a trainer, stayed in the game, but was replaced in the sixth. X-rays were negative, and there was no immediate timetable regarding his return.

The reigning American League MVP was 0 for 2 when he departed with the Angels trailing 4-2. He finished 2 for 9 in the series to drop his average to .337 (see full recap).

Aaron Judge hit first-career grand slam in Yankees' win
NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge hit his first career grand slam and the New York Yankees took full advantage of Oakland's shoddy defense Sunday in a 9-5 victory over the Athletics.

Michael Pineda (6-2) tossed six innings of three-hit ball to win his third straight start. Aaron Hicks and Chris Carter each had an early sacrifice fly as the AL East leaders scored five unearned runs and took two of three in a well-pitched series.

Judge connected with two outs in the third for his 16th home run, tying Mike Trout of the Angels for the big league lead. The drive landed in the right-field seats, not far in front of The Judge's Chambers cheering section installed by the Yankees for the start of this 4-2 homestand.

Khris Davis hit his 15th home run for the A's, who committed two more costly errors to raise their season total to 49. They began the day with 10 more than any other team in the majors.

The fielding failures put starter Andrew Triggs (5-4) in tough situations. He went six innings and gave up one earned run (see full recap).

Miguel Gonzalez loses perfect game in seventh, but pitches White Sox to win
CHICAGO -- Miguel Gonzalez took a perfect game into the seventh inning, Todd Frazier hit a two-run homer and the Chicago White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 7-3 on Sunday.

Melky Cabrera and Matt Davidson also connected, helping the White Sox take three of four in the series. David Robertson got two outs for his seventh save.

Gonzalez (4-5) allowed three runs and six hits in 7 2/3 innings while snapping a five-start losing streak. The right-hander struck out six and walked none.

Gonzalez retired his first 18 batters before Andrew Romine led off the seventh with a hard one-hop liner to shortstop Tim Anderson, who couldn't field the ball cleanly and was originally charged with an error. Alex Avila followed with a single into to right field, and Romine's ball was later changed to a hit (see full recap).

Gone but not forgotten: Joel Embiid remembers Harambe on 1-year anniversary of death

Gone but not forgotten: Joel Embiid remembers Harambe on 1-year anniversary of death

Gone, but not forgotten … as long as Sixers superstar center Joel Embiid has his way.

On the one-year anniversary of Harambe's death, Embiid remembered the slain gorilla on Instagram with the caption: "Gone but never forgotten #RIPHarambe."

The Instagram post was accompanied by a picture of Harambe along with a longer message and acquired over 22,700 likes within the first 37 minutes of its posting.

Gone but never forgotten #RIPHarambe

A post shared by Joel "The Process" Embiid (@joelembiid) on

There are some factual errors in Embiid's post, however. The picture stated that Harambe "would've been 18 today," which was posted Sunday.

Harambe's birthday was May 27, 1999. He would have been 18 years and one day old Sunday.

This was not Embiid's first participation in the Harambe Internet meme.

Regardless, the tragic killing of Harambe, a popular male gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo, sparked outrage and then Harambe became an Internet meme.