PHILADELPHIA — Jimmy Butler scored 25 points Thursday night and Ben Simmons added 21 as the Philadelphia 76ers sent the Eastern Conference semifinal series to the limit with a 112-101 victory against the Toronto Raptors.

Game 7 will be played at 7 p.m. Sunday in Toronto with the winner advancing to meet the Milwaukee Bucks in a best-of-seven series for a spot in the NBA finals.

Kawhi Leonard scored 29 points and Pascal Siakam added 21 for the Raptors.


LAKERS: Los Angeles Lakers is trying to quickly rebound in its head coaching search after failing to land Tyronn Lue.

A person familiar with the search said former Indiana and Orlando coach Frank Vogel will be interviewed for the opening.

Vogel, 45, has worked for the organization before as an advance scout during the 2005-06 season. He did not coach last season following two years with the Orlando Magic. Vogel went to Orlando following five-plus seasons leading the Pacers, including two trips to the Eastern Conference finals in 2013 and ’14. The Pacers lost both years to LeBron James and the Miami Heat.

Vogel is the fifth candidate known to have interviewed for the opening since the Lakers dismissed Luke Walton on April 12. Los Angeles was thought to be on the verge of hiring Lue this week before talks broke down. They have also considered Monty Williams, who was hired by the Phoenix Suns, Juwan Howard and Jason Kidd.

Besides interviewing with owner Jeanie Buss and General Manager Rob Pelinka, Vogel is expected to meet with co-owners Jesse Buss (director of scouting) and Joey Buss (president of the Lakers’ G-League team) as well as senior adviser Kurt Rambis, chief operating officer Tim Harris and director of special projects Linda Rambis.

The Lakers have missed the playoffs six straight seasons. The drought was expected to end this season but injuries to James, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, as well as internal discord, resulted in a 37-45 record. Magic Johnson resigned as president of basketball operations prior to the final regular-season game April 9.

NBA COMMISSIONER Adam Silver wants half of all new referees joining the league to be women – and he also would like to see teams hire female coaches.

In an appearance for The Economic Club of Washington, D.C., Silver said two of the past five refs added from the developmental G-League were women, bringing the total number of female officials to three.

“It’s an area, frankly, where I’ve acknowledged that I’m not sure how it was that it remained so male-dominated for so long. Because it’s an area of the game where physically, certainly, there’s no benefit to being a man, as opposed to a woman, when it comes to refereeing,” Silver said.

“The goal is: Going forward, it should be roughly 50-50 of new officials entering in the league,” he said. “Same for coaches, by the way. We have a program, too. There’s no reason why women shouldn’t be coaching men’s basketball.”

There has never been a female head coach in the NBA.

Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Spurs was the league’s first full-time female assistant. Kristi Toliver worked as an assistant coach for the Washington Wizards this season; she also still plays for the WNBA’s Mystics in the same city.

In December, the Indiana Pacers made Kelly Krauskopf the first woman to hold the title of assistant general manager in the NBA.

Among the other topics he was asked about was the NBA’s one-and-done rule, and Silver reiterated that he has changed his stance on the issue and is willing to let 18-year-old players enter the league.

“I have changed my position. It’s a tough one because not all the teams agree with me on this,” Silver said, estimating that about half of the league’s clubs are in favor of the switch.

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