(Philadelphia, PA) The Toronto Raptors three-game winning streak comes to an end as they lose 117-110 to the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Raptors drop to 38-39 on the season and 12-25 on the road. Toronto continues to struggle on the road and with four games remaining outside of Canada, the Raptors must address their shooting deficiencies and slow starts to games.
The 76ers were incredible for the entirety of the first quarter, hitting their first seven of eight shots from the field and taking advantage of the Raptors poor perimeter defense. After a timeout, the Raptors readjusted, going on an eight-to-two run, as Scottie Barnes led the offensive charge. Barnes dished out multiple assists, creating shots for OG Anunoby, and Pascal Siakam.
As the second quarter commenced, the 76ers started their onslaught. The 76ers shot lights out from the field and out hustled the Raptors on both ends of the court. Contributions from Paul Reed and Shake Milton fueled the 76ers as they went on a massive run. The Raptors had no answers as they shot one for nine from three-point range. Toronto was very stagnant as they fell flat through the entire second frame. James Harden and Joel Embiid led the run as they both got into double digits. The 76ers outscored the Raptors bench 27-8 on their way to a 20-point lead to end the first half.
The Raptors found their rhythm to start the third quarter and didn’t look back, cutting the deficit from 20 to eight. Head Coach Nick Nurse had the Raptors play zone, taking a chance on low percentage shooters and run the fast break. Siakam attacked mismatches and Barnes maintained his high level of play.
Both teams played with intensity during the fourth quarter. They went back and forth as the Raptors cut the deficit to five. After almost taking the lead, the 76ers responded and closed the game out. It was truly a competitive game; however, Toronto couldn’t overcome their second quarter woes as they lost game one of five on the road trip.
Barnes continues dominating as he finishes with 29 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists. Fred VanVleet struggled from the field however he finished with 19 points, five rebounds, and six assists. Anunoby made a series of clutch shots, going on to score 17 points, three rebounds, and three assists. PJ Tucker frustrated Siakam as he finished with only 14 points and seven assists. Jakob Poeltl had a double-double, taking on Embiid and scoring 14 points, and 10 rebounds.
The 76ers get their 51st win on the season. MVP candidate Embiid had a productive game, scoring 25 points, 12 rebounds, and 11/12 shots from the free throw line. Harden showed flashes of himself back in 2018, finishing with 23 points, and 11 assists on 9/14 shooting. Tyrese Maxey and De’Anthony Melton each dropped 13 apiece. Coach Doc Rivers ran a 10-man rotation and everyone scored a field goal; Philadelphia’s fluid offense was too much for Toronto to handle.
The 76ers have been one of the best teams in the NBA for years, although the team has had a rocky playoff journey, this year might be different. Philadelphia have fully addressed their issues during the offseason and look ready for a deep playoff run. Behind Embiid’s MVP caliber season, Maxey’s rapid improvement and depth, they are poised to be a major threat to take the throne in the Eastern Conference.
Although this loss brings the Raptors one game under .500, they remain tied with the Atlanta Hawks, who lost to the Brooklyn Nets the same night. With two games each coming up in Charlotte, and Boston, this is the perfect opportunity for Toronto to finish strong on the road and climb up to the seventh or eighth seeds in the East. The Raptors are hopeful that Gary Trent Jr. and Will Barton will make a return for the next matchup.
The Raptors travel to Charlotte, North Carolina to start a two-game miniseries against the Hornets at the Spectrum Center.
Toronto Raptors vs. Philadelphia 76ers boxscore click HERE.
Scottie Barnes – 29 PTS 9 REB 8 AST
Fred VanVleet – 19 PTS 5 REB 6 AST
OG Anunoby – 17 PTS 3 REB 3 AST
Joel Embiid – 25 PTS 12 REB 11/12 FT
James Harden – 23 PTS 3 REB 11 AST
Tyrese Maxey – 13 PTS 6 AST 2 3PT