(Photo Credit: 76ers Twitter @Sixers)
The Philadelphia 76ers (42-30) losing streak continued tonight, against the defending champion Toronto Raptors (52-19). The Sixers were getting back Allstar center, Joel Embiid for this game. Also returning to action would be Tobias Harris, Josh Richardson, and Al Horford. The Raptors came into tonight with a 5-1 bubble record and the best defensive rating (99.5) in basketball since the restart. Nick Nurse would sit this one out as lead-assistant, Adrian Griffin took his place.
Sixers came out hot shooting 55% from the field. Tobias Harris led the way with 10 first-quarter points. It was good to see Joel Embiid actually challenge Marc Gasol for positioning on the block. Gasol ultimately bested Embiid with 8 points in the quarter. It was definitely something to build on for the playoffs for Joel. Kyle Lowery picked up 3 quick fouls and had to sit most of the quarter. Sixers lead by 7 after one-quarter of play.
First Quarter Score: Sixers 32 – Raptors 55
The Sixers offense had great rhythm and ball movement. Unfortunately, turnovers negated what could have been a bigger lead at the half. The Sixers had 11 Turnovers to the Raptors 3. Tobias Harris continued his aggressive play leading the Sixers with 17 at the break. Raul Neto had a great quarter, scoring 10. Kyle Lowry was the star as he scored 18 in the quarter. He had a coast to coast buzzer-beater with 3 seconds left. Great Defense, NOT!
Halftime Score: Sixers 62 – Raptors 55
Al Horford, played very well defensively on Pascal Siakum, opening up the quarter with a block on the all-star forward. Norvel Pelle entered the game for Al Horford 3 minutes into the quarter. Horford along with Joel Embiid would be done for the evening. The Raptors starters played for most of the quarter as the Sixers began subbing in the reserves. Chris Boucher (19PTS) had 8 points along with 2 blocks in the quarter for the Raptors. They won the quarter 35-26 to take a 2 point lead.
3rd Quarter Score: Raptors 90 – Sixers 88
The starters sat for both sides in the fourth. G-League Star, Marial Shayock even got minutes for the Sixers. Korkmaz (21PTS) and Raul Neto (17PTS ) led the way for the Sixers in the final quarter. In typical Sixers fashion, the reserves blew a 9 point lead with 4 minutes to go in the game. Brett Brown made a questionable double team defensive call with the score tied and 7.9 seconds left in the game. This lead to an easy bucket for Raptors forward Stanley Johnson to take the lead.
Final Score: Raptors 125 – Sixers 121
Side Note: Its official the Sixers will face the Boston Celtics in the 1st Round of the playoffs. The 2021 Oklahoma City Thunder 1st Round Pick conveyed to the Sixers on a Mike Muscala game-winner with 5 seconds left.
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