Grades from a close Toronto Raptors loss to the Philadelphia 76ers

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OG Anunoby (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Toronto Raptors nearly came away with a gritty win against the Philadelphia 76ers on the road but in the end, came up short in a 104-110 defeat.

The Toronto Raptors have been struggling as of late and their second outing against the Philadelphia 76ers was no different. Philadelphia played a solid game with offensive coming in a variety of ways.

For the majority of the game, Toronto didn’t look like themselves on the defensive end. They’d have a few good defensive plays but then would allow a gaping hole in their defense for a 76er to exploit as a driving lane. Simply put, they weren’t one of the top defensive teams in the league from beginning to end against Philadelphia.

Tobias Harris and rookie Matisse Thybulle combined for 46 points and shot 9-of-16 from three. This in conjunction with Ben Simmons’ near triple-double seemed to be too much for the Raptors and their lack of offense.

The second half of the game or at least the second half of the fourth quarter was a whole other ball game and sparked some joy for Raptors fans.

With 6:33 minutes left in the fourth quarter, the game was a blowout with the 76ers leading 100-80. Then Pascal Siakam drove and got an and-1 play which seemed to spark a bit of life out of the Raptors.

From this point, the Raptors put together a string of strong defensive plays that consistently chipped away at the major deficit that was 20 points. For the Raptors, it was a nice outing for OG Anunoby and Kyle Lowry. They combined for 45 points, six steals, and 16 rebounds and played a key role in the late-game comeback.

They came up short but this should not be taken lightly as these six and a half minutes of gameplay showed a championship-caliber defensive mentality that could drive the team to bounce back in tomorrow night’s game against the Chicago Bulls.

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