The Toronto Raptors came into their matchup against Joel Embiid and the hyped Philadelphia 76ers on an incredible high, as they avenged their loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves right before sweeping Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.
Carrying that momentum would be a difficult ordeal, however. Not only does Philadelphia have an MVP candidate in Joel Embiid and a towering 6-11 point guard in Ben Simmons, but they were going to use a very small lineup that started four players who stand 6-6 or shorter.
Despite all of the factors working against them, the result of Toronto’s tussle with the Sixers was a 110-103 scoreline that proved Toronto is capable of beating anyone and everyone in the East. After starting off 2-8, they are now back over .500 in a remarkable turn of events.
What went wrong for Philadelphia? They looked completely out of sorts for large chunks of the game against a beatable Raptors team.
The 76ers beat up on the Raptors
The 76ers started off the game on an 11-2 run, as their size was complemented by an aggressive Simmons running right at the Raptors defense. While the Sixers looked poised to run away with things, Fred VanVleet nailed four straight 3-pointers to help the Raptors take the lead by the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter is where Philly really started to flex their muscles. With VanVleet and Pascal Siakam both sitting for large chunks of that quarter, Philadelphia’s big men were taking advantage of a Raptors team that was lacking in size.
While the 76ers opened up a double-digit lead in the third quarter, it was Chris Boucher who helped kill Philadelphia’s momentum with some clutch threes. Boucher caught fire from deep, cutting Philly’s lead to one by the end of Q3. The quarter break didn’t slow Boucher down, as he hit two more in the early stages of the fourth. The defense closed out the win in the fourth.
Siakam and VanVleet led the offense once again, as the dynamic duo each provided 23 points. Boucher and Terence Davis were excellent off of the bench, as the Raptors were an astonishing +32 when Boucher and Davis were individually on the court together.
Norman Powell was awful today, as the Raptors were -26 when he was on the floor. He scored just 11 points, turned the ball over five times, and made just three of his 11 shots. OG Anunoby was -13 on the day, but he stepped up on defense near the end of the game.
Embiid scored 23 points and pulled down 17 rebounds, but he made just five of his 18 shots. Besides Embiid and Simmons, no 76ers player scored more than 13 points.
The 76ers don’t have a ton of time to lick their wounds, as they will face off against these same Raptors on Tuesday.