By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers came into tonight’s primetime match-up against the Toronto (for this season Tampa) Raptors, looking to rebound after being blown out by the Cavaliers on Sunday night. They were looking to get a better offensive output by someone not named Embiid, and it was not pretty, but the Sixers were able to pull out an 100-93 comeback victory over the Raptors.
Early in the game it was looking good for the Sixers they hit their first three shots and got out to an early lead. However, the Raptors were able to find an answer from beyond the arc. As they were cold from every other part of the floor but hit 17/43 of their three-point attempts. That allowed them to get out to a 14-point lead. The player who was able to benefit the most from this was guard Kyle Lowry. Who the Sixers had no answer for.
He scored 24-points and had nine assists. Lowry was able to find his teammates for open opportunities from the perimeter and get the Sixers defenders in early foul trouble because he was not only attacking from the paint but also being a pest and forcing the Sixers into some costly mistakes and fouls.
The Raptors were threatening to run away with this one especially late in the third quarter when center Joel Embiid went down. The Sixers needed someone to step up. The person who put on the Super-Man cape today was forward Tobias Harris. He was aggressive early and he and Embiid kept them in it. Harris scored 26-points and grabbed 11-rebounds.
His teammate noticed the good night he was having, “Tobias was huge. When you have somebody going, you want to keep feeding them and going with that momentum,” said guard/forward Ben Simmons.
This was his best offensive performance of the season and his second great night scoring from the perimeter. When they needed someone to step-up, Harris did and if he can put up more consistent performances like this the Sixers will now have a consistent third maybe even second option in Harris.
On the team performance, “We played good offense tonight, we just couldn’t make shots — by our shooters,” said Head Coach Doc Rivers.
The Sixers were also able to pull this out because they locked the Raptors down in the last four minutes of the game. A turning point for them was when they were able to force the Raptors into a shot clock violation. They were able to take the lead and never relented. Embiid was a big cog for this comeback. He did it with his passing. He made a key pass finding guard Seth Curry who put the game away with his third three-pointer of the night. That put them up 98-91 late in the fourth.
On the defensive performance, “Defensively, as a team, we really stepped up,” said Simmons.
This maybe a season defining win for the Sixers they were able to show a better effort on both sides of the ball than they showed on Sunday. They still have a lot of things to work on as they try to unlock their offense as the season continues. They now will face another young and hungry team in the Orlando Magic on Thursday night.