By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers were riding high after beating the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night. They faced a game Toronto Raptors squad who was looking to stop Philly’s momentum. The Raptors used a second quarter offensive explosion to beat the Sixers 93-88.
The Sixers jumped on the Raptors from the opening tip-off. They were hitting their shots early in the game and before Toronto could even settle down, they were down by 17-points. Joel Embiid led them he scored 21-points and grabbed 13-rebounds. Embiid did not have his best night from the field only hitting six/20 shots. He just did not have it throughout this game, he missed makeable shots and it affected him on both ends of the floor. He did produce a key block to keep the Sixers in the game, but the Raptors refused to let them back in the game. Embiid’s continued offensive effectiveness will continue to be pivotal for the Sixers and they will need to find a way to get him more involved in the offense.
The Raptors weathered the early storm and got back in the game thanks to an explosive second quarter. They scored 30-points, Pascal Siakam (26-points) and Precious Achiua (21-points) led them. They combined for 47 of the Raptors 93-points. Philly did not have an answer for either player. They both would make them pay for daring to leave them open. The Sixers also got outhustled by the Raptors. They got beat to every loose ball and there was no excuse for that lack of effort on the front-end of a back-to-back.
On where the team stands at this point in the season, “We’re in a good a place, we just need to be a little more consistent. And we will be,” said Harden.
Philly will need to find their offensive rhythm as they prepare for their final match-up against the Miami Heat tomorrow night. They will need to find a way to get Joel Embiid involved early in the game and play improved perimeter and transition defense if they want to stop the backcourt of the Heat. Additionally, they will need to improve their effort to loose balls if they want to get their 44th victory of the season.