Game Preview: Raptors vs Sixers
Toronto Raptors (38-16) @ Philadelphia 76ers (34-19)
When: Tuesday, February 5th, 8 P.M. ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Leading into tonight’s game:
- Injury report: For the Raptors, Kyle Lowry (lower back soreness) and Jonas Valanciunas (left thumb dislocation) are listed as doubtful. Malachi Richardson (right knee soreness) will be out. For the Sixers, Wilson Chandler (strained right quad), Markelle Fultz (thoracic outlet syndrome), Justin Patton (right foot surgery) and Zhaire Smith (jones fracture, left foot) will be out.
- On the road again: Tuesday’s game in Philadelphia will kick off a three-game road trip for the Raptors who won’t return to Scotiabank Arena until Feb. 11 when they host the Brooklyn Nets and Feb. 13 when they host the Washington Wizards before the NBA breaks for All-Star weekend. After Tuesday’s meeting with the Sixers, the Raptors will head to Atlanta to face the Hawks on Thursday and then play the Knicks in New York on Saturday.
- Recent history: This will be the final regular-season meeting between the Raptors and Sixers. Toronto leads the season series 2-1. Though the Raptors won the first two meetings, the Sixers defeated Toronto 126-101 in their most recent match up on Dec. 22 before the Christmas break. The Raptors were without Kawhi Leonard, Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas in the loss as Pascal Siakam led the team in scoring with 26 points and Kyle Lowry added 20 points. Joel Embiid led the Sixers with 27 points and 11 rebounds and Ben Simmons finished with 26 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for the Sixers. Philadelphia enters Tuesday’s game looking for a win after falling 115-108 to the Sacramento Kings on the road in their most recent game. The loss followed a 113-104 victory in Golden State and a 121-105 win in L.A. against the Lakers.
- Keeping it spicy: Pascal Siakam had a 15-point effort against the Los Angeles Clippers in Toronto’s Sunday afternoon victory. In 31.3 minutes, Siakam is averaging 15.4 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game this season. He has more than doubled his scoring average (7.3) from a season ago, while improving his field goal percentage from 51 percent to 56 percent, and his three-point percentage from 22 percent to 33 percent. He is the only player in the NBA to average at least 15.0 points per game among players who appeared in at least 40 games last season and scored fewer than 10.0 points per game. Siakam appeared in 81 games last season, starting five. This season, he has played in 53 of 54 games, and he has recorded 52 starts.
- Miles on point: C.J. Miles made the most of his opportunity against the Clippers, leading the reserves in scoring with 15 points in 22 minutes. He shot 4-for-6 from the floor, 3-for-5 from beyond the arc and 4-for-4 from the free throw line. The Raptors were a +10 when Miles was on the floor, and his 15 points matched a season-high. In his last six games, Miles is averaging 10.3 points and shooting 13-for-27 from beyond the three-point line.
-Ring it up: Serge Ibaka had another solid outing against the Clippers, finishing with 16 points and 12 rebounds and shooting 6-for-9 from the floor, 1-for-2 from beyond the arc and 3-for-4 from the line. This was Ibaka’s career-best sixth consecutive game recording a double-double, and he is averaging 14.8 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in that span. For the season, Ibaka is averaging 16.1 points (a career-high), 7.7 rebounds an 1.3 blocks a night.