Game Preview: Raptors vs. 76ers
Philadelphia 76ers (14-17) Toronto Raptors (22-8)
When: Saturday, December 23rd, 5 P.M. ET
Where: Air Canada Centre
Broadcast info: TSN2, TSN1050
Toronto earned a 114-109 comeback victory against the Sixers on Wednesday night in Philadelphia. DeMar DeRozan scored a career-high 45 points to help the Raptors come back from a 22-point deficit, hitting four free throws down the stretch to protect the lead for Toronto. Kyle Lowry added 23 points for the Raptors while Ben Simmons led the Sixers with 20 points and Robert Covington had 19 points. Dario Saric nearly had a triple-double with 18 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Philadelphia was without Joel Embiid and J.J. Redick in the loss, while the Raptors were without Lucas Nogueira and C.J. Miles.
Leading into tonight’s game:
Injury report: Lucas Nogueira is out with a right calf injury. He has missed the previous 11 games with this leg injury. The Sixers have not yet announced their injury list
45 points: DeMar DeRozan was all but unstoppable in Wednesday’s game, scoring a career-high 45 points in 39 minutes of action. DeRozan shot 13-for-21 from the floor, including a career-best 6-for-9 from beyond the arc, as well as 13-for-15 from the free throw line. DeRozan added five rebounds, three assists, two steals and a blocked shot to his stacked statline, helping propel the Raptors back from 22 down. DeRozan is averaging 24.7 points, 5.0 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game.
Home sweet home: Toronto comes into Saturday’s game an NBA-best 11-1 at home. They’ve won nine straight games on their home floor. Saturday’s contest will be Toronto’s second straight game against the Sixers, closing out a home-and-home with the 76ers. The Raptors are 17-1 against the Sixers since the 2013-14 season. This is their best record against any opponent.
Taking care of the ball: Though the Raptors would like a repeat of Wednesday’s game result, one thing they don’t want to repeat is turning the ball over like they did in Philadelphia. Toronto earned a win despite turning the ball over 21 times on Wednesday. The two teams combined for a sloppy 44 turnovers in the game.
Holiday time: Saturday’s game will close out Toronto’s pre-Christmas schedule. After the game, the team will break for the holiday, continuing the season Dec. 26th in Dallas where they will play the Mavericks. Toronto will close out 2018 with three more games following Saturday’s contest: In Dallas, then Oklahoma City to face the Thunder and then back to the ACC to take on the Atlanta Hawks.