76ers Fall in First of Two Versus Raptors
In a game that featured eight lead changes and eight ties, the 76ers (20-11) fell to the Toronto Raptors (16-15), 110-103, Sunday in Tampa.
Though the Sixers held double-digit leads in both halves, the Raptors’ strong runs - and a timely one in the fourth quarter - proved costly.
The Raptors outscored the Sixers 27-19 in the final frame, as the Sixers struggled from the field, shooting 5-for-21 (23.8%) in the fourth quarter. The Sixers shot 38.8% from the field overall.
Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet led the way for Toronto, each scoring 23 points. Siakam added seven rebounds and eight assists, while VanVleet added five boards and nine assists.
Chris Boucher excelled off the Raptors’ bench, finishing with 17 points, four rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
After missing two games (illness) Simmons had an aggressive and efficient outing in his return, finishing with a team-high 28 points, plus nine rebounds, five assists, and a steal.
Simmons shot 9-for-11 from the field, and 10-for-14 from the foul line.
Joel Embiid gave Simmons props for his aggressive play of late:
“We need him to be aggressive. He’s been doing a great job.”
Embiid finished with a 25-point, 17-rebound double-double, plus two assists and two blocks. Sunday’s game marks Embiid’s 14th consecutive performance scoring at least 25 points.
Milton returned to the floor after five games away (ankle sprain), finishing with a bench-high nine points (all 3-pointers), plus two rebounds and two assists.
Quote to Note:
Postgame, Doc Rivers said he liked the looks his team got, but the shots just didn’t fall. Moving forward, he wants to approach those missed field goals better:
“We’ve got to do a better job of handling misses, because that’s going to happen in a game.”
Tuesday brings a rematch with the Raptors, as the Sixers have a chance to return to South Philadelphia with an even series.
Following Tuesday’s contest, the Sixers return home for their last four games before the All-Star break.
Tuesday’s rematch tips at 7:30 p.m. ET.