Philadelphia 76ers Gameday Report presented by NJM: 76ers return to Toronto

76ers, Nick Nurse Return to Toronto to Face Raptors | Gameday Report 2/82

The 76ers (0-1) will play their second matchup of the 2023-24 regular season Saturday night in Toronto (1-1).

Saturday’s contest comes on the heels of a narrow defeat on Opening Night in Milwaukee, 118-117, Thursday night.

The Sixers - after trailing by as many as 19 points against the Bucks - agreed much could be gained and learned from their first competitive run.

“I thought we gave a great effort,” Nick Nurse said of his first official outing with the club. “We played extremely hard. We took a huge haymaker in the first half on the road, and we were able to get back together and get going.”

The new-look Bucks benefitted from a 39-point, eight-rebound, four-assist performance from Damian Lillard in his debut with Milwaukee, while Giannis Antetokounmpo notched a 23-point, 13-rebound double-double.

Nurse, who served as head coach of the Raptors for the past five seasons and won an NBA Championship in 2019, returns to Toronto for the first time Saturday with abundant optimism for his new team’s potential:

“I like the way we adjusted (versus Milwaukee). We had every opportunity to win that game.”

Now fourth-year Sixer Tyrese Maxey (31 pts, 4 reb, 8 ast, 2 stl) preached resilience postgame:

“We’ve been through some stuff - it is what it is, that’s a fact. The guys on this team who have been through those things - we’re preaching resiliency. We’re preaching never giving up. We’re preaching: Fight through that brick wall.”

Saturday’s meeting with the Raptors marks an anniversary for Maxey, who scored a career-high 44 points last season versus Toronto on the same day (Oct. 28) last season.

Saturday’s matchup tips at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Thursday’s Key Performances:

  • Tyrese Maxey
    • Maxey finished with a team-high 31 points and a game-high eight assists, plus four rebounds and two steals, while committing zero turnovers in his team-high 40 minutes of play.
  • Kelly Oubre Jr.
    • Oubre dazzled in his Sixer debut, scoring a bench-high 27 points on very efficient 9-for-11 shooting from the field, 5-for-6 shooting from deep, and 4-for-4 shooting from the foul line.
  • Joel Embiid
    • Embiid tallied 24 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and a block in his 36 minutes of play.
  • Tobias Harris
    • Harris added 20 points, seven rebounds, and two assists, shooting a nearly-perfect 8-for-9 from the field and making all three of his 3-point attempts in 37 minutes of play.

Quote to Note:

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Opponent Outlook:

The Raptors (1-1) won their first outing of the season, a 97-94 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves (0-1) Wednesday.

Dennis Schroder led Toronto in scoring in the opener, finishing with 22 points, three rebounds, and seven assists in the opener. OG Anunoby added 20 points, six rebounds, an assist, two steals, and three blocks.

In the first night of their back-to-back on Friday, the Raptors fell, 104-103, to the Chicago Bulls (1-1).

Scottie Barnes led the way for Toronto Friday, recording a 22-point, 10-rebound, 10-assist triple-double.

Follow Along Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET):

Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia

Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic