Comeback Bid Comes Up Short vs Raptors

by Lauren Rosen

At the Buzzer

A late push was not enough for the undermanned 76ers (34-20) to overcome the Toronto Raptors (39-16), falling 119-107 Tuesday at The Center.

Joel Embiid finished with an emphatic 37 points, 13 rebounds, and three blocks. His 14 fourth quarter points couldn’t quite push his team over the top.

“[Embiid] was incredible down the stretch,” Brett Brown said. “He put the team on his back.”

With Wilson Chandler (quad) and JJ Redick (nausea) sidelined, remaining starters Embiid, Jimmy Butler, and Ben Simmons each played over 39 minutes.

“I felt like it’s our only chance to win,” Brown said of his stars’ endurance. “It is not an ideal volume of minutes.”

Butler recorded 18 points, five assists, and two steals, while Simmons scored 20 points and grabbed seven boards.

But the Raptors controlled the bulk of Tuesday’s contest, leading by as many as 21 points.

The Sixers cut the lead to seven twice in the fourth quarter, as Embiid hit a 2-point shot with 6:59 remaining to make it 108-101.

Embiid brought the Sixers within seven once again, 112-105, after a T.J. McConnell steal and assist led to a dunk from the big man with 3:47 on the clock.

The team appeared to cut the Raptors’ lead to five on a Landry Shamet 3-pointer with 2:45 to go, but Shamet was instead called for an offensive foul, negating the shot.

From then on, the game belonged to the Raptors.

Kawhi Leonard led his team with 24 points and seven rebounds. Five other Raptors finished in double-digits: Pascal Siakam (16 pts, 6 reb); Serge Ibaka (20 pts, 10 reb); Kyle Lowry (20 pts, 6 ast); Norman Powell (14 pts); and Greg Monroe (10 pts).

The Raptors took 89 shots to the Sixers’ 70, and forced 18 Sixer turnovers resulting in 30 points. The Sixers went 1-3 in their regular season series with the Raptors.

@Sixers Social

Jo doing Jo things.

Up Next

The Sixers will get a rematch with the Denver Nuggets (37-16) after falling in Denver on Jan. 26, 126-110. The Sixers were missing Embiid (rest), Butler (wrist), and Chandler (hamstring).

Nikola Jokic leads his team in points (20.1), rebounds (10.4), assists (7.7), and steals (1.4). The Nuggets won six in a row before falling to the Pistons Monday, 129-103.

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