Photo Credit: USA Today
The Toronto Raptors fell 107-102 to the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night in a contest that came down to the wire.
Philadelphia came out hot, inspired not to lose a second game in a row to Toronto. They found open shooters in the corner and capitalized; Furkan Korkmaz scored 16 points in the first half, hitting four shots from deep. The 76ers went 9 for 20 from beyond the arc in the opening half, firing from beyond the arc at an uncharacteristic rate. The Raptors adjusted with more efficient rotations and slowed Philly down offensively as the game went on.
Norman Powell led the way offensively for Toronto, scoring 24 points on 9 for 19 shooting. Pascal Siakam had another strong outing with 22 points of his own. Tobias Harris put up an efficient 23 points on 8 for 12 shooting, including 3 for 4 from deep, to carry Philly to the win.
The 76ers’ strong perimeter shooting was a problem for the Raptors all night, hitting 44.7 per cent of their three-point attempts. They also attempted more threes than average, putting up 38 shots, 10 more than their season average of 28.8 per game.
While Fred VanVleet struggled offensively, only scoring 12 points, his presence on defence reflected his team’s performance. He registered two steals and four blocks, often tearing the ball out of 76ers’ center Joel Embiid’s hands below the rim. Embiid, who is second in scoring in the NBA this year, went 3 for 13 from the field, but sunk 11 of 12 from the line for a total of 18 points.
The Raptors’ issues mostly came on the offensive end due to inconsistency and inefficient shooting. Toronto struggled from beyond the arc, shooting 11 for 37 for a meagre 29.7 per cent. Their strong defence did not translate into a free-flowing offensive performance, as they struggled to go on scoring runs to close the gap before it was too late.
Kyle Lowry missed his fourth game in a row with a sprained left thumb, while point guard Seth Curry sat out for Philadelphia.
Toronto will look to bounce back on Wednesday night when they face last year’s finalists, the Miami Heat, at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida (8:00PM EST).