Raptors 123 - 76ers 114: DeMar DeRozan leads the way
The 76ers, one of the league’s worst teams, kept it very competitive early. That was until Raptors’ stars DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry proved once again why they were considered one of the NBA’s best backcourts.
The Toronto Raptors keep scoring – and scoring – and scoring. This time it was a 123 point effort lead by the team’s leading scorer, DeMar DeRozan with 31 points on an efficient 11 for 18 shooting performance in only 29 minutes. That wasn’t all. Lowry had a typical all-around game scoring 20 points with 7 assists and 4 rebounds while Valanciunas chipped in with a 17 point, 10 rebound performance.
Surprisingly competitive early
Coming off a game in which Toronto laid an absolute beat-down on the Milwaukee Bucks, this was a classic ‘trap’ game for Toronto. The Raptors stepped onto the homecourt of the worst team in the NBA, standings-wise and played a competitive game early on. The 76ers and Raptors traded baskets often with Philadelphia ultimately taking a 25-22 1st quarter lead. This was until the Raptors had enough.
Toronto coach Dwane Casey knew he was not willing to allow the 76ers to control the flow of the game which is exactly what Philly accomplished in the 1st quarter. The players heard their furious coach and soon followed suit. Toronto, lead by DeRozan and Lowry, scored an absurd 38 points in the 2nd quarter. The 3rd quarter was much of the same as they scored 32 points and held the 76ers to an inferior 20 points. DeRozan looked downright unguardable putting up 14 of his 31 points in the 3rd frame. The game, at times was well out-of-hand however some high-flying antics kept the contest remarkably electrifying.
Facing the worst team in the NBA standings usually calls for a mid game snooze-fest. Not in this case. Terrence Ross and DeMar DeRozan dazzled the Philadelphia crowd with absolutely preposterous dunks throughout the game. On a 2nd quarter steal off of a Dario Saric overhead pass, Terrence Ross galloped down the court unleashing a sensational windmill dunk. A few minutes later with just 57 seconds remaining in the first half, Philadelphia allowed DeRozan to run freely across the court – finishing it off with a nasty posterizing-finish on 76ers center, Jahlil Okafor.
Joel Embiid suffers multiple injury scares
76ers young starlet, Joel Embiid has been on a minutes restriction all season long. Days like today may prove exactly why that restriction exists. In pre-game warm-up, Embiid rolled his ankle in the 76ers layup line and was instantly taken to the locker room. After returning in the 1st frame, Embiid looked to shake off the minor ankle injury with a ton of touches early. Soon after, matters got worse for Philadelphia as Dario Saric inadvertently swung his elbow at the face of teammate Embiid sending the big man to the locker room for the second time in less than an hour. Luckily, Embiid returned once again and finished off the game for Philadelphia.
Ben Simmons attends first Sixers game of the season
The Philadelphia 76ers got some great news learning 1st overall pick, Ben Simmons would attend his first game of the season versus the Raptors. Simmons, without a noticeable limp, entered the arena receiving several high-fives from 76ers team officials.
Too little, too late
The Raptors delivered a bashing of the 76ers in the 2nd and 3rd quarters in which Philadelphia was outscored 70-49. This is where the game was ultimately won for Toronto. The large deficit was too much for the 76ers to overcome late in the game.
Nov 28, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas (17) takes a rebound from Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor(8) in the first half at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA T ODAY Sports
Coming up next
The Raptors next contest is a Friday night showcase versus the middle-of-the-pack Atlanta Hawks (12-13). Will they be able to sustain this scorching offensive groove?
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