Limping across the border: Sixers @ Raptors preview

Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

In the second-half of a back-to-back, the reeling Sixers crossed the northern border for tonight's matchup against the last-place Toronto Raptors.

It's been a rough two weeks for the Sixers, who dropped six of their eight road games in a rocky West Coast tour before returning home last night.

Their home jaunt was short-lived, however, as the team boarded a charter bound for Toronto after last night's demoralizing 109-89 loss to the Brooklyn Nets. (Here's the rrecap, in case you missed it, or you're a masochist who wants to relive it).

But there is some good news for the battered and bruised Sixers -- they're matched up against a Raptors squad that has been struggling as well, and is currently the basement-dweller of the Atlantic Division with a 12-22 record.

Sure, Toronto has had some recent bright moments lately -- particularly its recent streak where the team won eight of nine games. Even so, their success was short-lived. That streak was terminated when the Raptors returned to the Air Canada Centre and dropped their last two games to Sacramento on Friday and Oklahoma City on Sunday.

Another advantage for the Sixers in tonight's contest?

Lately they've played well against Raptors, winning three consecutive games and six of the team's last seven meetings.

Also working in the Sixers' favor (maybe) is the absence of Raptors' big man Andrea Bargnani. The center seems to play his best basketball against the Sixers, averaging 22.5 points per contest against Philadelphia this season. Bargnani is currently sidelined with a ligament tear in his right elbow.

It's a little too early for the Sixers to breathe a sigh of relief, though.

Alan Anderson, starting in place of the injured Bargnani, is coming off a career-high 27 points against the Thunder -- his second 20-point performance of the week.

Tonight's task for the Sixers will be to continue to limit Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan is struggling to score in the team's last few games, notching a combined 25 points on 7-for-27 shooting in the team's previous two contests.

However, much like Bargnani, DeRozan also performs well against the Sixers, averaging 21.5 points per game this season, so a slump-busting game from the fourth-year guard is definitely possible.

Also, WATCH THIS NOW from our friends at Raptors HQ.

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