All the pieces were in place for a laugher tonight. Tony Wroten and Robert Covington were out. DeMar DeRozan was back for Toronto. The Sixers were on the back end of a home-road back-to-back.
And the pieces looked to fit perfectly when the Raptors started the game on a 13-0 run. It's gonna be one of those nights, you think. Maybe catch up on some work you've been putting off. Maybe binge watch some Friends episodes on Netflix. There's a lot of options. We've seen this movie before.
But the Sixers continue to fight. Much like flesh-eating bacteria, they're resilient.
They were never able to completely close the gap, getting within two points just before halftime, thanks to Michael Carter-Williams playing like there were a bunch of trade rumors surrounding him just before tipoff and scoring 18 points in the first half. He finished with a season-high 29.
They kept the game within reach in the 2nd half, thanks to a series of absurd, Vine-worthy blocks by the Law Firm of Sampson, Noel, and McDaniels. McDaniels tied his career high with four blocks, and Sampson almost murdered Kyle Lowry.
Rumors of Lowry's demise, however, were greatly exaggerated, as he decided at the end of the fourth quarter that he was tired of playing basketball and buried two threes to put the dagger in the Sixers, who fell 100-84.
The story of the game for the Sixers was their shorthanded status. When they needed a timely bucket, the one that would often be provided by Covington or Wroten, they either had to rely on MCW making something happen, or one of the many Sixers not usually suited for creating their own offense.
While it's a loss, it falls into the good loss category. MCW played one of his most productive games of the season, and carried the team offensively. Nerlens Noel had a solid outing on both ends of the floor. K.J. McDaniels was flying all over the place.
It's an explainable loss. They played tough against one of the East's top teams at full strength. From a young team like this, you really can't ask for much more.
They'll take the floor in Philadelphia Friday night against superhuman killing machine Anthony Davis and his New Orleans Pelicans. God help us all.