The Philadelphia 76ers are back in action Tuesday evening as they take on the Toronto Raptors for the second time in three days. The Sixers enter the contest with an Eastern Conference-leading record of 20-11, clinging to a half-game lead over the Brooklyn Nets for first place. The Raptors enter play just a smidge over .500 at 16-15, but their play of late has improved, going 7-3 in their last 10 games.
For the Sixers, Tuesday’s game offers a shot at redemption. In their first meeting of the week (Sunday 2/21), the Sixers were up on the Raptors by as many as 14 points, only for Philly to see Toronto claw their way back and take home the win. Chris Boucher was instrumental in the Raptor’s comeback, scoring 17 points in the final 14 minutes including five three-pointers.
Aside from Joel Embiid (25 pts, 17 rebs, 2 asts) and Ben Simmons (28 pts, 9 rebs, 5 asts), the Sixers starters struggled to get going as Tobias Harris and Seth Curry combined to shoot 10 for 29 from the floor. Philly’s bench failed to make matters much better, combining for just 16 points in over 65 minutes. Toronto’s reserves, on the other hand, contributed 35 points, rounded out by Boucher’s 17.
For round 2, one area the Sixers will hope to improve is their 3PT conversion rate. On Sunday evening, Philly shot a paltry 29.7% from behind the arc on 37 attempts. Philly could also use a better scoring outing from Tobias Harris, who was off in the previous meeting, shooting 6 of 17 from the floor with zero free throws attempted. Harris averaged over 27 points per game (and over 50% from the floor) in the three games leading up to Sunday evening, so a bounce back toward those numbers could help swing the game’s outcome in the Sixers’ direction.
According to NBA odds from SBD, Vegas favors the Sixers ever-so-slightly in this one. The points spread has the Sixers at -1.5 (-112), and conversely, the Raptors coming in at +1.5 (-110). Damn close to a toss up there — we’ll see what Joel Embiid and Co. have to say about those numbers.
The Sixers are mostly healthy heading into matchup, with only Seth Curry on the injury report and even he’s a possible go. The Raptors find themselves in a similar situation: Kyle Lowry is the lone player on the injury report for Toronto but is a game-time decision.
When: 7:30 pm ET
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa Bay, FL
Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic
Who ya got?
This poll is closed
Sixers lose :(