Toronto Raptors beat 76ers for 13th straight time at home
Kawhi Leonard scored 36 points, grabbed nine rebounds and added five steals to help the Toronto Raptors to a 113-102 victory over the visiting Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.
It was the 13th straight victory over the 76ers at home for the Raptors. Including two this season. Toronto has won 20 of the past 22 games between the teams overall.
Jonas Valanciunas added 26 points and eight rebounds in just 18 minutes off the bench. While Serge Ibaka had 18 points and eight rebounds for the Raptors. Additionally, the Raps have now won nine of their past 10 games.
Jimmy Butler scored 38 points and nabbed 10 rebounds for the 76ers. Therefore having a four-game winning streak stopped. JJ Redick added 25 points. Joel Embiid had 10 points (5-for-17 shooting) and 12 rebounds. Ben Simmons had eight points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.
The 76ers’ last win in Toronto was on November 10, 2012.
Toronto led by as many as eight in a tight game for three quarters. The Raptors took a one-point lead into the fourth quarter and led by nine on a turnaround fade-away jumper by Valanciunas with 9:06 left. Valanciunas came back with a dunk to stretch the margin to 11. Leonard’s coast-to-coast dunk extended the lead to 15 points with 3:59 to play.
Redick’s jumper closed out the first-quarter scoring. This gave Philadelphia a 29-23 lead.
The Raptors led 34-33 after two Lowry free throws with 7:38 left in the second quarter. Furthermore, 76ers were soon back in front. Going up by six on Butler’s 3-pointer.
Following this, Toronto ran off 13 straight points. Capped by Leonard’s 3-pointer with 37 seconds left in the half that produced a seven-point lead. Mike Muscala answered the 3-pointer for the Sixers. The Raptors led 53-49 at halftime.
Danny Green’s 3-pointer gave Toronto an eight-point lead with 7:26 remaining in the third quarter. Butler pulled the 76ers to within two points on a floating jumper with 4:21 left in the third. Following this, a minute later Muscala made three free throws to give Philadelphia a one-point lead.
Toronto regained a three-point lead on Leonard’s 3-pointer and a free throw on a technical foul against Butler. Redick’s 3-pointer completed the third quarter. Therefore cutting Toronto’s lead to 78-77.
On a night when Kyle Lowry and Danny Green combined for a woeful 2-for-13 from the three-point range. Leonard made good on a season-high 5 of 6. He was one point shy of his career high in scoring as a Raptor. Which came in the team’s overtime win against Golden State.
Because of this Nick Nurse certainly believes he rises to the challenge against the better teams.
“I think, for him, it’s interest level,” Nurse said. “Like all of us, there’s bigger games than others. He’s an immense talent, he really is. Because when the stakes go up a little bit, he’s going to play his hand a little harder. Because I think the juice gets flowing. It gets him a little bouncier with his three-ball and a little quicker with the ball in transition.”