Philadelphia 76ers Search For Their Second Win Fails In The North
The struggles continued for the one win Philadelphia 76ers in the north against the Toronto Raptors as they fell 96-76 on Sunday at the Air Canada Center — the team’s sixth consecutive loss in Canada. The Raptors have now won 10 straight contests against the Sixers.
Jahlil Okafor led the charge for the Sixers on offense with 23 points while adding 14 rebounds. The rookie now has seven double-doubles on the season. This is his third straight game with a minimum of 20 points. Robert Covington helped the team out with 15 points and nine rebounds.
In the first half, the contest started out positively for the Sixers as they opened the game on a 14-8 run five minutes into the first quarter of play. Okafor led the way shooting 3 for 4 from the field. But after a Sixers timeout with 6:52 remaining, Toronto went on a 12-4 run to pull ahead, 21-20. The Raptors led, 32-24, after the first quarter ended.
Okafor kept the team within striking distance with his 12 first-half points on 5-of-10 shooting performance. Isaiah Canaan helped offensively with 9 points. T.J. McConnell returned to the Sixers’ starting lineup because Tony Wroten had the night off. The Sixers brought Kendall Marshall off the bench. However, turnovers proved costly again for the team. The Sixers allowed 16 points because of their 12 turnovers. Time and time again, wasted possessions and turnovers put them in a deep hole that is hard to climb out of. It also doesn’t help when the shoots 41.5 percent either.
Luis Scola torched the Sixers with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting in the first half. Scola finished the game with 22 points. This was the same player who torched the Sixers last time they faced each other in November, with 21 points on 10-15 shooting. Again, the Sixers weren’t able to keep him in check. By halftime, Toronto led 52-44. Each team shot an identical 17-for-41 (42%) through the two quarters, but the Sixers hit seven 3s on 14 attempts to keep the game close.
Okafor’s bucket with 7:16 remaining in the fourth cut the Raptors’ lead to 77-71.But the Sixers’ defense faltered and Raptors scored five straight points to increase their advantage to 11. The Sixers never threatened again while on their way to a record of 1-24.
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Forward Nerlens Noel left Sunday’s game against the Raptors late in the third quarter after taking a Kyle Lowry elbow to the left eye. Noel suffered a left eye corneal abrasion and did not return. Noel finished with two points, five rebounds, four assists and a blocked shot in 18 minutes of play.
“He’s currently at the hospital right now,” coach Brett Brown said to the media after the loss. “We’re just taking precautionary measures… It’s a corneal abrasion. We’ll learn more. To just get it looked at here (Air Canada Centre) and then get on a plane, we didn’t think was wise because of the pressure of being on an airplane heading to Chicago.”
UP NEXT: The Sixers travel to Chicago to take on the Bulls on Monday night.