Another game in Toronto and another turnover-ridden loss.
The Sixers looked overmatched yet again and turned the ball over 21 times Wednesday in a 113-102 loss to the Raptors at Scotiabank Arena.
The loss drops the Sixers to 17-9 on the season and snaps their four-game winning streak. They still haven’t won in Toronto in over five years.
• Joel Embiid struggled against all three of the Raptors’ centers, especially Jonas Valanciunas. Embiid finished with just 10 points on 5 of 17 shooting, while Valanciunas scored 26 points in just 17 minutes.
You can see the frustration grow throughout the game with Embiid and it culminated in a technical foul in the fourth quarter. You have to give credit to the Raptors who played him tough.
Embiid did have 12 rebounds, five assists and two blocks.
• After turning the ball over 23 times back in their Oct. 30 loss, the same issue reared its ugly head, even with Jimmy Butler — who was outstanding — in the fold. You simply can’t turn the ball over that much against an elite team on the road. Toronto’s defense really stifled the Sixers all night.
• The Sixers didn’t have Butler the last time these teams met and the four-time All-Star certainly made his presence felt. He was brilliant, finishing with a season-high 38 points and taking over for a stretch in the third quarter.
This type of tough and-one finish is what a guy like Butler brings.
The offensive chemistry between Butler and Ben Simmons continues to grow as well.
Butler fighting the good fight this quarter.— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) December 6, 2018
Simmons drops off a nice dime for a Jimmy bucket and the Sixers take the lead at 74-73. pic.twitter.com/Ha3WnvqjnM
Butler’s brilliance on both ends wasn’t enough to overcome the team’s turnover woes.
• Simmons was better than his 11-turnover performance last time in Toronto, but he wasn’t the assertive player we’ve seen recently.
He was playing more free and confident against former Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard but still struggled with Leonard’s elite length and instincts.
This behind-the-back pass to Jimmy Butler was a beaut though.
Simmons finished with eight points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds but also turned the ball over seven times.
• Speaking of Leonard, he killed the Sixers on both ends tonight. He’s looking like the player that’s finished in the top three in MVP voting twice in his career. He looks well on his way to doing so again … if he doesn’t just win the thing.
He had 36 points.
• Lost in how great Butler, Embiid and Simmons are is the brilliance of JJ Redick.
The Sixers had played 10 games with Butler coming into the night. In that span, Redick is averaging 19.1 points while shooting 50 percent from the field and 39 percent from three.
Redick was spectacular again tonight with 26 points.
Ah yes, your regularly scheduled JJ Redick triple of the evening.— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) December 6, 2018
Sixers up, 23-17. pic.twitter.com/ap3qspBmrb
• The bench has been a weak spot for the Sixers and it looked overmatched against the Raptors’ second unit. The athleticism Toronto brings off the bench with OG Anunoby, Delon Wright and Fred VanVleet far exceed what the Sixers have. Valanciunas’ big night gave the Raptors a 41-18 advantage.
T.J. McConnell gave the Sixers energy and five steals but also contributed to the turnover issues with five. Mike Muscala gave them a little jolt, playing tough defense and pulling down eight rebounds.
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