Sunday, 26 May, 2019

Jimmy Butler's huge game overshadowed by Sixers' turnover woes vs. Raptors

Jimmy Butler Jimmy Butler's huge game overshadowed by Sixers turnover woes vs. Raptors
Cary Erickson | 09 December, 2018, 01:56

There were plenty of juicy subplots to Wednesday's collision between the 76ers and Toronto Raptors, two of the top early-season contenders to come out of the Eastern Conference.

The 76ers have lost 12 games in a row in Toronto, including a 129-112 decision on October 30. "Like all of us, there's bigger games than others, and he's an huge talent, he really is".

The Sixers led for most of the first half, largely because of the Raptors' terrible 3-for-12 shooting from three-point range. "It's a new day, we have a new team, and we're feeling good about the direction that we are heading".

"Center Joel Embiid scored 31 points in the 76ers" first visit to Toronto, where he has never won. Afterward, he said his team's 21 turnovers and 22 second-chance points allowed underscored the gap between the Sixers and Raptors.

Having Butler should make a difference for the 76ers against the Raptors. "I think everything (Embiid) does is powerful", Raptors guard Kyle Lowry said on Tuesday.

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The Raptors only led 78-77 going into the final quarter, but the 76ers were no match despite their All-Star recruit Jimmy Butler scoring a season-high 38 points.

Embiid's 23 double-doubles this season are the most by an National Basketball Association player over the first 25 games of a season since Kevin Garnett also had 23 in 2004-05. He now leads the team with averages of 25.6 points and 8.5 rebounds in 34.4 minutes per game.

Denver dominated the Raptors in second-chance points 23-2. Using Pascal Siakam with the reserve unit and running the offense through him and Delon Wright, the Raptors bench generated a run to start the frame that took a solid lead for the team. "They made stops, got rebounds, went on the offensive end and made shots". We weren't able to do that.

Then, halfway through the frame, the starters for the Raptors returned and sealed the game with their defense, keeping it from getting close the rest of the way.

There will be a lot of questions for the Raptors about their shooting lately and how much they've struggled, but it's a good sign the way the team fought through that in this game and found a way to win, despite those troubles. "For me, I come here and do my job". Philadelphia is a good, tough opponent, and this wasn't a flawless outing for the Raptors, but it showed how talented this team is that they can fight through those games, even against a good team, and pull out the win.