Siakam and Trent Jr. lead Raptors past plummeting 76ers
Gary Trent Jr. scored 27 points while Pascal Siakam had 20 points and tied his career high with 13 assists as the Raptors beat the struggling Philadelphia 76ers 119-109 Wednesday in Toronto.
Six Raptors scored in double figures. Scottie Barnes finished with 16 points and 10 boards, OG Anunoby and Fred VanVleet recorded 15 points each, and Chris Boucher added 13 for the Raptors (3-1), who got a little revenge after the playoff loss of last season.
There is no love lost between the Eastern Conference rivals. Philly beat Toronto in six games in the first round of the playoffs last season, and the sting of that series, particularly a 132-97 rout in Game 6, has lingered. The series also saw Barnes miss most of three games after Embiid stepped on his foot.
“As a coach, when you lose one like that, you have to think about it all summer,” coach Nick Nurse said. « So the rest of the non-execution part [in Game 6] stay with you a long time. »
WATCH | The Raptors’ scoring depth appears in the win over the 76ers:
The Raptors took a 17-point lead in the first half on sizzling three-pointers and excellent ball protection. But the Sixers closed the gap and when Tyrese Maxey scored on a quick dunk early in the fourth quarter, it was a six-point game.
The Raptors responded and VanVleet’s three straight points put Toronto up 11 points with 3:43 left. Harden’s three with 56 seconds left cut the difference to seven, but Barnes, who was back after missing Monday’s win at Miami with an ankle injury, converted a three-point play for seal the victory.
YESSIR ROOK 😤 @kolokojunior1 pic.twitter.com/w1MH30wGwn
Siakam signified he was in for a good night when he knocked down four wide open threes on former Raptor PJ Tucker in the first quarter and appeared to be talking to Tucker throughout. The Raptors led 11 before De’Anthony Melton’s three at the buzzer cut the difference to 35-27 to start the second.
The Raptors didn’t commit a turnover in the first half.
Led by Embiid’s 12 points in the third, the Sixers rallied to within six points, but Toronto closed out the quarter with a 4-0 run to lead 89-79 with a quarter to play.
The match featured Cameroon’s three NBA players: Siakam and Christian Koloko, both from Douala, and Embiid, from Yaoundé.
The Raptors will face the Sixers again at home on Friday.