Raptors target new winning streak in 76ers’ visit

The Toronto Raptors will try to shake off a disappointing loss and make up for the ground lost in the preliminary playoffs Sunday night when they visit the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Raptors lost 128-123 in overtime Friday night after the visiting Los Angeles Lakers tied the game at the last second of the list on a 3-point shot by Russell Westbrook.

The loss saw the Raptors finish seventh in the Eastern Conference behind the Cleveland Cavaliers, who won in overtime on Friday against the Denver Nuggets.

The Raptors had won their previous five games, all in a six-game wild ride.

Scotty Barnes had the best performance of his career with 31 points and 17 rebounds on Friday. According to ESPN Stats, he is the fourth rookie over the past 20 seasons with 25 points, 15 rebounds and five assists per game, joining Ben Simmons, Blake Griffin and LeBron James. He’s the first rookie Raptors to accomplish this feat.

Pascal Siakam scored 17 points on Friday to end his best straight eight-game streak with 20 or more points.

“I think our guys were doing a lot of good things outside and they gave themselves a chance to win,” said Raptors coach Nick Norse. “Maybe we would have liked to make a mistake (Westbrook on the tie indicator 3). We had a mistake to give. It sure would be difficult to do at the moment. I thought it took us about half to move our legs. That is typical after a long flight.”

The 76ers, third in the Eastern Conference to enter on Saturday, defeated the visiting Dallas Mavericks 111-101 on Friday. Philadelphia is followed up by the Boston Celtics.

Joel Embiid scored 32 points, eight rebounds and five rebounds for 76 despite playing with back pain. Listed as questionable for the game.

Embiid said, “I’m fine, I have to keep pushing. What are, 13 more games (until the end of the regular season)? We’re about to get there, then we’ll find out the rest later. I’m fine. We just have to keep pushing.”

Embiid has 33 league leading games of 30 points or more.

“He plays with everything,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers said. He’s in good shape. Conditioning allows you to play through injury, and allows you to play through pain, and he does. He wants to play. The games he sat in, he didn’t actually want to. He was told that he I have to. It was good. It was great.”

Philadelphia mixed effectively in the area’s defense against Dallas.

“The area was great,” Rivers said. “We work on it every day. We’ve been doing it more and more over the last five or six games. We love it. We just think our guys are so smart. And that throws the team out of the rhythm. In it if it’s just as effective as you do. The team is against us. So it was good.”

James Harden, gained from the Brooklyn Nets on February 10, scored 24 points, 12 assists, and seven rebounds against Dallas.

Raptors are still without OG Anunoby (broken finger) and Malachi Flyn (hamstring).

Nurse said Anonobi was not completely healed.

“We’re going to go every week to take a look at the recovery and start from there,” the coach said.

Flynn is expected to be out for at least another week.

–Field Media Level

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