The Philadelphia 76ers took the second game of the four-game season series against the Toronto Raptors. After coming out flat to start the game, the Sixers hit the gas and continued to floor it as the game went on. They led by as many as 21 during the game and kept the intensity all game.
With the 110-104 victory, the Sixers moved to 12-0 at Wells Fargo Center. Their record at home is the best in the NBA. They are also 17-7 so far this season.
Tobias Harris: 26 PTS/ 6 REB/ 3 AST
Ben Simmons: 16 PTS/ 11 REB/ 9 AST
Matisse Thybulle: 20 PTS/ 1 BLK/ 3 STEALS
The Sixers could not make a three-pointer to save their lives at the beginning of the game, starting 1/9 beyond the arc. However, they turned it around quickly.
After the first half, the Sixers led 57-42. Tobias Harris, earning his contract, led the way with 18 points. The small forward also picked up three boards and two assists. For some history, Ben Simmons collected his 1500th career rebound, an incredible feat for a point guard this early in a career.
Joel Embiid came out strong, both physically and on the score sheet. At the half, the big man out of Kansas had nine points, which is nine more than the last time these two teams met. He and Marc Gasol played physical under the rim, which set the tone early between the two teams.
Starting the half out with a 15 point lead, the Sixers came out stronger than they ended. They were able to stretch their lead to as many as 21 points. The Sixers were able to force a total of 17 turnovers, and their defense won them this game.
On a negative note, Embiid committed five turnovers in the fourth quarter alone. The Sixers as a team committed 10 in the final quarter, for a total of 16. He had six assists, which is an incredible improvement. However, his negligence to pass out of double teams late and find the open man led to him being benched for Raul Neto in the final two minutes of the game.
The Raptors switched to a matchup zone defense in the second half, which allowed the Sixers to feast early. Their shooting beyond the arc was unstoppable in the latter half, allowing them to shoot 43.8% from three after a dismal 11.1% start. However, the Raptors made a late fourth-quarter push while playing a full-court press, going on a 20-9 run at one point late. Despite cutting it to single digits, it was not nearly enough to come back after digging themselves into a hole early.
Ben Simmons has purely been dominant in the past couple of games. Between Simmons and Thybulle, the Sixers completely shut down Pascal Siakam after Fred VanVleet was ruled out in the first half. The dynamic defensive duo held Siakam to 16 points, nine under his season average.
Ben Simmons continued his dominance on the court, only missing his second triple-double of the season by one assist. Matisse Thybulle was an X-factor off the bench tonight as well. His career-high 20 and 5-8 from deep led the Sixer’s bench in scoring.
After going 2-0 in their back-to-back games, the Sixers have a well deserved day off. They host the Denver Nuggets for game two of their season series on Tuesday at 8 p.m.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports