Sixers vs. Toronto: How to watch, betting preview & predictions

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Philadelphia 76ers’ Tyrese Maxey reacts after blocking a dunk by Indiana Pacers’ Buddy Hield during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Philadelphia 76ers are finishing up a quick two-game road trip on Sunday as they take on the Raptors in Toronto, looking to get a win and sweep the season series with the team.

The Sixers desperately need a win. They’re 1-5 over their last six games and have lost three in a row as they wait to see if Joel Embiid will be able to return before the end of the regular season. The Raptors need a win in the worst way. They’ve lost twelve straight games, and if you look at their injured list, it’s not hard to see why.

Sixers game information

Who: Philadelphia 76ers (39-35) at Toronto Raptors (22-50)

When: 6:00 pm EST

Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario CA

Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBA League Pass, TSN

Latest on the Sixers

Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey (0) shoots against Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland (10) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 29, 2024, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

After beating the Clippers in Los Angeles last Sunday, the Sixers have lost three games in a row this past week to the Kings, Clippers, and finally the Cavaliers on Friday night. The Sixers, overall, shot well against the Cavs but starters Tyrese Maxey and Kelly Oubre Jr. combined to shoot 9-37 from the field with Maxey going 2-12 on his three-point attempts. That’s not anything close to what we’ve seen nor expect from Maxey as Cleveland pressured him all night.

Encouraging for the Sixers was Kyle Lowry, who had one of his best games with the team, finishing with 23 points and 6 assists in 32 minutes of playing time. Buddy Hield continued to shoot well after having a tough time the past month and finished with 10 points in just 18 minutes.

Head Coach Nick Nurse is going to have to find more time for Hield if he’s shooting well and players like Maxey, Oubre, or Tobias Harris aren’t. The idea of taking Maxey out of a game when he’s the best player on the court doesn’t seem smart but the coach has to figure out a way to get Hield in the game, especially if the notoriously streaky shooter is feeling good.

The center duo of Mo Bamba and Paul Reed are still continuing to amaze of late after a slow start to the combination when Embiid was injured at the end of January. Babe and Reed combined for 26 points and 14 rebounds to go along with 5 blocks in the Cavs game. They’ve provided some relief as a duo lately, in Embiid’s place and have performed well, even if the team around them hasn’t been.

Latest on the Raptors

New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) looks to shoot as Toronto Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr. (33) defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 27, 2024, in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

The Raptors haven’t won a game since Match 3rd when they defeated the Hornets. They’ve lost twelve games in a row, and if you look at the lineup, you can see why. Scottie Barnes, the team’s leading scorer, has been out along with center Jakob Poeltl.

RJ Barrett has been out for a couple of weeks and is listed as questionable against the Sixers, with his expected return not coming until this upcoming week. In addition to these three, Ochai Agbaji, Immanuel Quickley, Chris Boucher, DJ Carton, and Jontay Porter are all out. The team has been destroyed by injuries, especially at the top of its lineup, and hasn’t been able to recover.

Their most recent loss to the Knicks was just a mess despite the fact that the team had five players score in double figures, led by Grady Dick and his 23 points. They just couldn’t stop the Knicks, which bodes well for the Sixers, as the Raptors just can’t seem to stop anyone from scoring.

The only thing the Raptors did better than the Knicks in the 145-101 blowout loss was commit more turnovers. That’s not the stat you want to lead the game in. They allowed the Knicks to shoot 50% on their three-pointers and 58.5% from the floor. That’s not a recipe for success, and the Raptors really don’t have an answer at this point in the season.

What to watch for tonight

Philadelphia 76ers guard Buddy Hield (17) shoots against Cleveland Cavaliers guard Sam Merrill during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 29, 2024, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

The Sixers should be looking at a win in Toronto as the Raptors have become, largely due to injury, the worst team in the league at this time. Toward the end of the season and out of playoff contention completely doesn’t mean that they’ll just let the Sixers walk all over them. They’re going to play hard and try to get themselves back in the win column, but it’s not likely, given their current situation.

With each game that the Sixers play from here until the end of the season, the idea that Joel Embiid will return burns brighter in the team’s and fans’ minds. While Embiid traveled with the team on the road trip and has participated in practice, the Sixers still have not given a date for his return.

With the Sixers currently in 8th place in the Eastern Conference, they would have to make up three and a half games to catch the Pacers for the 6th seed and avoid the play-in tournament, which as of right now, they’re virtually assured of. The return of Embiid could catapult the Sixers through the playoffs with the team assembled around him.

With the Raptors playings as poorly as they’ve been, this would seem like a game where Maxey and Oubre can get their shooting straight and Nurse should be able to give his star guard a rest and not play him more than 40 minutes per game as has been the case lately. Getting Buddy Hield some more minutes as he’s been shooting well lately, would get Hield in good momentum as the playoffs approach.

What Nurse really must do is look at his rotation as he’s overworking Maxey in hopes the young star can will his team to a win and forgetting players like Cam Payne, who’s been a source of instant offense of late for the team yet was limited to just nine total minutes over the past two games, both losses, in which Payne could have provided some rest for the starters and some points that they weren’t getting from them. It’s been a tricky situation with Embiid missing, but the coach is missing on the players with the hot hands, and that’s not good as the Sixers need to get back in the win column.


Sixers 127 – Raptors 106