The Raptors' struggles in January continued as they did their absolute best to lose this game against the Philadelphia 76ers. Right out of the gate, Philly nearly ran the Raptors off the court by racing out to a 15-0 lead (!!!!!). The starting line-up was struggling to find any sort of rhythm, but the bench put the clamps on the Sixers, outscoring them 26-11 in the second quarter to take a 48-41 lead at halftime.
With a seven point lead, and the defence finding their footing, you'd have been justified in thinking a win was a done-deal. Not with this version of the Raptors though! With Toronto's lead having dwindled to single point to begin the 4th, the Sixers eventually led by nine points with under four minutes left. After that, it was the Kyle Lowry show. That the Raptors needed 17 4th quarter points is another story altogether, but the newly minted Starting All Star showcased his skill in front of his hometown fans to help the Raptors re-take a 85-81 lead. Toronto had one more breakdown left in them however, after a poor sequence of turnovers gave Philadelphia an 86-85 advantage. However, Greivis Vasquez hit a layup to put the Raptors up for good, after sweating it out all game.
This was the only good thing to happen in the last 3 hours:
- That league-leading offence from December seems a long ways away. The Raptors shot only 41% tonight.
- DeMar DeRozan was poor again tonight, shooting only 4-14. He's had three straight stinkers now.
- Amir Johnson was thoroughly outplayed by Patrick Patterson, who poured in 14 points and 13 rebounds.
- With DeMar and Amir struggling, it was baffling that James Johnson didn't play more than 9 minutes. His falling out of Dwane Casey's rotation is so perplexing.
- Jonas Valanciunas played in crunch time!
- The Sixers are awful. The Raptors are not very good at the moment.