Despite big contributions from their Canadian contingent — Chris Boucher and Lindell Wigginton combined for 50 points — the Toronto Raptors couldn’t complete a comeback against the Philadelphia 76ers in their final Summer League game of the tournament, falling 108-102 on Friday afternoon.
Philadelphia and Toronto both finished their Summer League stints at 2-3.
For Toronto, the story was defintely Boucher and Wigginton; both started, made an immediate impact and contributed all game long. Boucher added seven rebounds to his 24 points, and Wigginton led all scorers with 26. They also combined to shoot 19-23 from the free throw line.
But despite their scoring, they couldn’t keep up with Philadelphia’s long ball. It might appear that Philly doesn’t have enough shooting on the roster of their big club after all the moves they made in the past two weeks, but they sure seem to have enough on the Summer League team! Philadelphia went 14-for-31 from downtown on Friday, with P.J. Dozier (4-for-7) and A.J. Davis (3-for-4) leading the way.
Dozier paced Philly with 22 points.
Before we get to the game action, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that, the last time two teams with “Raptors” and “76ers” on their uniforms played each other, this happened:
(Am I using this meaningless Summer League contest as an excuse to watch The Shot over and over again? Yes, and so should you!)
As for Friday’s game, Boucher returned to action after getting Thursday off; on Friday, Jordan Loyd and Malcolm Miller both got “load management” turns. Meanwhile Terence Davis, coming off of a strong performance on Thursday, got the start. And he stayed as aggressive as he was on Thursday, kicking things off with a nice drive off of a hesitation dribble on Toronto’s first possession. Unfortunately he was met at the rim by Philly’s Christ Koumadje.
Koumadje’s presence at the rim was a recurring story early, as he did a great job affecting shots, in particular limiting Toronto’s Dewan Hernandez (2-for-7 in the first half) scoring.
Strong play from Wigginton and Boucher kept the Raptors in the game early; Wigginton had two and-1s, one off of a nice behind-the-back crossover, and dropped a nice dime to Boucher for the second of Boucher’s two first-quarter threes. That triple gave the Raptors their first lead, 11-10, but the Sixers quickly took it back, and in the final two minutes of the frame a Jalen Jones dunk, a Sheldon Mac J and a Haywood Highsmith three-pointer gave the 76ers their biggest lead, 25-20. They took a 27-22 lead into the first quarter break.
Philly quickly stretched their lead to open the second quarter, with an A.J. Jones three-pointer putting them up nine. Hernandez did a good job getting to the line to ensure Toronto hung around, and Boucher continued his strong play with an and-1 to cut it to six. Shortly thereafter Boucher had a fantastic block on a Zach Hankin dunk attempt; Terence Davis took it the other way and dished an alley-pop to Wigginton, capping the highlight sequence of the night.
It’s great to see Boucher playing with such confidence; he’s more than comfortable with this level of competition. He’s fully caught up to the speed of the game, everything has slowed down for him and playing under control. Which he should be, after his G League MVP season and being part of an NBA title run... but, it remains to be seen if it transfers to his minutes with the big club.
Meanwhile, Philly was hot from downtown (8-for-12 in the half) and Toronto couldn’t keep up (4-for-15); even when the Raptors did hit, as Wigginton did just before the half, Philly had an answer, as P.J. Dozier banked a 30-footer before the buzzer to give Philly a 10-point halftime lead.
Philly continued to push the pace to open the second half, as Haywood Highsmith and Jones both scored early to put Philly up 13. Wigginton had two tough finishes around the rim to keep Toronto in it, but Philly’s hot shooting, capped off by a Sheldon Mac triple from the corner, stretched the lead to 17. Still, Toronto didn’t give up, as Davis slipped behind the defense and threw down a nice slam off a pretty feed from Richard Solomon, Boucher scored on a layup, Kyle Allman Jr. added a free-throw, and Boucher found Matt Morgan on a back cut to bring the Raptors back within seven.
Davis couldn’t find the range early in the game, as his three-ball was off and he had couple misses at the hoop. He turned it around in the second half, as he scored 15 of his 17 after the break, including nine in about a 2.5-minute stretch in the third. But a late A.J. Davis three-pointer (of course) pushed Philly’s lead back to 10, and Zhaire Smith scored five straight to make it 87-74 heading into the fourth.
Early on in the final frame, it looked like Philly might run away with the game; a Matisse Thybulle three-pointer stretched the Sixers’ lead to 18 with 6:45 to go. Toronto hung around, though, with Wigginton and Boucher’s free throws keeping them in it, and a final furious rally — including a Hernandes putback and a Wigginton dunk cutting it to 11 with 3:37 left, and a fun full-court press that caused a wee bit of chaos across the final four minutes — getting the deficit all the way down to five.
But eventually the Raptors ran out of time.
Despite his slow start, Davis finished a solid 8-for-17 from the field, and added eight rebounds and seven assists; Hernandez capped off a revealing summer league with 15 points.
Haywood Highsmith added 16 for Philadelphia, and Canadian Marial Shayok dropped in 14 points to go with four boards and four assists in 17 minutes.