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Game Thread: Toronto Raptors vs. Philadelphia 76ers

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Winners of three straight, the Raptors face a tough test tonight as the Philadelphia 76ers arrive in Tampa while atop the Eastern Conference. Let’s watch.

Toronto Raptors v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The Raptors are winners of three straight but are again without Kyle Lowry tonight. That sucks for a few reasons, including the fact that Lowry loves to go against his hometown team. Yes, this evening’s game is being held in a neutral site (Tampa), but it’s always fun to watch Lowry re-assert himself as the top dog in Philly.

The other problem here is, well, the last time the Raptors played the Sixers they lost, and they now have one fewer large body to deal with Joel Embiid. As of late, Aron Baynes has been better, but it’s a tall order to ask him to keep up with the man who just posted a 50-point, 17-rebound masterpiece the other night. Toronto’s problems multiply when we realize they don’t have even Alex Len to throw his weight around tonight. Look, you have to play with the players you have — and I suspect coach Nick Nurse has a strategy in mind to keep Embiid away from the rim — but it’s a lot to ask of players who are clearly at a physical disadvantage.

On top of that, Philly got some good news: they’ll welcome star Ben Simmons back into the lineup tonight, along with super-sub Shake Milton. With their return, the Sixers are back at full strength, which is a fearsome proposition for the Raptors seeing as their opponents are already on top of the Eastern Conference with a firm 20-10 record. Could this be the year that Philly really and truly has Toronto’s number — to say nothing of the league’s? It does feel possible, but the Raptors have proven us wrong (in good ways and bad) before.

In any case, below are the updated details for the game. Here’s Sully’s Raptors-Sixers preview from this morning. Now, let’s watch.

Where to Watch

TSN at 7:00pm EST

Lineups

Toronto — Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell, DeAndre’ Bembry, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam

Philadelphia — Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Danny Green, Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid

Injuries

Toronto — Kyle Lowry (out - thumb)

Philadelphia — none