Backed by another outstanding DeMar DeRozan scoring performance, the Toronto Raptors trounced the Philadelphia 76ers 102-86 to sweep the teams’ home-and-home series and earn their 12th win in 13 games. The win was also the club’s 10th straight at home.
After dropping a career-high 45 points on Thursday in Philly, DeRozan kept on rolling with 29 points and four 3-pointers. While his efficiency wasn’t quite as sensational as we’ve grown accustomed to (9/20 from the field), DeRozan still carried the Raptors on the offensive end and helped the club pull away in the fourth. The Raps all-star now has 10 3-pointers in his past two games. One of the weakest components of his offensive repertoire is quickly turning into one of his strengths with each passing game this season.
It was clear from the get-go that Toronto’s home court advantage would make a difference in this one. Considering how close Thursday’s game in Philadelphia was, the Raptors were looking to come out on their own floor and set the tone early and carry out a strong display on both ends throughout the game. Safe to say that with a convincing 16-point victory, the guys did just that.
Joel Embiid made his return for Philadelphia after back soreness kept him out for three games. The big man was limited to just 22 minutes but was effective, scoring 14 points, grabbing eight boards, and swatting away three shots. Dario Saric had a great game for Philadelphia just two days after flirting with a triple-double against Toronto, finishing with 17 points, six rebounds and five assists.
What really cost the 76ers were turnovers. They had 22 overall, and 8 combined between their primary ball handlers Ben Simmons and Embiid. It’s tough to escape with a win right now against a sizzling Toronto team even if you’re playing disciplined basketball. Being careless with the rock only makes defeating the Raptors that much more challenging.
The Raptors get a well-deserved break to celebrate Christmas, then return to the court in Dallas against the Mavericks on Tuesday.