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Maxey's 33 not enough, Raptors prevail

In a back-and-forth duel from two shorthanded teams, the Toronto Raptors pulled out a 115-109 win in Wells Fargo Center

Without their star player, Pascal Siakam, Toronto was led by guard Fred VanVleet, who amassed 32 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists, and hit the icing three pointer with under 30 seconds left. Gary Trent Jr. and OG Anunoby both supplied 20 points of their own, and Scottie Barnes impressed on both ends.

For the Sixers, Tyrese Maxey was their standout performer, notching 33 points on 12/19 shooting. This marked his second consecutive 30-point performance. Over his last 6 games, he's averaging roughly 21 points and 5.5 assists in nearly 41 minutes (!!!) per contest.

In Tobias Harris' first game removed from health and safety protocols, he provided 19 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists. Andre Drummond gave the team some important minutes and was huge both on the glass and defending the rim.

The game was obviously lost down the stretch, but a huge reason why the game got out of hand to begin with is when Raptors' coach Nick Nurse turned to a 2-3 zone defense for a long period in the 3rd quarter. In the few minutes where Maxey sat, the team lacked someone that could break down a defense and create their own shot. The team saw a 9 point lead dissolve away into a 4 point deficit in just under 4 minutes of action. This has been a problem that has plagued every variation of this Sixers team in the Joel Embiid era.

This is actually the healthiest this team has been in about a week, as only three people were out on the health and safety protocols list, including our All-NBA big man. But these guys are being pushed to their limits, and the role players are out of gas. Maxey has averaged nearly 41 (!!!) minutes per game over his last 6. To start the season, guys like Furkan Korkmaz, Georges Niang, and even Andre Drummond were putting up numbers that we all acknowledged were unsustainable. Now that they've returned down to earth a little bit, the flaws of the team are starting to shine through.

The Sixers next game will be against the Pacers this Saturday in Indiana. This will mark the first of a season-long 6-game road trip, and will really put this Sixers team to the test against some top-level competition, including the West's current 1 and 2 seeds, Golden State and Utah.

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