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Trent Jr. scores 27, Raptors beat rival 76ers


TORONTO – Gary Trent Jr. scored 27 points while Pascal Siakam had 20 points and 13 assists and the Toronto Raptors beat the struggling Philadelphia 76ers 119-109 on Wednesday.

Six Raptors scored in double figures. Scottie Barnes finished with 16 points and 10 boards, O.G. Anunoby and Fred VanVleet recorded 15 points apiece, and Chris Boucher chipped in with 13 for the Raptors (3-1), who exacted a bit of revenge after last season’s playoff loss.

Joel Embiid scored 31 points to top the Sixers (1-4), who stumbled out to an 0-3 season start that James Harden said “felt like we were 0-82” before beating Indiana 120-106 on Monday.

There’s no love lost between the Eastern Conference rivals. Philly beat Toronto in six games in last season’s first round of the playoffs, and the sting of that series, particularly a 132-97 rout in Game 6, lingered. The series also saw Barnes miss the better part of three games after Embiid stepped on his foot.

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“As a coach, when you lose one like that you have to think about that all summer,” coach Nick Nurse said. “So, the aftermath of the non-execution part (in Game 6) stays with you for a long time.”

The Raptors raced out to a 17-point first-half lead thanks to some sizzling three-point shooting and excellent ball protection. But the Sixers chipped away at the difference and when Tyrese Maxey scored on a fast-break dunk early in the fourth quarter, it was a six-point game.

The Raptors replied, and VanVleet’s back-to-back three-pointers put Toronto back up by 11 with 3:43 to play. Harden’s three with 56 seconds to play sliced the difference to seven, but Barnes, who was back after missing Monday’s win at Miami with an ankle injury, converted a three-point play to seal the victory.

Siakam served notice he was in for a good night when he knocked down four wide open threes over former Raptor P.J. Tucker in the first quarter, and appeared to be talking at Tucker throughout. The Raptors led by 11 before De’Anthony Melton’s three at the buzzer cut the difference to 35-27 to start the second.

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A running reverse layup from Dalano Banton capped a 22-8 Raptors run that saw them go up by 17 points. The Sixers closed the half with a mini 13-6 run, and Toronto went into the break with a 63-53 lead.

The Raptors committed zero turnovers in the first half.

Led by Embiid’s 12 points in the third, the Sixers climbed back to within six points, but Toronto closed the quarter with a 4-0 run to lead 89-79 with one quarter to play.

COSTLY TRIP

Toronto’s loss at Miami on Saturday set team president Masai Ujiri and rookie Christian Koloko back US$50,000 combined. Ujiri was fined $35,000 for approaching the scorer’s table and directing inappropriate remarks at an official, while Koloko was fined $15,000 after being ejected for a scuffle with Miami’s Caleb Martin.

CAMEROON CONNECTION

The game featured all three of the NBA’s Cameroonian players: Siakam and Koloko, who are both from Douala, and Embiid, from Yaounde.

UP NEXT

The Raptors play the Sixers again at home on Friday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 26, 2022.

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