The Philadelphia 76ers appear to be in a better position this time around to win for the first time in Toronto in six years.
"That's what you're going to get out of big-time players", Philadelphia's Jimmy Butler said.
The Raptors, who were coming off a 106-103 loss to Denver, were once again plagued by poor shooting in the early going. The 76ers last played Sunday, defeating the Memphis Grizzlies 103-95 at the Wells Fargo Center. Rather than run it back with the same team, Toronto took the risk in trading their all-time leading scorer for someone who appeared in only nine games the season prior due to injury and has the option in his contract to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Their last win in Toronto came November 10, 2012. Both players wore headbands in the Sixers' win over Washington on Saturday and coach Brett Brown said the headwear signified a "bonding of defensive brothers".
Having Butler should make a difference for the 76ers against the Raptors.
It was Toronto, however, that emerged from Scotiabank Arena with a 113-102 victory, and based on Butler's comments heading into Wednesday's contest, preventing the Raptors from extending a lengthy home winning streak over the Sixers was really the only thing on his mind. Then the next five or six games I think I was averaging 19 (points), eight (rebounds) and nine (assists a game).
76ers: Visit Detroit on Friday night. "He's in that conversation for MVP".
The Raptors got their first look at the new Sixers on Wednesday night, and with ESPN in town for a day of coverage as well as broadcasting the game nationally, this was an opportunity for each team to showcase their new star.
There will be a lot of questions for the Raptors about their shooting lately and how much they've struggled, but it's a good sign the way the team fought through that in this game and found a way to win, despite those troubles.
The 76ers even took the lead in the third quarter, but the hosts continued to play their game and earned their reward as a result.
"We kind of feed off our defense and being able to get stops", Siakam said. We weren't able to do that.
Serge Ibaka started at centre for the Raptors (21-5), finishing with 18 points and eight rebounds. "Tonight was one of those games where they just had it clicking". "I figure it's just been everyone finding their spot and where they can be most effective on the court at times". We didn't bring the energy that we usually have. "For me, I come here and do my job".