Philadelphia 76ers Close Out Road Trip With Loss vs. Raptors
Losing on the road has been a common trend for the Philadelphia 76ers this season. And losing to the Toronto Raptors on the road during the regular season has almost become the norm for the Sixers over the last eight years.
For those who are unaware, the 76ers do not play well when visiting the Raptors. Though they technically broke the long streak of losing in Toronto last season during the playoffs, the Sixers still cannot manage to win at Scotiabank Arena during the regular season.
Heading into Wednesday night's matchup against the Raptors, the Sixers have lost 14-straight games against the Raptors on the road. Their first matchup of the season took place back in November when Sixers' center Joel Embiid infamously scored zero points. While the 76ers still managed to keep it close even with Embiid's struggles in that matchup, the visitors still couldn't pull it off the upset.
The 76ers were fortunate to get their revenge from that game last month when the Raptors came to town, but it still didn't erase the ugly losing streak that lives on. On Wednesday, the 76ers had a chance to make it disappear.
As they headed into their third-straight road matchup with two wins under their belt, the 76ers were close to traveling back to Philly with a five-game winning streak going. Unfortunately, the struggles of playing in Toronto during the regular season lives on for the Sixers, though.
Make it 15-straight for Philly, who came up short on Wednesday with a 107-95 loss to the Raptors. Although they played a solid three quarters with a shorthanded staff, the Sixers eventually fell apart late in the game and allowed the Raptors to take charge.
Not having Joel Embiid available has been the norm as of late, but it still doesn't mean the Sixers are better off without him. Being that he's arguably their best player when healthy, any game without Embiid creates a tough scenario for the Sixers.
Unfortunately, Embiid wasn't the only one to miss time on Wednesday, either. Sixers' starting guard, Josh Richardson, also found himself sitting this one out rather quickly. After clocking in for four minutes, Richardson was sent to the locker room with a hamstring strain and wasn't able to return.
Despite having strong offensive efforts from Tobias Harris, Ben Simmons, and Furkan Korkmaz off the bench, the Sixers left too many points out on the court as they shot just 38-percent from the field as a collective.
Plus, their point guard, Simmons, wasn't nearly as protective with the ball as he has been in the recent past. As the Sixers turned the ball over 13 times, Simmons was responsible for eight of them. While picking up this win would've been major for the Sixers, the loss shouldn't kill their spirit. At the end of the day, they were missing two key players, and Brett Brown forced to play a handful of players he typically wouldn't offer time to.
Philly will get the next two days off and will return to the court on Saturday to host the Los Angeles Lakers for a late matchup.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_