NBA 2018-19: 3 Talking points from the Philadelphia 76ers' blowout win over the Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors sat Kawhi Leonard down due to the second night of a back-to-back, Jonas Valanciunas didn’t play because of a thumb injury, while Serge Ibaka sat with knee soreness. With three of the Raptors' best players out of service, Philadelphia romped the visitors 126-101 in a highly one-sided affair.
"It was a good win, but to me it doesn't mean anything," Joel Embiid said. "They were missing three of their best players. I was kind of bummed that they weren't playing because this game, to me, was marked on my calendar just because of how bad I played over there (in Toronto)."
Toronto had won their last two games coming into this clash against the Sixers but found themselves understaffed to the point that they couldn't even put up a decent fight against the mighty 76ers. The result was a 25-point rout, a sign of how the absence of big names is sabotaging Toronto's dream run in the NBA season so far.
They still hold the top seed in the East with a 25-10 record, having lost five of their last ten games. It would not hurt Philadelphia to steal a win against the leaders while they're bleeding, as they now improve to 22-12 on the season, still stuck at a frustrating third position, 2.5 games behind Toronto.
Let's draw out some key takeaways from this inequitable confrontation between two Eastern Conference giants.
#1 Both Ben Simmons & Joel Embiid ended up with solid double-doubles
Embiid took advantage of Valanciunas' absence and finished with a game-high total of 27 points along with 11 rebounds, shooting 10-of-15 from the floor.
After posting a triple-double against the Knicks in just the previous game, Ben Simmons ended this game with a near-triple-double effort of 26 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists to his name, all this while committing just one turnover. The sophomore shot a blazing 11-of-13 from the field, as he is averaging an amazing 58 percent from the floor this season.
Embiid scored 23 of his total 27 points in the first half while his team led by 9 points. The collective effort of the home side and the missing players on the Raptors roster resulted in Philly methodically pulling away in the second half.