The Philadelphia 76ers are easily exceeding everyone’s expectations this season, especially when you consider that Markelle Fultz has not stepped on the court since being drafted with the top overall pick earlier this year. The 76ers are in the midst of a small losing streak at the moment, but they had a chance to get their biggest win of the season when they hosted the Toronto Raptors on December 21. Philadelphia hung with one of the best teams in the NBA for 48 minutes, but they were unable to stop a late rally by DeMar DeRozan and the Raptors.
Toronto and Philadelphia had one of the most exciting first quarters that you will ever see in the NBA last night. Both teams were quickly running up and down the court trading baskets the entire quarter. The even quarter ended with the 76ers holding a slim 31-30 lead. Philadelphia continued the offensive display in the second quarter, but they also found a way to slow down the Toronto offense. After holding the Raptors to only 22 points in the second quarter, the 76ers held a 13-point lead at halftime.
The 76ers looked like a completely different team when they came out of the locker room for the second half. While they were still hitting a lot of their open shots, they were far too careless with the basketball. A plethora of turnovers helped the Raptors get easy baskets throughout the third quarter, which cut down the lead to only three points entering the fourth quarter.
Philadelphia did their best to hold on to their slim lead, but the Toronto Raptors finally took the lead with just under five minutes remaining in the game. From that point on, both teams essentially traded baskets until the final buzzer rang. A seriously disappointing second half by Philadelphia gave Toronto the 114-109 victory.
The Philadelphia 76ers certainly have a bright future, but they showed their youth and inexperience last night. A team this talented needs to win when they up by 13 points at halftime. The 76ers will not have to wait long to try to avenge this tough loss. They travel to Toronto to play the Raptors on Saturday, December 23. This will be a crucial game for Philadelphia. In addition to seeking revenge against the Raptors, the 76ers will also look to end their current four-game losing streak when they play on Saturday.