Toronto was without Kawhi Leonard against the Bucks, as the two-time All-Star missed his second game of the young season due to rest. They are led in scoring by Kawhi Leonard with 26.6 ppg, adding 8 boards per game.
On the defensive end, Leonard helped hound 76ers guard Ben Simmons, who had arguably the rarest of triple-doubles, with 11 points, 10 assists ... and 11 turnovers. The score was tied 47-47 at halftime before Philly outscored Atlanta 31-13 in the third quarter.
Damon Stoudamire owns the Raptors franchise record with seven consecutive games of 10 or more assists, a mark that Lowry could match in Toronto's next game. The 64 rebounds are the most by an Eastern Conference team this season and are the most the 76ers have recorded in a single game since November 29, 2017 against Washington when they also had 64. Toronto must protect its best asset, and the city needs as many opportunities as possible to shower Leonard with praise before he becomes a free agent in July.
He went for 31 points (10-19 fg, 2-5 3fg, 9-10 ft) in all, while adding seven rebounds, four assists, and four steals.
The 76ers made their anticipated run, cropping the Toronto lead down to six points at 117-111 with about three minutes, 30 seconds left to play. He can guard the ball, he can guard people coming off pin-downs, he can guard guys on the post, but mostly I think it's his natural instinct for getting his hands on stuff.
The Bucks said Monday that "team physicians followed league protocols and consulted the league's neurologist during the evaluation periods" during Saturday's game and that Antetokounmpo "passed his neurological tests that created significant doubt that it was a concussion". Whether he stays with the Raptors after this season remains to be seen but it seems like he's enjoying his time here at least and fans should enjoy having a player of his calibre while they can. The Sixers have not won in Toronto since a 93-83 victory on November 10, 2012. "This year, I think they will be right around there".
Prior to this week, the Sixers, through six games, ranked fourth in the National Basketball Association with 12.2 turnovers committed per 100 possessions.
The Raptors played that game without the services Leonard, who was given the game off by Nurse, part of his early-season workload management program.
The return of VanVleet whenever the swelling in his toe goes down could impact that a bit, but ideally the Raptors would find a good chunk of time for Lowry, Wright and VanVleet.