Sixers vs Raptors: 5 Things We Learned at The Center

Fred VanVleet

Getty Raptors guard Fred VanVleet had a night to remember in Philadelphia during a 115-109 over the Sixers.

The Philadelphia 76ers were looking to snap a two-game losing streak at Wells Fargo Center. They fought hard for all four quarters, sparked by the return of Tobias Harris (19 points), but couldn’t hold off a scrappy Toronto Raptors squad.

The Sixers lost 115-109 to drop their record to 8-5. Philly slides into fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings. They’ll head out on the road for six straight games, their longest stretch away from Philly this season. The next home game is scheduled for November 27 against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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Sixers-Raptors: 5 Things We Learned

1. Tyrese Maxey Rules: Everyone already saw the franchise-changing potential of the second-year guard the other night against Milwaukee. This performance was even more special considering how sluggish he looked in the first quarter. Fred VanVleet was having his way with the Sixers’ youngster when he starting imposing his will on the second quarter. He finished with 33 points and five dimes in 40 minutes, including a stretch where he scored nine points in four minutes and received MVP chants.

2. More Burn for Paul Reed: The reigning NBA G League MVP keeps earning more minutes with his tough, physical play. Reed is still very much a work in progress but he has flashed tantalizing promise in stretches. The 6-foot-9 big man nearly brought the house – and literally the basketball rim – down on a first-quarter possession where he Euro-stepped through the defense and slammed it home. Reed only saw 13 minutes, although they were tough ones, as he continues to state his case for more burn.

3. Andre Drummond Steps Up: Doc Rivers surprisingly went with a small lineup in the guts of the fourth quarter. He rolled out a lineup of Tobias Harris, Seth Curry, Shake Milton, Georges Niang, Tyrese Maxey. Then, as Toronto stretched their lead, he brought Drummond back in. The two-time All-Star delivered with a key block with 1:32 left – after a foul call was overturned on a successful challenge – that saved a bucket, along with several clutch boards. Drummond had a game-high 12 rebounds and hit the record books by becoming one of only 102 NBA players to reach 1,000 career blocks.

4. Fred VanVleet, Sixers Killer: Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet was sensational all night. He drilled a three-point dagger with 23.9 seconds remaining that sealed the Sixers’ fate and put the Raptors up 113-109. He (mostly) won his one-on-one matchup with Maxey while chipping in defensively to slow Seth Curry and Shake Milton. Philadelphia tried trapping him with Drummond and Niang but nothing worked. He had himself a night: 32 points, six boards, seven assists. Bonus points for the shout out to Pedro Cerrano on the celebration.

5. Ben Simmons Update: The Athletic’s Shams Charania dropped a bombshell report at halftime with an exclusive interview with Simmons’ agent, Rich Paul. In it, Paul compares and contrasts that situation to the one going on in Houston with John Wall. It’s not even close to apples to apples. Either way, there was some juicy nuggets about the next steps for Simmons and the Sixers. For starters, the disgruntled star did meet with a team-appointed therapist to work through his mental health issues. There is a tiny sliver of hope a reconciliation can be worked out. Simmons’ team maintained he is legitimately sick. Stay tuned.

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