December 23, 2018 / 3:30 AM / 8 months ago

Embiid, Simmons lead Sixers over Kawhi-less Raptors

Joel Embiid had 27 points and 11 rebounds, and Ben Simmons added 26 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists as the host Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Kawhi Leonard-less Toronto Raptors 126-101 Saturday night.

JJ Redick scored 22, Furkan Korkmaz added 16 and Jimmy Butler had 12 for the 76ers, who won their second in a row, improved to 16-3 at home and pulled within 2 1/ 2 games of the Atlantic Division-leading Raptors.

Embiid shot 10-of-15 from the field and Simmons was 11-of-13 as the 76ers shot 54.1 percent (46 of 85) while holding Toronto to 38.9 percent (37 of 95).

Pascal Siakam had 26 points and six rebounds for the Raptors, who had a two-game winning streak snapped. Kyle Lowry added 20 points, six rebounds and five assists. Norman Powell and Fred VanVleet also reached double figures for Toronto, with 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Leonard, who equaled his season-best with 37 points in a 126-110 victory against Cleveland on Friday night, was held out of the second of back-to-back games. The Raptors lost for just the second time in nine games without Leonard this season, who is 12-0 in his career against the 76ers.

The Raptors were also without Serge Ibaka, who missed his third straight game with a knee injury, and Jonas Valanciunas, who is expected to be sidelined until mid-January at the earliest after dislocating his thumb Dec. 12 against Golden State.

Toronto did get Lowry and Danny Green back. Lowry, an All-Star point guard and native Philadelphian, missed four games with a left thigh contusion. Green, who had been the lone Raptors player to start every game this season, missed Friday’s victory with a left knee contusion.

The 76ers trailed 30-29 after the first quarter but rallied to hold a 65-59 advantage by halftime. Embiid had 23 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field before the intermission.

Redick scored 10 points in the third as the 76ers ended the quarter with a 91-79 lead. Redick’s running, finger-roll layup with 7:58 left in the period made it 79-63. The Raptors pulled within six later in the quarter, but Korkmaz and Redick hit 3-pointers in the final minute to double the advantage.

—Field Level Media

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