Lowry has big half amid trade rumors, Raptors hold off 76ers

ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 06, 2019 12:20 PM
Lowry has big half amid trade rumors, Raptors hold off 76ers
Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry, left, tries to get a shot past Philadelphia 76ers' Mike Muscala during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, in Philadelphia. Toronto won 119-107. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

By Dave Zeitlin, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Kyle Lowry had a big first half amid reports that Toronto has offered him in a trade, Kawhi Leonard finished with 24 points, and the Raptors held off the Philadelphia 76ers 119-107 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time) in a matchup between two of the Eastern Conference's top teams.

Lowry and Serge Ibaka each had 20 points to overcome the Joel Embiid-led Sixers. Embiid had 37 points and 13 rebounds for his league-leading 44th double-double, Ben Simmons scored 20 points and Jimmy Butler had 18.

With the Sixers trailing by 18 early in the fourth quarter, Embiid ripped off 12 points in a three-minute stretch to slice Toronto's lead to 108-101 with 6:59 left and get the home crowd on its feet for the first time all night. But the Raptors (39-16) never let the Sixers (34-20) get closer than seven.

After erupting for 40 points in the first quarter behind 11-for-11 shooting from the free-throw line, the Raptors built a 21-point advantage midway through the second quarter. Lowry, who missed Toronto's last game due to back soreness, fueled the run with three three-pointers in a two-minute stretch.

Lowry seemed unfazed by a report from Sports Illustrated that Toronto had offered him to Memphis as part of a trade package for Mike Conley and Marc Gasol.

He added another triple, which bounced all around the rim before dropping in, four minutes before halftime to help Toronto take a 72-55 lead into the break — the Raptors' best offensive first half of the season. The Philadelphia native and Villanova alum had 17 first-half points.

The Sixers were without two starters as Wilson Chandler (quad) missed his second straight game while JJ Redick was a late scratch due to nausea.

TIP-INS

Raptors: Toronto is now 17-11 on the road this season, the third best mark in the league. The Raptors' next two games will also be away from home. ... Toronto won the season series with Philadelphia, 3-1, with the Sixers' only win coming on Dec. 22 (Dec. 23, PHL time) when the Raptors were missing Leonard and Ibaka, their top two scorers.

76ers: Tuesday's (Wednesday, PHL time) game marked the start of a four-game homestand after a 2-2 road swing out West. ... Some of the biggest cheers of the night came in the pregame when Sixers great Allen Iverson rang the team's ceremonial bell at midcourt.

UP NEXT

Raptors: At the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time).

76ers: Host the Denver Nuggets on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time).

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