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Sixers Blaze Past Raptors, 135-120, Cementing 8th Seed

Courtesy of Liberty Ballers

The short-handed Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Toronto Raptors, 135-120, on Sunday night at Scotiabank Arena. As a result, the Sixers improved to a 40-35 record, retaining the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Sixers had tough luck with both of their all-star players on the bench. Joel Embiid was out with a lingering left knee meniscus injury and Tyrese Maxey was out with left hip tightness.

However, their teammates came through. Three Sixers players scored over twenty points. Kelly Oubre Jr. was the leading scorer with 32 points. He was a powerhouse on offense, going 6-11 from three and 10-22 from the field. He also contributed seven boards and three assists. Cameron Payne scored 24 points, with 9-16 efficiency. He got a rebound and assisted three times. Finally, Tobias Harris scored 21 points, on efficient 8-13 shooting, and assisted three times. He acquired nine rebounds too. 

The Sixers set a new team record, making 24 three pointers. The barrage of threes allowed the team to end their three-game losing streak. This victory cemented the regular-season sweep against the Raptors and extended the Raptors losing streak to thirteen. A regular-season sweep is when a team loses every game against an opposing team in the regular season. 

The Sixers also surpassed the Raptors in rebounds, securing 39 compared to the Raptors’ 31.

After the Sixers’ 109-105 comeback win against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night, Philadelphia has six regular season games left. The Sixers will likely be the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, which means they will compete in the play-in tournament. The play-in tournament for the NBA postseason is a novel feature, established to finalize the lineup for NBA playoff positions. Initially adopted on an experimental basis in the 2019-2020 season, which faced disruptions due to the COVID pandemic, its success and the increased enthusiasm it generated towards the latter part of the regular season led to its continuation in following years. The seventh and eighth seed face each other. The winner receives the seventh seed and admittance into playoffs, while the loser faces the winner of the ninth and tenth seed. The winner of the following match receives the eighth seed and final spot in the playoffs. 

The Sixers will face the Miami Heat tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Kayesa Center.

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