Sixers' Joel Embiid returns from sore back


Despite the 76ers' mounting losses, Brett Brown believes this season is different from the previous four woeful campaigns. The teams were tied at 27 after the first. His efforts, however, weren't enough, as the Raptors prevailed, 102-86.

The setback extended their losing streak to a season-worst five games. They've lost eight of their last nine games, and questions about whether or not they can make the playoffs are beginning to surface.

76ers: G J.J. Redick (right hamstring) missed his second straight game. The center has been sidelined eight games total this season due to his back and left knee. They are 1-7 in games he's missed. He is expected to return Saturday. It was warranted, early on. He scored eight points in the opening quarter, but Ibaka had 13 for the Raptors. His squad repeatedly fed him the ball on a half-court set. However, Embiid went on to miss his other two shot attempts of the half.

Embiid, listed as probable before his last-minute scratch Thursday, traveled with the team to Toronto on Friday, according to Sportsradio WIP, though his status is not known for Saturday's game. But even with him, this was an uphill battle.

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The Raptors, whose 22-8 record is second-best in the NBA's Eastern Conference, didn't play like an elite team until they fell behind 76-54 three minutes into the second half. Covington added 19 points and Dario Saric had 18 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

Like Saturday, DeMar DeRozan had a big hand in this victory.

Kyle Lowry added 23 points to help the Raptors to their 11th win in 12 games.

DeRozan scored 16 points in the third, and Toronto closed the quarter on a 13-3 run, taking an 81-63 lead into the fourth. Aside from everyone putting up career nights in Philly (again, hello Toronto), the hard schedule and Embiid's injury woes have made it tough for the Sixers to get back on track.