Sixers crush Raptors as Embiid, Simmons lead rout
Toronto fades in 4th on night with no Leonard, Ibaka, Valanciunas
Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers weren't too excited after their latest win.
Embiid had 27 points and 11 rebounds, Ben Simmons added 26 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists and Philadelphia routed the short-handed Toronto Raptors 126-101 on Saturday night.
JJ Redick added 22 points for the 76ers, who pulled within 2 1/2 games of first-place Toronto in the Atlantic Division.
Pascal Siakam scored 26 points and Kyle Lowry added 20 for the Raptors, who slipped to 25-10. Toronto played without two-time defensive player of the year Kawhi Leonard, as well as Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas.
And it's the absences that had Embiid downplaying the victory.
"It was a good win, but to me it doesn't mean anything," he said.
Embiid scored 23 of his points in the opening 24 minutes.
"They really had nothing to stop him in the first half," Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said.
Leonard was held out of the lineup to rest on the second game of a back-to-back after scoring a season-high 37 points in the Raptors' 126-110 home win over Cleveland on Friday night. Toronto coach Nick Nurse said prior to Saturday's contest that Leonard may be available for the second game of a back-to-back going forward.
Ibaka missed his third straight contest with a sore right knee, while Valanciunas is sidelined for at least three more weeks after having thumb surgery. Lowry and Danny Green returned after missing time with injuries. Lowry sat out the last four contests with a sore left thigh and Green watched Friday's win with a sore left knee.
Watch highlights of Toronto's loss to Philadelphia:
It was Philadelphia's third victory in the last 23 games against the Raptors.
The 76ers, though, would've liked it to come against a full contingent.
"I was disappointed, too," said Simmons, whose point total was a season high.
Raptors can't keep pace
The Raptors led by as many as seven in the opening half and were within range entering the break trailing 65-59. But the 76ers took advantage of Toronto's many missing players in the second half, methodically pulling away.
"A little too much for us tonight," Nurse said. "We just didn't have enough."
Philadelphia led by as many as 25 points in the fourth quarter.