National Basketball Association
Preview
Toronto at Philadelphia
When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Toronto Raptors may receive a challenge from a team they typically pummel when they visit the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday. Toronto will be seeking its 15th consecutive win over the 76ers, but Philadelphia is showing signs of progress with six victories in its last eight games.

Rookie center Joel Embiid single-handedly has transformed the 76ers from league laughingstocks to a suddenly dangerous team. Philadelphia registered a 113-104 victory at Milwaukee on Monday and has the opportunity to take another step if it can be competitive against the Raptors, who won the season's first two meetings by an average of 18 points. Toronto has captured four consecutive games, and standout shooting guard DeMar DeRozan registered his 20th 30-point performance of the season with 36 and 11 rebounds in Tuesday's 119-109 triumph at Brooklyn. Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry was held out Tuesday due to an assortment of bumps and bruises but will be fresh for his latest visit to his hometown.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, TSN (Toronto), CSN Philadelphia

ABOUT THE RAPTORS (28-13): Cory Joseph typically serves the role as backup to Lowry but enjoyed the best game of his career against the Nets in his place. The sixth-year pro made his first start of the season and scored a career-high 33 points on 15-of-22 shooting - easily topping his previous mark of 20 set on Dec. 28, 2014, when he was a member of the San Antonio Spurs. "Kyle provides a lot of scoring for us," Joseph told reporters. "I knew that slot would be missing, so I took it upon myself to try be more aggressive, try to be aggressive and take what the defense gives me. They were giving up a lot of layups and short floaters, so that's what I was taking."

ABOUT THE 76ERS (13-26): Embiid is being limited to 28 minutes per game, but that hasn't prevented him from scoring 20 or more points in nine consecutive contests. The foot injury that caused him to sit out two seasons hasn't been an issue, and he quickly is developing into one of the top centers in the league. Embiid is averaging 24.4 points during the nine-game splurge to raise his season average to 19.7.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Toronto's 123-114 win on Dec. 14 was its seventh straight in Philadelphia.

2. Raptors backup SF Patrick Patterson (knee) likely will sit out for the eighth time in 10 games.

3. 76ers starting PG T.J. McConnell (wrist) and backup C Nerlens Noel (ankle) are expected to play after one-game absences.

PREDICTION: Raptors 109, 76ers 107
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Toronto 28-13 W4 15-6 13-7 1-0 27-13 9-0 17-5
Philadelphia 13-26 W1 8-14 5-12 2-2 11-24 3-4 9-14
Last Meeting
Toronto Philadelphia
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
12/14/16 TOR 123 PHI 114 123 39 47.1 114 43 50.0
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Toronto D. DeRozan 31 61.1 9
Philadelphia R. Covington 26 50.0 3
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Toronto J. Valanciunas 10 4 6
Philadelphia R. Covington 12 7 5
Assists Player  
Toronto C. Joseph 7
Philadelphia T. McConnell 8
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Toronto D. DeRozan 1230 47.6 329
Philadelphia J. Embiid 631 45.9 196
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Toronto J. Valanciunas 429 135 294
Philadelphia J. Embiid 258 69 189
Assists Player  
Toronto K. Lowry 302
Philadelphia S. Rodriguez 243
Quickchart Matchup
Toronto Toronto Off vs  Philadelphia Philadelphia Defense
Toronto Off vs Philadelphia - Points For 111.5 Points For
Toronto Off vs Philadelphia - Points Against 105.3 Points Against
Toronto - FG% 47.2 FG%
Philadelphia - FG% 45.1 FG%
Toronto - Reb 42.9 Reb
Philadelphia - Reb 44.9 Reb
Philadelphia Philadelphia Off vs  Toronto Toronto Defense
Philadelphia Off vs Toronto - Points For 99.5 Points For
Philadelphia Off vs Toronto - Points Against 104.7 Points Against
Philadelphia - FG% 43.3 FG%
Toronto - FG% 45.4 FG%
Philadelphia - Reb 43.4 Reb
Toronto - Reb 43.2 Reb