Thursday 25 April, 2019

Raptors beat 76ers in battle of Eastern Conference heavyweights

Kawhi Leonard.

Kawhi Leonard.

The Toronto Raptors continued their hot start to the NBA season, beating the visiting Philadelphia 76ers 129-112 on Tuesday.

Kawhi Leonard, who missed most of last season with the San Antonio Spurs due to injury, has returned better than ever on both ends of the court. He scored 31 points against the 76ers, becoming the first Raptors player with 20 or more points in his first six games with the franchise.

On the defensive end, Leonard helped hound 76ers guard Ben Simmons, who had arguably the rarest of triple-doubles, with 11 points, 10 assists … and 11 turnovers.

Toronto (7-1) also got double-doubles from both Kyle Lowry, who had 20 points and 12 assists, and forward Pascal Siakam (15 points, 15 rebounds).

The 76ers, expected to be one of the elite teams in the NBA this season, are now 4-4, and winless on the road in four games.

Joel Embiid scored 31 points and added 11 boards. But for everything the talented starting backcourt of Simmons and Markelle Fultz bring in terms of athleticism, they continue to be liabilities with their outside shooting (they were a combined seven-for-19 from the floor against the Raptors).

The 76ers will get things figured out, but for now, they have got a long way to go to reach the Raptors' level.

George shines for Thunder

Paul George had 32 points and 12 rebounds in the Thunder's 128-110 victory over the visiting Clippers. Russell Westbrook also scored 32.

Kyrie Irving scored 31 in Boston's win over Detroit.

Hornets guard Tony Parker came off the bench to score 24 points with 11 rebounds and a game-high +19 rating in a 125-113 win over the Heat.

Buddy Hield had 25 points and 11 rebounds to key the Kings' win over the Magic.

Paul, Gordon poor for Rockets

The Rockets' starting backcourt of Chris Paul and Eric Gordon shot a combined 10 of 37 in a 104-85 loss to the Trail Blazers.

Tuesday's results
Charlotte Hornets 125-113 Miami Heat
Cleveland Cavaliers 136-114 Atlanta Hawks
Sacramento Kings 107-99 Orlando Magic
Boston Celtics 108-105 Detroit Pistons
Toronto Raptors 129-112 Philadelphia 76ers
Portland Trail Blazers 104-85 Houston Rockets
Memphis Grizzlies 107-95 Washington Wizards
Oklahoma City Thunder 128-110 Los Angeles Clippers

Pelicans at Warriors

This is the only game on Wednesday between two teams with winning records. Klay Thompson will not hit 14 three-pointers again, as he did in setting an NBA record on Monday, but the Warriors have plenty of weapons. But so do the Pelicans, who have six players averaging in double figures, led by Anthony Davis (27.3 points per game) and Nikola Mirotic (22.7).

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: