Ben Simmons’ hopes of leading Philadelphia to the NBA Finals have received a jolt with the league’s hottest team Toronto scoring a dominating win.
The Raptors ran away from the 76ers in the final quarter to claim a 113-102 victory on Wednesday in Toronto.
It extends the Raptors’ winning streak in Toronto over Philadelphia to 13.
Simmons fell just short of a triple-double with eight points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, but he contributed seven turnovers.
“Obviously, they are going to be a playoff team and we are going to see them down the road,” said the Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard, who had 36 points and nine rebounds.
LeBron James’ off-season defection from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference has opened a path for teams in the east.
The Raptors, with the addition of Leonard from the San Antonio Spurs, have the best record in the NBA with wins in 21 of their 26 games this season.
The 76ers are third in the Eastern Conference, falling to a 17-9 record.
The Raptors only led 78-77 going into the final quarter, but the 76ers were no match despite their All-Star recruit Jimmy Butler scoring a season-high 38 points.
The Raptors and Leonard have had the edge on the 76ers.
Leonard has never lost in 12 career meetings with Philadelphia, including two victories this season.
Thon Maker scored 11 points and fellow Australian Matthew Dellavedova had two points and six assists as the Milwaukee Bucks thumped the Detroit Pistons 115-92.
Julius Randle had 27 points and 18 rebounds, leading six New Orleans Pelicans scorers in double figures in a 132-106 rout of the visiting Dallas Mavericks.
Australian Ryan Broekhoff came off the bench to chime in with nine points and four rebounds for the Mavericks.
Stephen Curry made nine three-pointers and scored 42 points and Kevin Durant added 25 as the Golden State Warriors claimed a 129-105 win over a Cleveland team now firmly in rebuilding mode in the post-LeBron era.
The Cavaliers are playing without injured All-Star Kevin Love, forward JR Smith is on a forced hiatus and sharpshooter Kyle Korver was recently traded to Utah.
It was Golden State’s first visit to Cleveland since June, when the Warriors completed a sweep to win their third championship in four years.
In Los Angeles, James had a game-high 42 points as the Lakers piled on 43 points in the final quarter in a 121-113 win over San Antonio.