Published: Sat, December 08, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Leonard plays harder in big games, says Raptors coach Nurse

Leonard plays harder in big games, says Raptors coach Nurse

76ers: Embiid's double-double was his league-best 24th. "I think there'll be a lot of switching going on, so they all understand the coverages of those guys and what we're doing when they get on him", Nurse said.

Valanciunas was pleased with the vote of confidence after he had struggled in his past six games, averaging 9.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and a minus-1.2 rating. "Lowry didn't know what to say at the time and told Nichols that he initially felt betrayed by the trade because, in Lowry's words, "[DeRozan] felt betrayed". The Raptors in past years have been on the other side of these type of games, frequently against Butler, where an opposing star just won't stop hitting tough shots, no matter the defense, and the loss feels inevitable.

When a Butler 3-pointer splashed home to give the Sixers a 46-40 lead late in the first half, the prospects were promising. "He showed some really good minutes in the five position".

The Raptors had their season-best eight-game winning streak stopped 106-103 by the Denver Nuggets Monday night. Afterward, he said his team's 21 turnovers and 22 second-chance points allowed underscored the gap between the Sixers and Raptors. While the Sixers did a good job in this one taking away Siakam's scoring, making a concerted effort to keep him away from the situations where he's created trouble at that end of the floor, he found big ways to contribute with his defense, passing and energy.

Then, halfway through the frame, the starters for the Raptors returned and sealed the game with their defense, keeping it from getting close the rest of the way. "And when the stakes go up a little bit, he's going to play his hand a little harder". "The feel that he has on the offensive end is wonderful". Valanciunas scored a pair of baskets as Toronto replied with a 9-0 run, opening a 90-81 advantage at 9:07. Lowry recorded a team-high 11 assists; his 14th game with 10 or-more assists this season and the 22nd consecutive time that he has led the team outright in assists, matching Damon Stoudamire's franchise record set in 1996.

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