Sixers hold off Raptors, 117-110, as postseason rotation could be materializing

Keith Pompey, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Basketball

PHILADELPHIA — One would assume the 76ers’ playoff rotation has been decided.

The team had its full complement of players available Wednesday night, and went with a telling 10-man rotation. Then Tobias Harris missed Friday’s 117-110 victory over the Toronto Raptors with a non-COVID illness. That led to sixth-man De’Anthony Melton starting in Harris’ place, and Shake Milton being added to the rotation.

Meanwhile, George Niang, Jalen McDaniels, Paul Reed, and Danuel House Jr. once again saw action off the bench.

That foursome and Melton will be the reserves included in the postseason rotation, at least early on, right?

Coach Doc Rivers said you can’t assume anything by who was in the rotation the past two games.

“We have plenty of time,” he said. “It may change in the playoffs, you know? There’s no rule that when you get into the playoffs with nine guys, you can’t change that, you know, so that’s always in flux.”


The Sixers can only hope that whoever plays can play through four quarters better than they did Friday night against the Raptors (38-39).

Philly’s 76.9% shooting in the first half was its best shooting performance for any half in franchise history. The Sixers, who shot 56.2% for the game, had a commanding 24-point lead before intermission. The Raptors pulled within two points (103-101) on Fred VanVleet’s 3-pointer with 5 minutes, 50 remaining.

James Harden’s performance was indicative of the Sixers’ night.

The 10-time All-Star had 23 points, 11 assists and three rebounds. If there was a blemish, it was his six turnovers. Seventeen of his points came in the first half when he was the hottest player on the floor, making 7 of 9 shots, including all three of his 3-pointers.


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