Sixers-Raptors: What you need to know

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Sixers-Raptors: What you need to know

Sixers vs. Raptors 7 p.m., CSN
Air Canada Centre, Toronto

Last meeting
The Sixers overcame a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter to roll to a 106-98 victory over the Raptors on Nov. 20 at the Wells Fargo Center. Jrue Holiday paced the Sixers with 19 points and 12 assists while Nick Young led the way with 23 points, 10 in the decisive fourth quarter. Young also had a season-high four assists.

Its all part of the Swaggy P movement, Young said after the game while wearing a sweatshirt that read, Swaggy P, which he says was given to him by a fan. They were double-teaming me, so I just hit the open man.

Andrea Bargnani and DeMar DeRozen combined for 46 points

Records
Sixers: 15-21 (fourth place in Atlantic Division)

Raptors: 12-22 (fifth place in Atlantic Division)

Previous games
The Sixers face their fourth back-to-back in a row. This time they travel to Toronto a night after ending an eight-game road trip with their fourth straight loss. On Tuesday night, the Sixers trailed the Nets by a point at the half but were hit with an 18-2 Brooklyn run to start the third in a 109-89 defeat.

It was the third straight game in which the Sixers allowed exactly 109 points and lost by 20 or more points.

Toronto had won eight of nine before dropping its last two straight. Last time out, the Raptors took a 104-92 loss to Oklahoma City, despite Alan Anderson's 27 points off the bench.

Who's hot
Jrue Holiday had 19 points and eight assists on Tuesday night on 7-for-11 shooting, and went 3 of 3 from three-point land. Over the last 10 games, Holiday has averaged 18.5 points and nearly nine assists and five rebounds per game.

Spencer Hawes has found his shooting stroke, burying 16 of 22 shots in his last two games for 36 points. Hawes, however, had only one rebound on Tuesday night and has gone just 2 of 4 from the foul line in the last four games.

Who's not
Evan Turner continues to struggle with his shot. Though he led the Sixers with seven rebounds on Tuesday night, he shot 4 for 11. Over the last eight games, Turner is shooting just 36 percent (31 for 86).

Probable starters
Sixers
Jrue Holiday (18.4 ppg, 8.9 apg )
Jason Richardson (10.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg)
Lavoy Allen (6.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg)
Thad Young (14.7 ppg, 7.1 rpg)
Evan Turner (14 ppg, 6.7 rpg)

Raptors
Amir Johnson (8.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg)
Ed Davis (8.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg)
DeMar DeRozan (18.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg)
Jose Calderon (10.1 ppg, 7.7 apg)
Mickael Pietrus (22 mins., 5.9 ppg)

Injuries
Andrew Bynum (bone bruise) is out indefinitely.

Kwame Brown (personal issues) missed Tuesday nights game.

For the Raptors, Andrea Bargnani (elbow) is out.

Rookie Jonas Valanciunas (broken finger) is out.

Aaron Gray (flu), Linus Kleiza (knee) and Terrence Ross (ankle) are questionable for Wednesdays game.

E-mail John Finger at jfinger@comcastsportsnet.com

Ben Simmons healing on schedule; Joel Embiid out tonight; Jahlil Okafor downgraded

Ben Simmons healing on schedule; Joel Embiid out tonight; Jahlil Okafor downgraded

Ben Simmons had a planned foot scan Monday in New York and is progressing as expected.

Simmons suffered a Jones fracture in his right foot nearly four months ago, Sept. 30, and there is still no timetable for his NBA debut.

Okafor downgraded
Jahlil Okafor was limited at shootaround Tuesday and has been downgraded to questionable for tonight's game against the Clippers. He had been listed as probable on Monday.

Okafor is dealing with right knee soreness he experienced on Saturday. The Sixers kept an eye on him Monday and held him out of 5-on-5 drills in practice. Okafor said the team was being cautious, and he wanted to rest his knee given the number of games coming up.

"It was bothering me a little bit in the warmup lines, I started to feel it. When I got going, it started feeling really good, then when I sat out for an extended period, it got kind of sore on me again," Okafor said Monday.

Embiid out
Joel Embiid, dealing with a left knee contusion suffered in last Friday's win over Portland, is officially out tonight. He is also expected to miss Wednesday's game at Milwaukee before returning Friday vs. the Rockets.

Sixers-Clippers 5 things: Big men, minus Joel Embiid, in the spotlight

Sixers-Clippers 5 things: Big men, minus Joel Embiid, in the spotlight

The Sixers (15-27) on Tuesday night open their latest back-to-back set against the LA Clippers (30-16) at the Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m./CSN, CSNPhilly.com and streaming live on the NBC Sports app).

Let's take a closer look at the matchup:

1. Missing in action
The Sixers are used to missing Joel Embiid for at least one game of back-to-back sets. However, they will have to forge ahead without him in both contests coming up on consecutive days.

Embiid will miss the Sixers' games on Tuesday and Wednesday after suffering a left knee contusion in the team's 93-92 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday. The matchups will mark three straight absences for the Eastern Conference Player of the Week after he was sidelined for the Sixers' blowout loss in Atlanta Saturday.

The Sixers haven't exactly been able to survive without Embiid's production this season. They are 2-10 minus the Rookie of the Year frontrunner and have allowed 106.5 points in those games.

Brett Brown challenged his team to perform better — particularly on defense — during this upcoming stint without Embiid.

“It’s still about our defense, it’s still about running, it’s still about sharing the ball,” Brown said after practice Monday. “I think you go with Jahlil (Okafor) and Nerlens (Noel) and challenge them in relation to rim protection and what Joel provides us. The group around them also has got to perform at a higher level when you don’t have Joel. I think that second group that we have been playing, led by Nerlens, really can take on a far greater defensive identity than it has recently, and Nerlens will be the captain of that.”

2. The Blake Show is back
While the Sixers will be without their star big man in Tuesday's tilt, the Clippers are expected to get one of theirs back.

Blake Griffin is likely to return to action against the Sixers after missing 18 games following right knee surgery.

Griffin was averaging 21.2 points and 8.8 rebounds this season as the Clippers jumped out to a 20-6 record. Griffin underwent an arthroscopic procedure to remove loose bodies from the knee on Dec. 19, and the Clips have recorded just a 10-8 mark since.

With fellow superstar Chris Paul sidelined with an injured thumb, getting the five-time All-Star Griffin back should be a major boost for the Clippers.

3. Take care
The Clippers may not be the force they once were in the open court (15th in the NBA with 12.7 fastbreak points per game this season), but that doesn't mean they still can't revert to their Lob City ways in the blink of an eye.

That could be the case on Tuesday if the Sixers continue to turn the ball over at such an alarming rate.

The Sixers, last in the league with 17.1 turnovers per game, have somehow been even worse during this recent string of success. They have committed 19.4 turnovers a night over the last five games and 17.8 during the last 10 contests.

The Sixers have been able to survive thanks to their active defense creating opportunities on offense and some clutch shooting. However, with Embiid sidelined and facing a Clippers team that ranks in the top five in field-goal and three-point percentage, those miscues may come back to haunt the Sixers.

4. Injuries
Okafor (knee) is questionable. Embiid (knee), Ben Simmons (foot) and Jerryd Bayless (wrist) are out for the Sixers.

Griffin (knee) is probable. Paul (thumb) and Brice Johnson (back) are out for the Clippers.

5. This and that
• The Sixers have lost nine straight games to the Clippers.

• Ersan Ilyasova is averaging 17.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game during January.

• DeAndre Jordan has averaged a double-double of 11.3 points and 12.8 rebounds against the Sixers in his career.