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

NBA Notes: Dion Waiters signs 1-year deal with Heat

NBA Notes: Dion Waiters signs 1-year deal with Heat

Two people with knowledge of the situation tell The Associated Press that the Miami Heat have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with free agent guard Dion Waiters.

The two sides came to agreement on Monday. Waiters will make $2.9 million. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the deal.

Waiters averaged 9.8 points for the Oklahoma City Thunder last year, but had several big games in the playoffs. He played particularly well against Dallas and San Antonio in the playoffs before his role was reduced in the seven-game loss to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals.

Waiters will give the Heat another scorer off the bench (see full story).

Blazers: C.J. McCullom inked to four-year extension
PORTLAND, Ore. -- A person familiar with the deal confirms that guard CJ McCollum has agreed to a four-year, $106 million contract extension with the Portland Trail Blazers.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Monday because the deal hadn't been formally announced by the team. It was first reported by Yahoo Sports.

McCollum, who was named the NBA's Most Improved Player, averaged 20.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists for the Blazers during the regular season. He raised his scoring average by more than 14 points over the previous season.

As the 10th overall pick for the Blazers in the 2013 draft, McCollum bided his time on the bench for his first two seasons. He became a starter in the backcourt with Damian Lillard last season after four of the team's starters departed in the offseason (see full story).

Michael Jordan donates $2 million to ease racial tensions
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Michael Jordan is trying to help ease tension between African-Americans and law enforcement.

The NBA great and Charlotte Hornets owner said Monday he's giving $1 million to the Institute for Community-Police Relations and $1 million to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The aim is to help build trust following several shootings around the country.

Jordan says in a statement to The Associated Press on Monday that "as a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers," (see full story).

Sixers officially sign guard Brandon Paul

Sixers officially sign guard Brandon Paul

The Sixers continued to add to their roster Monday, announcing the signing of guard Brandon Paul. 

Paul participated on the Sixers' summer league squad in Las Vegas, where he averaged 10.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 19.5 minutes. He also played for the Hornets in Utah. 

The 25-year-old went undrafted out Illinois in 2013 and has been playing overseas and in the D-League since then. Last season, he led FIATC Joventut (Spain) in scoring with 13.2 points per game. Paul also has been a member of the Canton Charge (D-League) and Nizhny Novgorod (Russia). 

Next season he could play for the Sixers' Development League affiliate, the Delaware 87ers. 

Paul is one of several offseason additions for the Sixers. The team has signed Ben Simmons, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless, Gerald Henderson, Sergio Rodriguez, James Webb III and Shawn Long. The Sixers also have reportedly agreed to a deal with Cat Barber. 

Charles Barkley: Sixers can be 'really good, really quickly'

Charles Barkley: Sixers can be 'really good, really quickly'

Charles Barkley is jumping on the Sixers bandwagon.

"I think the Sixers gonna get really good, really quickly, but it all depends on (Joel) Embiid," Barkley said. "They're not gonna win a championship the next couple years, but I think they can really become a perrenial playoff team in the next three years."

Sounds good, right? Not so fast. There are a lot of "ifs" according to Barkley. 

Most of those "ifs" ride on the health of center Joel Embiid. If the big man gets healthy, and the Sixers can resolve the "glutton of big guys," Barkley likes the Sixers chances.

"I think the most important thing they need to figure out is if Joel Embiid is going to be healthy. ... I like (Jahlil) Okafor and I like (Nerlens) Noel, but they gotta figure out if Joel Embiid is going to be healthy. 

"I like Ben Simmons, but that team's got a long way to go," Barkley said.

To hear more of Barkley's thoughts on the Sixers' future, watch the full video above.