The 76ers faced their first real test since they acquired Jimmy Butler when they traveled to face the Raptors on Wednesday.
Many felt the acquisition of Butler could help Philadelphia skyrocket to the top of the Eastern Conference, but, at least for one night, Toronto proved to be out of the young team’s reach as it registered a 113-102 win.
Butler had his best game as a 76er to date, scoring 38 points on 15-of-27 shooting. JJ Redick chipped in 25 points, but star Joel Embiid had an off night.
Ben Simmons had 11 assists and 10 rebounds, but wasn’t aggressive on the offensive end. Simmons was efficient and hit four of his six shot attempts, yet it wasn’t enough to overcome the Raptors, who pulled away in the fourth quarter.
Kawhi Leonard led the way for Toronto, scoring 36 points that were accompanied by nine rebounds. Jonas Valanciunas had a surprising offensive performance as he poured in 26 points on 9-of-13 shooting.
Studs of the Night
Stephen Curry scored 42 points and hit nine 3-pointers in the Warriors’ 129-105 victory over the Cavaliers.
Paul George scored a franchise-record 25 fourth-quarter points for the Thunder in their 114-112 comeback victory over the Nets. George scored 47 points total on 15-of-27 shooting and grabbed 15 boards as well.
Karl-Anthony Towns scored 35 points and made four of his five 3-point attempts in the Timberwolves’ 121-104 victory over the Hornets.
Julius Randle had 27 points and 18 rebounds in the Pelicans’ 132-106 victory over the Mavericks. Randle is on fire this week, as he dropped 37 points in 39 minutes in a loss to the Clippers on Monday.
LeBron James scored 42 points and dished out six assists in the Lakers’ 121-113 win over the Spurs.
Duds of the Night
Joel Embiid recorded a double-double in the 76ers’ loss to the Raptors, but only scored 10 points on 5-of-17 shooting, which made for an underwhelming night in huge game.
Maxi Kleber scored five points on 2-of-12 shooting in the Mavericks’ loss to the Pelicans.
The Bucks improved to 4-0 in their division by beating the Pistons, and Giannis Antetokounmpo put Blake Griffin on a poster along the way.
By the transitive property, Giannis just dunked over car. ?#FearTheDeer pic.twitter.com/5d3TeKFexz
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) December 6, 2018
Rockets (11-12) at Jazz (12-13) 10:30 p.m. ET — Houston has lost three of its last five games, and it has been struggling with its depth. Fortunately for the Rockets, they expect to get Brandon Knight back soon to help their backcourt woes. Meanwhile, Utah is coming off its most dominant win of the year, as it defeated San Antonio 139-105 on Tuesday. James Harden and Chris Paul should have an interesting battle with Ricky Rubio and Donovan Mitchell, but it’s not all about the guards. Clint Capela and Rudy Gobert will each be trying to assert their dominance in the paint, so it should make for some fun basketball.