Raptors, Sixers tangle in Philly

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(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Raptors have struggled in recent weeks and hope to snap out of it Friday against the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Raptors have lost eight of their last 11 games and are 1-1 on a three-game road trip. They defeated the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday, then suffered a 92-86 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday night.

Lou Williams scored 21 points off the bench and All-Star Kyle Lowry ended with 20 points for the Raptors. Jonas Valanciunas finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.

Toronto, which still holds a comfortable 9 1/2-game lead in the Atlantic Division, shot just 31.8 percent and fell to 11-8 on the road.

"Once our offense catches up with our defense we'll be back to...winning more games," Lowry said.

Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan, who recently missed 21 games with a groin injury and was held scoreless his previous two games, finished with six points on only 2-of-11 shooting.

Valanciunas is listed as questionable Friday with a sore calf.

The Raptors will host the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.

Philadelphia has lost three in a row and five of its last six games, including Wednesday's 98-91 setback to the New York Knicks.

Michael Carter-Williams led the Sixers with 27 points, seven assists and six rebounds, while Robert Covington scored 17 points. Henry Sims chipped in 11 points and pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds for the 76ers, who shot 36.7 percent from the floor and gave up 18 points on 14 turnovers.

"I was just trying to keep us in the game," Carter-Williams said. "I was trying to keep it close and hopefully at the end we could squeeze it out."

Sixers forward Nerlens Noel (illness) is probable Friday and forward Luc Mbah a Moute (knee) is questionable.

Philadelphia is just 3-17 at home and will visit the Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans next. The Sixers have lost the first two meetings with the Raptors this season and will host them on March 2.