Leonard plays harder in big games, says Raptors coach Nurse

Nets end 8-game skid by edging Raptors 106-105 in OT

Nurse was right, as Valanciunas finished with 26 points, eight rebounds and a game-best plus-14 defensive rating as Toronto beat Philadelphia 113-102 on Wednesday.

"I try to perform every night", he explained.

Jonas Valanciunas had started the game on the bench and only had eight points and four rebounds in six minutes of play through three quarters but Nurse thought his seven-foot centre could exploit a matchup with 76ers big man Joel Embiid. "You've got to do it on a nightly basis". "Because normally we'd throw Kawhi on Butler like we did when he was playing for Minnesota, but now we've got to pick and choose", Nurse said.

Jimmy Butler scored a season-high 38 points and added 10 rebounds. Lowry recorded a team-high 11 assists; his 14th game with 10 or-more assists this season and the 22nd consecutive time that he has led the team outright in assists, matching Damon Stoudamire's franchise record set in 1996. Philadelphia is a good, tough opponent, and this wasn't a flawless outing for the Raptors, but it showed how talented this team is that they can fight through those games, even against a good team, and pull out the win.

Raptors: Lowry shot 0 for 5 in the first half and missed his first six attempts from 3-point range. "They gave us a really good boost and we came back, tried to do everything we can to get a win, but it kind of got away from us". He was consistently the team's scoring leader and was voted to the All-Star team four times during his stay with Toronto.

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Embiid's 23 double-doubles this season are the most by an National Basketball Association player over the first 25 games of a season since Kevin Garnett also had 23 in 2004-05. He's the fourth active player to score 500 or more in his first 20 games with his current team.

LeBron James' off-season defection from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference has opened a path for teams in the east.

Butler also only had one of Philadelphia's first 16 turnovers of the game.

The game drew several celebrities who attended Tuesday's gala for Giants of Africa, the charity of Raptors president Masai Ujiri.

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