76ers-Raptors Preview

The Associated Press

A slew of new faces will try to help the Toronto Raptors turn around a sluggish stretch.

The Philadelphia 76ers would like to begin altering one of their own, and solving their turnover issues could help.

The Raptors are expected to have four new additions available Friday night when they attempt to win for the second time in eight tries against the 76ers.

Toronto (7-13) may be one game back of Boston for the Atlantic Division lead, but the team made a major move Monday with the future in mind.

In a deal that provided some financial flexibility following this season, the Raptors sent Rudy Gay, Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy to Sacramento in exchange for guard Greivis Vasquez and forwards Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes.

The Raptors finally have everyone available.

"We got a full house," said coach Dwane Casey, who was limited to 10 players in Tuesday's 116-103 loss to San Antonio that put Toronto on the cusp of its first five-game home losing streak since Jan. 12-28, 2011.

Vasquez and Salmons may find themselves in much more prominent roles after averaging 9.8 and 5.8 points with the Kings this season.

Casey, though, thinks their contributions will go beyond scoring.

"Where he helps, and also where John helps, is giving us another ball handler," he said. "It gives us another ball handler who can run pick and rolls, that can handle the basketball. Our transition offense should be a little bit better, as far as the ball getting up the floor. Both John and he are good pick-and-roll defenders, so it helps us a lot of ways."

Vasquez certainly made a key impact in his last meeting with the Sixers on Jan. 15, scoring 23 points while dishing out nine assists in a 111-99 win with New Orleans.

Despite the acquisitions, guard DeMar DeRozan should continue to be the driving force offensively. He leads the team with a career-high 21.5 points per game and is scoring 24.4 over the past seven at home. However, Toronto has won once in that stretch.

DeRozan had 33 points in a 108-98 victory in Philadelphia on Nov. 20.

The Sixers (7-16) committed 20 turnovers in that meeting, and their average of 18.0 is among the worst in the NBA. They totaled a season high-tying 26 turnovers in Wednesday's 106-99 loss at Minnesota, leaving coach Brett Brown searching for answers.

"There's a trend in what we do in pace, outlets or kick-aheads or skip passes," Brown said. "There was a trend in trying to get the ball to the post and how we reacted to that. Then there was a trend in playing to the crowd. We went through those areas with the team to try to identify why and how those turnovers happened."

Forward Evan Turner, who leads the Sixers with 20.3 points per game, had a career-high nine turnovers while scoring 13. He is averaging 15.0 points and shooting 39.1 percent during a four-game losing streak for Philadelphia, which has dropped 16 of 20 since opening 3-0.

Spencer Hawes, who scored 20 on Wednesday, had a season-best 28 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 10 of 13 last month against Toronto.

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