76ers-Raptors Preview

TORONTO -- Not only will the Philadelphia 76ers be without Robert Covington and Jahlil Okafor when they face the Toronto Raptors on Sunday at the Air Canada Centre, but they will not have them for the rest of the season.

The 76ers, also have six games left in the season, made the announcement before they lost to the Cavaliers in Cleveland, 122-105, on Friday night.

"I think at this stage of the year, it seems like it's the right thing to do," 76ers coach Brett Brown said after the game Friday. "I know they're very disappointed about not being here with the team and (not) being able to see this through, but I think it's borderline zero doubt that this is the right thing to do."

The 76ers (28-48) will complete a stretch of 11 of 14 games on the road when they play the Raptors.

With the latest injuries, the Sixers had only nine players available on Friday. Sergio Rodriguez missed his third straight game because of a strained left hamstring and is scheduled to be re-evaluated Monday.

"It's just unfortunate in like the last 10, 15, 20 games of the year that we really have been undermanned and hadn't had the full roster," 76ers guard Nik Stauskas said.

Covington sustained what was termed a slight tear of the lateral meniscus in his right knee on Tuesday against the Brooklyn Nets. The forward will week a second opinion to see if surgery is required.

As for Okafor, he has missed the four consecutive games and 11 overall this season with a sore right knee. The center has experienced soreness since undergoing surgery for a slight meniscus tear in his knee March 22, 2016.

They joined Joel Embiid (torn meniscus in his left knee), Ben Simmons (fractured right foot) and Jerryd Bayless (torn ligaments in his left wrist) as 76ers with season-ending injuries.

The 76ers intend to sign power forward Alex Poythress, according to The Vertical.

Poythress is 6-8, 235-pounds and was undrafted out of Kentucky last year. He has averaged 18.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.4 blocked shots this season with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League. He was a D-League All-Star.

The Raptors, without point guard Kyle Lowry who is out for the rest of the regular season after wrist surgery, defeated the Indiana Pacers, 111-100, on Friday and have won seven of their last eight games.

The Raptors (46-30) are tied for third in the Eastern Conference with the Washington Wizards, but hold the tiebreaker.

DeMar DeRozan scored 40 points for the Raptors, the seventh time this season that he has scored 40 or more. It also was the 30th time this season that he has scored at least 30 points in a game, matching Vince Carter's club record set in 2000-01.

"Every record is an honor," DeRozan said. "It's big and I don't believe it. I go home and I still don't believe it, so it's great. Maybe after I finish playing I'll look back at it and be amazed."

The Raptors are 14-6 without Lowry and the way DeRozan has played is a big reason for that.

"Put a little bit more thought in the overall game, understanding not just getting myself going but getting everybody else going," DeRozan said when asked about the difference it makes playing without Lowry.

"With Kyle out there, we lean on him for a lot, he's does things for us a lot of times and it makes the game come easier for a lot of us. Without him, I try to do the same as if I was Kyle, and try to think for everybody else, try to get easy things going on both ends."

The Raptors have won two of the three meetings with the 76ers this season. The 76ers won, 94-89, at Philadelphia on Jan. 18 and the Raptors won, 122-95, on Nov. 28 at Toronto and, 123-114, at Philadelphia on Dec. 14.

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