Sixers vs. Raptors: Tobias Harris set to return from COVID-19

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Harris, Curry return for final Sixers game before long road trip originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Both the Sixers and Raptors will hope to snap losing streaks Thursday night.

6-6 Toronto has dropped three straight, while the 8-4 Sixers came up empty in their back-to-back against New York and Milwaukee.

Here are the essentials for Thursday’s matchup: 

  • When: 7 p.m. ET with Sixers Pregame Live at 6:15 p.m. 

  • Where: Wells Fargo Center 

  • Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia 

  • Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the MyTeams app 

And here are three storylines to watch: 

Harris and Curry back

Tobias Harris and Seth Curry will both return to the Sixers' starting lineup.

Harris had been sidelined after testing positive for COVID-19, while Curry missed a game due to a left foot contusion. Sixers head coach Doc Rivers said pregame he doesn't expect Harris to play his usual number of minutes. 

In the six games Harris missed, Georges Niang scored 16.8 points per contest and averaged 28.1 minutes. While Niang’s success in the largest role of his NBA career has been among the Sixers’ early-season bright spots, Rivers will be glad to lessen his load. 

Toronto’s Pascal Siakam (left shoulder injury management) will sit out the second night of a back-to-back. The Raptors fell Wednesday to the Celtics, only managing 88 points. 

Barnes a formidable rookie 

No. 4 overall pick Scottie Barnes leads all rookies in points (17.0) and rebounds (8.5) per game. 

He’s seemingly good at everything besides shooting three-pointers. As long as Barnes stays healthy and the Raptors remain in the playoff mix following a 27-win season, he should contend for Rookie of the Year. 

Big guard Dalano Banton is another Raptors rookie to watch. Toronto isn’t especially deep, though, ranking 30th in bench minutes per game and 29th in bench scoring. Even if the Sixers again play just three men off the bench, they shouldn’t have a drastic disadvantage in second-unit firepower. 

Long trip looming 

The Sixers are about to play six consecutive games on the road, as well as 10 of their next 12. 

Once that stretch is over, the team doesn’t have a road trip more than three games the rest of the season. While Tyrese Maxey’s been outstanding and the Sixers have competed very hard despite the team’s many notable absences, the results do count in the standing regardless of how difficult the circumstances are. 

With two games left at Wells Fargo Center this month after Thursday’s, a win would no doubt be nice.