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Kelly Oubre Jr.’s season-high 32 points, Kyle Lowry’s double-double propel Sixers past Raptors

The Sixers made up for Tyrese Maxey's absence by shooting a franchise-record 24-for-43 from three-point range in Toronto.

Sixers guard Cameron Payne searches for an opening  as he keeps Toronto Raptors guard Kobi Simmons at bay.
Sixers guard Cameron Payne searches for an opening as he keeps Toronto Raptors guard Kobi Simmons at bay.Read moreFrank Gunn / AP

TORONTO — No Tyrese Maxey, no problem.

At least while playing the reeling Raptors. And with Kelly Oubre Jr. pouring in a season-high 32 points.

Oubre and the 76ers bolted out to a big lead without their injured All-Star point guard, propelling them to a much-needed 135-120 victory Sunday night at Scotiabank Arena.

“We shot the ball really well,” coach Nick Nurse said after the game. “But a lot of that was off of some really good, I think, next passes or one more pass. We were creating a lot of those. Things kind of shift [with Maxey out]. Kelly becomes kind of one of our main guys. Cam Payne’s a main driver. Tobias [Harris] had a good segment there when the game got closer.

“A lot of guys contribute, but a lot of it just had to do with making the right play a lot of the time.”

The win also guaranteed that the Sixers (40-35) would not lose ground in the Eastern Conference standings Sunday, with seven regular-season games to play. They remained 1½ games behind the seventh-place Miami Heat (who beat the Washington Wizards on Sunday), and trimmed the gap between them and the sixth-place Indiana Pacers (who were off Sunday) to two games.

Maxey — who is averaging 25.6 points and 6.2 assists per game, and has been the Sixers’ primary offensive option during Joel Embiid’s absence — sat out Sunday’s matchup with left hip tightness. His team collectively picked up his scoring production by making a franchise-record 24 three-pointers on 43 attempts, and shot 57.6% overall against a Raptors team that dropped its 13th consecutive game and has been one of the NBA’s worst defenses all season.

Oubre went 6-of-11 from three-point range — including one at the first-half buzzer to give the Sixers a 71-55 lead — and added seven rebounds and three assists. Kyle Lowry put up a double-double (11 points, 10 assists) in his latest return to Toronto, where he starred for nine seasons and won the 2019 NBA title while playing for now-Sixers coach Nurse. Payne had 24 points on 6-of-10 shooting from long range after moving into the starting lineup, while Harris finished with 21 points and nine rebounds, and Nico Batum added 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting.

Toronto briefly made things interesting when a Jordan Nwora floater cut what had been an 18-point Sixers lead to 101-95 in the fourth quarter’s opening minute. But Batum answered with one of his five three-pointers, and Harris followed with a jumper to push the Sixers’ advantage back to 11. The Raptors never got closer than seven after that.

The Sixers built a 14-point first-quarter advantage, fueled by a 7-of-11 mark from beyond the arc. That grew to 57-39 on a Batum three-pointer with less than five minutes to play in the second quarter, but then Toronto staged a 10-2 run capped by a Gary Trent Jr. steal and basket to prompt a Nurse timeout before the Sixers’ surge before the break.

The Sixers host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday before heading back on the road for a crucial Thursday showdown in Miami.