By Jerry Wein

The Sixers are starting to get their sidelined players back from COVID and injury.

But not even Tobias Harris (COVID) and Seth Curry (foot) could lift the Sixers last night at the Wells.

Gary Trent Jr. and Fred VanVleet hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the final 1:10 to lift the Raptors to a 115-109 win.

Joel Embiid, Isaiah Joe, and Matisse Thybulle are still in the NBA’s health and safety protocols and sat out again.

Curry did return from a foot injury and Harris scored 19 points in his return from a six-game absence after testing positive for COVID-19.

“We just need bodies. He’s a warm body. The fact that he’s one of our better players helps,” coach Doc Rivers said.

The Sixers need more reinforcements and have lost three straight games. Tyrese Maxey did score 33 points for the Sixers.

Andre Drummond had put the Sixers ahead 109-107 with 1:44 left and then followed with a blocked shot on the next possession that sent the crowd into a frenzy.

The Raptors played hard until the end, a trait that can work wonders for a team trying to surprise this season.

“It’s been in the culture with the Raptors for a while,” coach Nick Nurse said. “We just believe in it, talk about it, drill it. We hold guys accountable. I think the biggest metric is your heart and your toughness and your desire to want to do it. Fortunately, our guys most nights will do that.”Trent, though, hit the 3 with 1:10 left that put the Raptors ahead.

The Raptors led most of the fourth quarter until the Sixers went on a late run. Shake Milton hit a 3 and his baseline drive cut it to 92-89 before Harris scored to bring the Sixers within one. VanVleet and Svi Mykhailiuk, though, each buried 3-pointers that stretched the lead and OG Anunoby dunked off a turnover.

Anunoby then hit a 3, one of 14 for the Raptors.

“He’s always been a great all-around talent,” Trent said. “This year, I’ve seen him lead in certain situation situations, find certain guys. He’s just being that ultimate team player, that ultimate winner.”

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