Good morning, 76ers fans. The Sixers won their last road game before the All-Star break with Tuesday’s 109-102 victory over the Toronto Raptors in Tampa.

At 21-11 the Sixers own a half-game lead over the surging Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference. The Sixers have four remaining home games before the All-Star break all at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Sixers won Tuesday despite not having their best offensive performance and despite an issue that has plagued them throughout this year: Too many turnovers.

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— Marc Narducci (offthedribble@inquirer.com)

Still too, too many turnovers

The expectations for the Sixers should at a point where winning isn’t always good enough. That’s because the mistakes that occurred in wins could lead to future losses.

In Tuesday’s win, the Sixers committed 19 turnovers, leading Toronto to 23 points. Conversely, the Raptors committed 10 turnovers, leading the Sixers to 10 points.

“You know the turnovers hurt us, they forced 18 of them (19 team turnovers) but overall I thought Joel (Embiid) was great with the ball, made the right decisions, we made the right decisions, that’s how you win games,” coach Doc Rivers said after Tuesday’s win.

It’s tough to agree with that statement since Embiid committed six turnovers, including three on bad passes.

It was a credit to the Sixers that they were able to win when Embiid had a rare off night, shooting 3-for-13 from the field along with the half dozen turnovers. (Like the Sixers, Embiid is judged on a higher curve, which is why on a night he had 18 points and 12 rebounds, it was considered a poor performance.)

According to Rivers, the Sixers played one of their two or three best defensive games. That was the main reason they were able to overcome the turnovers.

When asked about the high turnover total, Rivers said, “I would say four or five of them came down the stretch. So I thought that was more helter-skelter, forcing turnovers and we didn’t handle that well, but through the game, if you go through the first three and a half quarters I thought it was a pretty low turnover game.”

Not to nitpick, but that wasn’t totally true. The Sixers had 16 turnovers midway through the fourth quarter. They committed their 17th with 5:13 left and there were two down the stretch, with 1:03 and with 23 seconds remaining.

Either way, the Sixers need to cut down their turnovers. The Sixers are currently 28th in the NBA in turnovers, averaging 15.7 per game. Only Chicago (15.9) and Miami (16.3) are averaging more per game.

The Sixers have two players in the Top 20 in turnovers. Embiid is 12th (3.4 per game) and Ben Simmons is 17th (3.3).

Most of the leaders in assists are All-star players. They commit more turnovers because they handle the ball more, but nevertheless, the Sixers still need to cut down their total if they are to reach their full potential.

Starting five

Keith Pompey has the story on Simmons being named an All-Star and Tobias Harris being snubbed in the vote by Eastern Conference coaches.

Pompey writes that Shake Milton is ready to lead the Sixers’ bench out of its recent rut.

After Toronto’s win over the Sixers on Monday, Pompey posed the question of whether other teams will use the aggressive double-teaming that the Raptors did on Embiid.

Pompey writes about the Sixers’ struggles on the road, although acknowledging that the record is much better than a year ago.

The Brooklyn Nets became the fourth different No. 1 team in The Inquirer NBA power rankings. The Sixers remained in the Top 10.

Select Sixers All-Star company

With Simmons earning his third All-Star bid, it put him in select Sixers company.

Here are the players in franchise history with three or more All-Star selections while they were with the Sixers and/or Syracuse Nationals. (Information courtesy of the Sixers).

Dolph Schayes, 12

Julius Erving, 11

Hal Greer, 10

Allen Iverson, 7

Charles Barkley, 6

Larry Costello, 6

Maurice Cheeks, 4

Doug Collins, 4

Billy Cunningham, 4

Moses Malone, 4

Joel Embiid, 4

Wilt Chamberlain, 3

John “Red” Kerr, 3

Paul Seymour, 3

Chet Walker, 3

Ben Simmons, 3

Erving has the most All-Star Game selections among this group with 16. The other five came when he was in the ABA.

Important dates

Thursday: Dallas Mavericks at Sixers, 7 p.m. Wells Fargo Center, TNT

Saturday: Cleveland Cavaliers at Sixers, 7 p.m. Wells Fargo Center, NBC Sports Philadelphia

Monday: Indiana Pacers at Sixers, 7 p.m. Wells Fargo Center, NBC Sports Philadelphia

March 3: Utah Jazz at Sixers, 7 p.m. Wells Fargo Center, NBC Sports Philadelphia

March 7: All-Star Game, 8 p.m. State Farm Arena, Atlanta, TNT

Passing the rock

Question: Why not give Cousins a 10 day at least? — Luis Rodriguez from Facebook

Answer: Thanks for the question, Luis. DeMarcus Cousins would want to go to a place where he would get consistent minutes. With Embiid at center and Harris at power forward, there wouldn’t be many minutes. Plus what would you do with Dwight Howard if you bring Cousins in? Cousins averaged 20.2 minutes this year in Houston and wouldn’t come close to that total with the Sixers. Also, he has had injuries and it has affected his game. He is taking the most three-pointers in his career per 100 possessions (10.8) and is only shooting 33.6%. I think he can help teams but I don’t think he is a good fit for the Sixers.