Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sixers head north to face Raptors

The resurgent Philadelphia 76ers have been playing solid basketball on their home floor. Now, Doug Collins' club hopes to get things going on the road as they face the reeling Toronto Raptors north of the border.

The Sixers improved to 14-7 at Wells Fargo Center on Monday after winning only 12 times as the host last season when Thaddeus Young came off the bench to score a game-high 24 points while Elton Brand added 22 points and nine rebounds as Philadelphia ran past Phoenix, 105-95.

Rookie Evan Turner supplied 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists in a reserve role and Lou Williams contributed 14 points and six helpers for the Sixers, who produced 23 fast break points in their second straight win and fourth victory in their last six games.

"It was another good win against a very good Western Conference team," Collins said. "I thought our bench came in and was terrific."

Jrue Holiday chipped in eight points, eight assists and a season-high six steals for the hosts, who matched a season-best with 12 thefts.

The Sixers have dropped five straight on the road, however, and are just 5-18 on the season away from the City of Brotherly Love.

The Raptors, meanwhile, dropped their eighth straight on Monday when Rudy Gay hit a the game-winning fade away shot with 0.9 seconds left as Memphis edged Toronto, 100-98, at Air Canada Centre.

Andrea Bargnani posted 29 points for Toronto, which had its NBA record of 986 straight games with a three-pointer halted after going 0-for-13 from beyond the arc. The streak began on February 26, 1999.

DeMar DeRozan had 25 points and nine rebounds for the Raptors, who are in the midst of their longest losing streak since a 10-game slide from March 26-April 12, 2006. Jerryd Bayless had 15 points and 11 rebounds in the loss.

"We've played hard. With all the guys banged up, we've played pretty good basketball," said Toronto head coach Jay Triano, who was playing with only four reserves.

The banged-up Raptors were without Jose Calderon (flu), Joey Dorsey (strained right patella tendon), Linas Kleiza (sore right knee), Leandro Barbosa (strained hamstring) and former Sixer Reggie Evans (broken right foot). Calderon, Kleiza and Dorsey are all listed as game-time decisions tonight.

The Sixers have lost three straight and six of seven to the Raptors, including two meetings this season.

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