Sixers win sixth straight as Raptors remain winless
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) – Allen Iverson scored a season-high 42 points as
the Philadelphia 76ers saw a 20-point lead disappear, then hung on to defeat
the winless Toronto Raptors 121-115 at the Air Canada Centre.
Andre Iguodala tallied a career-high 26 points, including six three-pointers,
to go along with 10 rebounds, while Chris Webber added 21 points for the
76ers, who have won six straight games.
Philadelphia shot 54 percent from the floor, including 56 percent (9-of-16)
from beyond the arc.
“I think the most impressive part was the ability to hold off a team that’s
really trying to get a win,” Sixers head coach Maurice Cheeks said. “We went
up 20 points and they had the ability to come back. For us to withstand
the rise that they were putting on us, I think that’s the most impressive part
because it was a hard fought game.”
Mike James scored a career-high 38 points for Toronto, which at 0-8 continued
its franchise-worst start.
“We just have to continue believing in ourselves,” James said. “I think the
main thing is, that it is not an individual thing. We have to find a way to
stop the bleeding.”
Chris Bosh, who had 23 points and 10 rebounds, added his sixth double-double
of the season while Joey Graham added a career-high 13 points for the Raptors.
Desperation brought the Raptors back from the depths of what looked like a
blowout in the first quarter.
Toronto cut the lead to two several times in the fourth, but could get no
closer. After a timeout just under the five-minute mark, John Salmons drove
along the right baseline for a lay-in, then stole a pass and passed it ahead
to Iverson, who found a streaking Webber for the layup.
Ahead 107-103, Iguodala drained his sixth three-pointer of the contest to
increase the Sixers’ lead to seven. However, Morris Peterson then connected on
a three-point play to trim the lead to four, 115-111, with 1:18 remaining.
After a Webber miss, James hit a driving left-handed layup to cut the lead to
two with 55 seconds left. After another 76ers miss, James attempted a jumper
in the lane that rolled off the rim.
The 76ers went 6-of-6 from the foul line in the final minute to ice the game.
The first quarter was indicative of two teams going in very different
The first of three first-quarter three-pointers from Iguodala gave the 76ers a
quick 11-2 lead with 9:11 left in the first.
With the score 37-19, Iverson drained a free throw to hit the 17,000 point
plateau in his career. He is fourth on the all-time 76ers scoring list.
“Obviously I couldn’t have done this without my teammates,” Iverson said of
the milestone. “They are the ones that set the screens for me and get me the
ball and that is all the teammates I’ve had in 10 years. It’s kind of like a
tribute to those guys and the coaches I’ve had that believed in me.”
When all was said and done, Iverson had torched the Raptors for 19 first-
quarter points, while the team was perfect (5-of-5) from beyond the arc and
Philadelphia led 64-54 at the break behind 25 points from Iverson. It shot 63
percent in the half and assisted on 15 of 24 made field goals.
Bosh and James each scored 14 in the half, as Toronto hit 56 percent from the
floor, with the two leading scorers connecting on 15-of-20.
Toronto would not roll over in the third. It came all the way back to tie the
game, 74-74. After Peterson hit a three-pointer, Charlie Villanueva hit a
jumper in the lane and followed with his own trey, capping an 8-0 run with
5:54 left in the quarter.
Philadelphia outscored Toronto 18-8 to hold a 90-82 lead. Iverson and Webber
triggered the run, and Iguodala hit a three-pointer during the quarter-ending
The 76ers swept the home-and-home series, defeating the Raptors 104-92 on
Tuesday night at the Wachovia Center…Philadelphia is 5-1 when scoring 100 or
more points this season… The 76ers have won six of their last eight north of
the border…Toronto has already lost six home games…Iverson has scored 40
or more points 60 times in his career, in which the team is 42-18…The 121
points were a season high for the 76ers…The Raptors have made a three-
pointer in 540 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NBA. The
record is 594 by the Miami Heat…Villanueva scored 13 points in the
loss…Atlanta (0-7) joins Toronto as the only winless teams in the NBA.