Raptors Losing Streak Hits Nine With Loss To 76ers
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January 26, 2011
TORONTO (AP) -- When Philadelphia coach Doug Collins discovered a hole in Toronto's zone, Marreese Speights blew it wide open.
Speights scored 17 of his season-high 23 points in the second quarter, Jrue Holiday had 15 points and 11 assists, and the 76ers beat the Raptors 107-94 on Wednesday night.
"It's interesting how you watch tape some times," Collins said. "I was watching the Spurs-Toronto game and one of the sets (San Antonio) runs, we run and Toronto was struggling stopping it when they played zone. We ran that play almost the entire second quarter. Mo rolled to the basket and Jrue did a nice job finding him for those little pocket passes and scores."
Even Speights was surprised by how quickly he piled up the points.
"It was pretty easy," Speights said. "The zone wasn't really that hard to break."
Andre Iguodala and Lou Williams each scored 15 and Elton Brand had 14 as the 76ers won their third straight, matching a season high. Philadelphia beat Toronto for the first time in three meetings this season.
"We knew they were going to play some zone and we knew where the weaknesses were inside of that zone," Williams said. "We just attacked it and it worked for us."
Thanks to Speights, Williams and 10 points apiece from Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner, Philadelphia's bench outscored Toronto's 58-17.
"Our second unit is probably our best offensive team," Collins said.
Williams agreed with his coach's assessment.
"We're strong right now," he said. "You can line us up with anybody's bench in the league and you know we'll be right up there with them."
Speights finished with nine rebounds, narrowly missing his first double-double of the season.
"Marreese is starting to get his confidence back," Iguodala said. "He's been playing well the last couple of games. Even when he hasn't been scoring, he's been solid for us."
DeMar DeRozan scored 29 and Andrea Bargnani had 17, but only two in the second half, as the Raptors lost their ninth straight. It's Toronto's longest losing streak since a 10-game slide from March 26 to April 12, 2006.
"I thought our defense was very porous all night," Raptors coach Jay Triano said. "They kind of got in to where they wanted to go."
Amir Johnson scored 15 and Jose Calderon had eight points and 13 assists for the Raptors, who have lost 13 of 15 and 22 of 27.
Philadelphia topped 100 points in consecutive games for the first time since doing it in back-to-back losses Jan. 8 at Detroit and Jan. 11 against Indiana.
Calderon returned to the starting lineup after missing Monday's loss to Memphis with flulike symptoms, but Toronto was still without Linas Kleiza, who sat for the fifth time in six games with a sore right knee.
Sonny Weems made his second straight appearance after missing the previous 18 games with back spasms, while Joey Dorsey dressed but did not play for Toronto after missing the previous two games with a sore right knee.
DeRozan scored 11 points in the opening quarter as Toronto led 29-20. But Speights came off the bench and almost single-handedly turned that around in the second, scoring 13 points in the first four minutes as the 76ers took the lead with a 14-4 run.
"Our bench was fabulous," Collins said. "Mo Speights was our ace of Speights tonight."
Speights had 17 in the second, one more than his previous season high, but Bargnani's 3-pointer with 13 seconds left made it a 50-all tie at the half.
Williams scored 11 in the third, including a trio of 3-pointers, and Iguodala added 10 as the 76ers took an 84-77 lead into the fourth.
After its streak of 986 games with at least one 3-pointer end Monday, Toronto's first 3 of the night came from guard Trey Johnson, who signed a 10-day contract before the game. The Raptors went 2 for 8 from 3-point range.
NOTES: The 76ers also won three straight from Dec. 12 to Dec. 15, beating New Orleans, New Jersey and the Los Angeles Clippers. ... Speights scored a career-high 28 points against the Clippers on Dec. 19, 2009. ... Besides signing Johnson, Toronto released G Sundiata Gaines. Johnson was the leading scorer in the D-League, averaging 25.8 points in 26 games for the Bakersfield Jam ... Alexis Ajinca, acquired in Monday's trade with Dallas, made his Raptors debut. ... Bargnani had to head to the locker room late in the first quarter after jamming his toe but soon returned after getting a protective cap put on it.