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Raptors Hit Break On A Winning Note By Holding Off Sixers

Related: Box Score | Photos | Game Rap: Raps Survive Sixers To Make It Eight Straight At Home
Video: Game In Six | Triano | Bosh | Johnson | Weems | Jack
More Video: Bosh's Shake & Bake | DeMar Out Of Nowhere | Calderon The Set Up Man
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February 10, 2010

TORONTO (CP) -- The Toronto Raptors head into the NBA all-star break on a roll, but the Philadelphia 76ers made them work for it on Wednesday night.

The Raptors won their eighth in a row at home, surviving a furious fourth-quarter comeback in a 104-93 victory over the 76ers.

Toronto blew a 23-point third-quarter lead as the 76ers tied it 93-93 with 2:06 to play on Thaddeus Young's running lay-up.

But the Raptors' Jose Calderon was fouled by Willie Green on a three-point attempt and made the ensuing free throw to make it 97-93.

``It was a big bucket and we hadn't made a lot of threes to that point,'' said Raptors head coach Jay Triano. ``We put Jose on the floor because we just felt we needed another shooter. We found him. I didn't think he was going to shoot it right away.''

After Antoine Wright came up with a steal for Toronto (29-23), Bargnani hit a three-pointer with 41 seconds left to seal it and send the crowd of 16,651 at Air Canada Centre into a frenzy.

The victory ties the franchise record for wins at the all-star break. Toronto was 29-21 in the 2001-02 season and 29-24 in 2006-07.

The loss ended a string of five consecutive victories for the 76ers (20-32), who got 26 points from Louis Williams, including 14 in Philadelphia's fourth-quarter run. Young finished with 15.

``Lou Williams gave them a big spark,'' said Chris Bosh, who led the Raptors with 23 points and 12 rebounds. ``He hit some tough shots and that really got them going.

``First, it kept them around and then he made a couple of tough shots at the end. We missed a couple of easy ones. They had the momentum going and they took advantage of it, especially with their fast pace up and down.''

Bargnani added 16 points for Toronto, while Sonny Weems and DeMar DeRozan had 14 each.

The Raptors led by 23 with 2:58 left in the third quarter.

``We knew this team was going to run at us like that,'' Triano said of the 76ers rally. ``We were fortunate they didn't do it in the first half. They did it to try to get back in the game and it worked.

``We don't have a lot of defence for guys that are going that fast and running right at us.''

The game also marked the return of Raptors forward Reggie Evans, who played for the first time since he suffered a left foot injury in the pre-season.

He entered the game in the second quarter to chants of ``Reggie, Reggie'' and had two points, three rebounds and one assist.

``He worked hard, we did what we'd thought he'd do,'' Triano said. ``And he got completely gassed. We needed to get him on the floor going into the break. It was a good start for him.''

Evans finished with 5:12 of playing time.

``I was tired,'' said Evans, a former 76er. ``When I came out of the game I felt like I was going to pass out.''

The Raptors led at the half 50-41, thanks in large part to Bosh's 10 points. They shot 52.2 per cent from the floor and Philadelphia shot 46.2 per cent.

Toronto scored the first nine points of the third and led 78-63 heading to the fourth.

``I think everybody is looking forward to the break,'' Triano said. ``It was motivation for our guys to fight through over the last little bit and maintain focus and finish the first half strong and I thought we did that.''

Notes: Raptors forward Hedo Turkoglu missed Wednesday's game because of an illness in his family. Weems started in his place. ... Guard Marco Belinelli, who missed Sunday's win over Sacramento with a sore left ankle was back in action on Wednesday. ... The Raptors return from the all-star game break on Feb. 17 when they play the Memphis Grizzlies at ACC. ... The Raptors record for consecutive home victories is nine, set between Feb. 23 to March 8, 2000.