Raptors' Rapid Recap - Philadelphia 76ers 98 - Toronto Raptors 93


-If you're a fan of the Toronto Raptors, you probably couldn't be any happier than the way this one turned out.  The Toronto Raptors did drop a 98 to 93 decision to the Philadelphia 76ers tonight, but fought tooth and nail to the finish with a severely undermanned squad.  They got it to within three points with six seconds left, but blew a play to look to tie the game and Philly iced it on some free-throws by Jrue Holiday.

-How undermanned was the team?  Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon didn't make the trip, Leandro Barbosa and Amir Johnson failed to play, and Sonny Weems didn't return after half due to injury.  Essentially, the Raps were fielding something out of a D League All-Star game as a bench, but that didn't mean they were going to roll over.

-Down by as many as 15 points, the Raps used a 30 point third quarter and some stingy D to get back in this one, riding the hot hand of Jerryd Bayless for yet another match.  Bayless and DeRozan teamed up to score 51 of the Raptors' 98 points and gave the 76ers fits.  Bayless in particular was a lot to handle as he hit 9 of 17 shots, dished out 8 assists, and most importantly, refused to let this game go by without a fight.  DeRozan wasn't quite as efficient from the field, but by getting to the free-throw line 12 times, hitting 11 of the shots he took while there, it again kept TO close.  

-Both players though got some great help from the likes of Reggie Evans (8 points and 15 rebounds) and Ed Davis, who posted a double double with 14 and 10.  In fact the rebounding presence of these two and others on the Raps gave the Dinos a 41 to 30 advantage on the glass, one of the other big reasons the Raps hung around.  Even guys like Joey Dorsey, Julian Wright and Alexis Ajinca gave the team solid minutes, and this was one of the team's better efforts all season...especially considering they were playing on the road against a Philly team still fighting for playoff positioning.

-The 76ers' Elton Brand who posted 22 points and 8 rebounds, and Thaddeus Young (20 points), Jrue Holiday (13 points and 11 assists) and Andre Iguodala (16 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists) all contributed to this win by the 76ers, but you can see the gaping hole left in Louis Williams' absence at presence.  At times without their big guns on the floor, the bench crew looked lost and Toronto was able to take advantage.

-Besides the fight shown by Toronto tonight, the other positive unfortunately is that the team's lottery chances remain alive and well with the loss.  The Wizards lost again, this time to the Celtics, and the Kings are in tough against Grizz at the moment, so the Dinos did their part in fighting to the finish in admirable fashion, yet still coming up short.

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