Raptors Still Have No Answers For The Sixers Or Atlantic Division

So, were in Philly and Kyle Lowry says no way I am not playing in this one. Well not exactly sure what he said, but he will be playing coming off the bench and thus T.J Ford and Jose Calderon memories flood your mind. Just a logical guess though that we see Lowry back as the starter by Friday against Detroit. Lowry’s return does nothing to solve the Raptors issues entirely though. Still have a serious hole at the small forward and Andrea Bargnani is still a problem. Dominic McGuire played well against Orlando and Linas Kleiza since his return from a family matter has been in the line-up and producing. Will Lowry’s return provide a spark to get the Raptors over the hump against Philly? Time we find out.

After a 4-4 start to this one the Raptors got on a roll and went on an 8-0 run with everyone contributing. A DeRozan dunk and even a Bargnani baseline mid-range jumper and that made it 12-4 Raptors and time out for Doug Collins. Raptors run would end at 10-0 with a Jrue Holiday jumper. Dominic McGuire who showed some signs of looking good against the Magic was doing that same so far tonight with a score.

Lowry checked in with Jose still on the floor and the Raptors lead at 7 points. Good News you would think, but not so much as the Raptors small line-up give up 6 straight to the Sixers. Raptors balancing act of getting Lowry and Calderon time may prove to be a problem. Just like it was with….you knows where this was going. Raptors got away from the two point guard experiment and build the lead back to 8. The Raptors with a good first quarter minus the terrible stretch with the small line-up on the floor.  Raptors on top 29-22.

Casey tried going with Lucas and Lowry to some better results and the reason why is simple: defense. Raptors were maintaining a 7 point advantage till Thaddeus Young got a steal and a dunk. Casey would call a time out with Raptors leading 40-35 with 5:43 to play in the half. Jose Calderon scored on a nice drive to keep the Raptors ahead as Philly had got the lead down to just two. Lowry meanwhile may have hurt his wrist will see what happens there. Philly was charging hard and had lead back down to just two now it was Casey needing a time out with 2:35 to play in the half. Sixers finally got this game tied at 46. Raptors shooting 1 for their last 8 attempts weren’t helping. Philly would take their first lead of the night with just about a minute to play in half. Bargnani would tie it up but then Holiday would hit a three. Jose would answer with a three and this was an entertaining finish to the half ending up all even at 51.

Sixers got the early jump in the half with the first four points it would be a back and forth battle the rest of the next 6 minutes. Raptors had Lowry go down as did Jason Richardson but Lowry was ok. Raptors were as well with a 71-65 lead and Jonas had his second career double-double and was just in the third. Andrea Bargnani with a burst of output with a three Raptors was getting a good overall team effort to this point up 76-65. Raptors would let the lead slip to just 7 entering the final quarter.

Raptors were drawing fouls to start the fourth and with 8:13 left they were already in the bonus. Bargnani missed a pair with Raptors up 87-80. That would start a little push from Sixers to cut the lead down to just three. Nick Young was doing the damage again, as he had 17 in this game to this point and was killing the Raptors. 

DeRozan tries to reverse the curse as he is fouled and makes both. It was Thaddeus Young from Nick Young for the easy two points. DeRozan replies with a rare three…Young answers with a three. Nick Young was hot as hell with another three and it was tied at 92. Sixers would take lead on next possession. Adding insult to injury Amir Johnson fouls out and was banged up on the play. Sixers lead 99-96. Raptors perimeter defense was awful and Sixers hit yet another three from Holiday and fall behind 6 late in the fourth with just 1:20 to play. Raptors would make a turnover late and Sixers an uncontested hoop ending this one with Sixers going up 8 with just 24 seconds to play.

Sixers on the strength of a 33-18 fourth quarter take this one 106-98. An all too familiar end for Raptor fans and they fall to 0-4 in the division, 0-2 vs. Sixers and just 3-8 on the season. 

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