Toronto at Philadelphia

76ers 98, Raptors 93

SportsLine.com wire reports
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PHILADELPHIA -- Doug Collins called himself a fixer.

"That's my nature," the 76ers coach said.

The Sixers are far removed from the state of disrepair he inherited last summer. He stabilized the franchise and turned them into winners. With the playoffs ahead for his young team, the Sixers proved his work isn't over yet.

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Elton Brand scored 22 points, Thaddeus Young had 20 and the Philadelphia 76ers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 98-93 win over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.

It was a win, just not an impressive one.

"We need to go into the playoffs feeling good," Brand said.

Andre Iguodala scored 16 points for the Sixers, who could still finish sixth in the Eastern Conference. The Sixers had already clinched their first playoff appearance in two years. With 41 wins and two games left, the Sixers can finish with a winning record for the first time since 2004-05. They went 41-41 two years ago.

The Sixers are not in postseason form with time winding down to get ready for a bullish battle against Miami or Boston. They blew a 15-point lead against a Toronto team long out of postseason contention. They missed four straight free throws in the fourth that had an eight-point lead cut to two.

Eastern Conference
SeedTeamGB
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2x-Boston-
3x-Brooklyn-
4x-Chicago-
5o-Charlotte-
6o-Cleveland-
7o-Detroit-
8y-Indiana-
Still alive
9z-Miami-
10x-Milwaukee-
11y-New York-
Eliminated
12o-Orlando-
13o-Philadelphia-
14o-Toronto-
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They overcame poor free-throw shooting and missing eight of 11 3-point attempts to give their win total -- and confidence -- an overdue boost.

It's just not enough to soothe Collins' concerns.

"We're just a little bit off-kilter right now," Collins said. "We're not as connected as we've been. Our rotation is a little screwed up right now."

He held the Sixers longer than usual with his postgame speech and stressed the need to keep their focus. He gave them Saturday off and hoped a day away from hoops would clear their minds.

"I'm personally anxious," Brand said. "I hope we're not looking ahead. Maybe that has a little bit to do with it."

The Sixers are clearly missing Lou Williams. The reserve guard was an energetic scoring force off the bench. He was fourth on the team in scoring with 13.7 points when he was lost for the rest of the regular season with a strained right hamstring. He was hurt last Saturday and the Sixers don't know if Williams can return for the first round.

"We're out of sync," Collins said. "You lose a big part of the team."

Evan Turner, the No. 2 overall pick in last year's draft, gobbled the minutes devoted to Williams and scored 10 points. Turner and Young were the only Sixers reserves to play more than 3 minutes.

DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 27 points and Jerryd Bayless had 24. Ed Davis scored 14. Raptors forward Sonny Weems left the game in the second quarter with a sore right knee and did not return.

Bayless kept the Raptors in it with a 3-pointer with 28.5 seconds left that pulled them to 96-93. Toronto snagged Iguodala's missed driving layup, and set up one last play out of a timeout.

Bayless shot an airball to end the threat.

Raptors forward Reggie Evans was whistled for a technical late earlier in the fourth after arguing a no-foul call. Coach Jay Triano also was hit with a 'T' and was ejected for arguing the same play.

Jodie Meeks made 1 of 2 free throws for the Sixers to make it 88-80. The Sixers were 23 for 31 from the line -- the kind of performance that could cost them in a tight playoff game.

Triano said he had "no idea" why he was tossed.

"We said we weren't going to quit and we didn't," he said. "

The Raptors played the first half like a team that couldn't wait for the season to end. They missed 14 straight shots over the first and second quarters, dribbled the ball off their feet and passes were sloppy.

Brand led the Sixers early and Iguodala's jumper midway through the second put them up 33-18.

Down 54-42 at the break, the Raptors finally got their game together. The Raptors found their touch and made 12 of 18 shots in the third. Bayless' 3 with 21 seconds gave the Raptors a 72-70 lead.

Young, though, ended the third with a three-point play and Iguodala opened the fourth with one of his own to help the Sixers get some breathing room.

"I just want to see us keep growing, not go backwards," Brand said.

Notes

Raptors C Andrea Bargnani has missed five of the last seven games with a sore right ankle. ... The Sixers and Raptors finished the season series tied 2-all. ... The Sixers have held opponents below 100 points in each of the past seven games. ... Young outscored the Raptors bench 20-11.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
 
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Scoreboard
Toronto (21-58)1824302193
Philadelphia (41-39) «2826192598
TOR:D. DeRozan 27 Pts
TOR:R. Evans 15 Reb
TOR:J. Bayless 8 Ast
PHI:E. Brand 22 Pts
PHI:E. Brand 8 Reb
PHI:J. Holiday 11 Ast
Players of the Game
TorontoPhiladelphia

Jerryd Bayless

Elton Brand
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
24482280
Toronto
J. Bayless, PG429-173-448324
D. DeRozan, SG428-1911-1223327
E. Davis, PF395-114-4101414
R. Evans, PF344-80-015238
J. Johnson, PF253-82-21449
J. Wright, SF261-10-02422
A. Ajinca, C162-50-03055
S. Weems, SG91-20-11012
J. Dorsey, PF71-20-03002
L. Barbosa, SGDid Not Play
A. Johnson, SFDid Not Play
L. Kleiza, SFDid Not Play
J. Calderon, PGDid Not Play
A. Bargnani, CDid Not Play
S. Alabi, CDid Not Play
Totals 34-7320-2341222593
 46.6%87.0% 
Philadelphia
J. Holiday, PG403-117-7411113
J. Meeks, SG402-114-671110
E. Brand, PF3910-162-280322
A. Iguodala, SG307-121-333416
S. Hawes, C243-51-23347
T. Young, SF338-134-710220
E. Turner, SG303-74-432310
A. Daniels, PG40-00-01000
T. Battie, PFDid Not Play
D. Songaila, PFDid Not Play
J. Kapono, SGDid Not Play
A. Nocioni, SFDid Not Play
L. Williams, SGDid Not Play
M. Speights, PFDid Not Play
C. Brackins, PFDid Not Play
Totals 36-7523-3130201898
 48.0%74.2% 
Other Games
Atl 102 Final
Ind 114
NY 116 Final
NJ 93
Wash 88 Final
Bos 104
Chi 93 Final
Cle 82
Mil 100 Final
Det 110
Char 103 Final
Mia 112
Pho 97 Final
NO 109
Den 89 Final
OKC 104
Sac 96 Final
Mem 101
LAC 96 Final
Dal 107
LAL 86 Final
Port 93