Philly deep-sixes Raptors

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:34 AM ET

The Answer got the boot in the second quarter and Air Canada was left in a holding pattern on the bench in the game's final minutes.

But other than that, 7,619 London basketball fans got the full NBA experience -- superstar players, massive dunks, crazy mascots and hip-hop beats -- as the Philadelphia 76ers downed the Toronto Raptors 108-103 in a preseason game at the John Labatt Centre.

Sixers star Allen Iverson was ejected at the 6:25 mark of the second quarter after receiving rapid-fire technical fouls from official Courtney Kirkland. Sitting on the baseline, the Answer yelled at Kirkland to blow his whistle and call a foul on Toronto. That comment led to the first technical, Iverson repeated his demand and the official tossed him from the game.

He had played 11 minutes and scored 10 points.

Toronto star Vince Carter played 18 minutes and posted seven points, including a reverse jam on a sweet alley-oop pass from Rafer Alston. But the so-called Air Canada was left in the hangar at crunch time.

Raptors rookie coach Sam Mitchell claimed he didn't hear the London fans' chants to put Carter back in the game.

"We had a plan, it's the preseason, we knew how many minutes our guys were going to play," Mitchell said. "I hope the fans had a fun time and were entertained.

"Some things in our play pleased me, some didn't. We have to play better defence. I don't put guys out there based on how many points they get. There's other things you have to do out there if you're going to win games."

Philly, which also beat the Raptors 99-97 in Toronto on Friday, knocked down seven-of-eight free throws in the final two minutes and shot 53 per cent in the fourth quarter to earn its third straight preseason win.

The contest was Philadelphia's home game. The JLC is managed by Global Spectrum, whose parent company Comcast-Spectacor owns the Sixers and the NHL's Flyers.

The Flyers beat the Washington Capitals in a preseason hockey game last fall at the JLC.

"I thought the atmosphere in the building was great," Sixers coach Jim O'Brien said. "We were told it was going to be a good crowd in here and they got to see a good game. Even though this is a Comcast building and we were the home team, we knew it would be like an away game for us."

Toronto guard Morris Peterson might want to pay a few more visits to London when he's driving past on his way home to Flint, Mich. He's clearly comfortable in the Forest City -- he finished with a game-high 26 points.

"I drive by London all the time," Peterson said. "I've stopped in a few times for gas and things like that. It was weird in a way, it was a road game for us but it felt just like a home game, we're not far away. The fans were loud, it was a good atmosphere."

"The people of London showed us a lot of love," fellow Raptors guard and former University of Michigan star Jalen Rose added.

Toronto's top draft pick Rafael Araujo scored his first NBA basket. The big man finished with six points, four boards and five fouls.


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