Nothing but road kill

MIKE KOREEN, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:20 AM ET

Same old road Raptors. Fresh off an impressive 4-1 homestand, the perimeter-happy Raptors returned to the daunting road last night and did the expected.

Though they played hard and fought back after an ugly first half, the Raptors' record away from the Air Canada Centre still fell to a pathetic 2-18 with a 106-96 loss against the Philadelphia 76ers last night here at the Wachovia Center.

During their 11th consecutive road loss (a franchise-high in a season), the Raptors (14-22) tied a team-high with 32 three-point attempts. They made just 10 of them.

"(The poor road record) is not in my head until the ending, or when the game is almost over," said Raptors forward Chris Bosh, who had his sixth consecutive double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

"We play so much differently on the road. We had them on the ropes, came back and we got down five and we just panicked. That always happens on the road.

"It's a segment, just like (last night). It's the same thing," he said. "A 5-0 run, 7-0 run, we're behind, they win the game.

"That makes it more frustrating. It's just basically saying we're not learning as a team and individually what we have to do."

What the Raptors should have done more is fed the ball to the surging Bosh, who attempted just eight shots from the field and connected on five. But instead, the Raptors kept jacking up long balls and most of them didn't go in.

"Too many," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said when asked about the threes. "(There is) nothing else to say about it. (That was) too many three-pointers on the road. We had guys check into the game and the first shot they take was a three. You just can't do that on the road. We shot too many ill-advised shots."

As bad as the Raptors were at times, they had a chance to win. They rebounded from an awful first half, outscoring the Sixers 26-19 in the third quarter to tie the game at 76-76.

But the Sixers elevated their game in the fourth. When NBA leading scorer Allen Iverson was double-teamed, he found the open man. Kyle Korver was one of the beneficiaries, draining a couple of big three-balls in the fourth to extend the lead to a comfortable margin.

Iverson scored a game-high 32 points -- including 19 in the first quarter -- on 12 of 29 shooting, and had 10 assists. He was one of five 76ers to score in double figures

"You can survive Allen and you can survive one other guy, but you can't survive four five or five guys in double figures," Mitchell said. "No team can, especially (on the road). You're going to lose, it's just the nature of the beast."

Donyell Marshall, off the bench, led the Raptors with 20 points, while Jalen Rose and Morris Peterson chipped in 18 with apiece.

The Raptors (14-23) blew a chance to move to within a game of the 76ers (16-19) in the not-so-awesome Atlantic Division.

The Raptors, now 0-18 when an opponent scores 100 or more points, play host to the NBA's worst team, the New Orleans Hornets, tomorrow.


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