Raps too late

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

PHILADELPHIA -- Forget the run-and-gun offence. Last night, the Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers invented a new style of play. It's called the run-and-shun defence. You go all out on offence and basically shun defence -- at least for the opening three quarters.

Philly led 85-82 after 36 minutes of play. It was then that the Atlantic Division rivals decided to play some defence, and the game went right to the wire.

Tied 101-101 with just 41 seconds left, Raptors' Jalen Rose made a huge defensive play when he slapped the ball away from Philly guard Andre Iguodala, who had gone up for a four-foot jump shot.

The tables turned on the next possession, however, as Iguodala pulled in a rebound after a Rose miss from nine feet out, and then all-star Allen Iverson nailed an 18-foot jump shot with 2.4 seconds left to give the 76ers a 103-101 win.

Donyell Marshall inbounded the ball to Rose in the final possession, but the latter missed his 17-foot fadeaway jump shot.

"Just like a lot of my other shots today, it just didn't go in," Rose said of the final play.

One of the few starters who didn't get in to the fun on offence, Rose, who had averaged 29.8 points over the previous four games, was dreadful from floor, shooting 2-for-16 for eight points.

He also picked up a technical foul with 1:58 left in the game when he tossed his head band into the stands.

Rose took sole responsibility for the loss.

"I picked a horrible time to have what I consider my worst game of the year," he said.

"I didn't step up when the team needed me to. This loss is on Jalen. All the guys played hard, and if I played like I'm supposed to play, we would have won."

The loss dropped the 28-40 Raptors further out of the Eastern Conference playoff picture, while Philly remains solidly in the hunt at 34-34.

It wasn't all bad for Toronto though. Forward Chris Bosh, who is playing with a sore back, became only the second Raptor in franchise history to record a 20-20, as he picked up 24 points and 22 rebounds. The only other Raptor to record the feat was Popeye Jones in 1996.

Bosh also became the fourth-youngest NBA player to record a 20-20 and his 18 defensive boards last night also was a team record.

"I was focussed on rebounding, but I thought that maybe I had 14 or 15," said Bosh, who was upset his big effort came in a losing cause.

"We came up just a little short. It keeps happening, but we've got to stay with it."

The previous time these two teams met, on March 13 at the Air Canada Centre, Marshall tied an NBA record with 12 three-pointers en route to a career-high 38 points.

He was the top Raptor again last night. Coming off the bench, Marshall poured in 26 points, shooting 7-for-12 from beyond the arc.

Rafer Alston also had a double-double, scoring 18 points and adding 10 assists.

The Raptors, however, were doomed by the play of Iverson, who had 36 points, and power forward Chris Webber, who added 32.


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