Philly leaves MoPete livid

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:18 AM ET

The Philadelphia 76ers sashayed into the Air Canada Centre yesterday, laid a beating on the Raptors, and then proceeded to rub the home team's nose in it.

Such is the agony of the Toronto Raptors, who fell to 4-20 on the season after an embarrassing 107-80 loss to Philadelphia.

After several spectacular dunks in the second half by forward Andre Iguodala -- the huge talent Raptors general manager Rob Babcock passed on in favour of Rafael Araujo two years ago in the NBA draft -- Philly superstar Allen Iverson was spotted laughing on the court and on the bench as Toronto fell further and further behind.

Whether Iverson, who was kept to a season-low 18 points, was purposely pouring salt on the wound or not, at least one member of the home side, the normally mild-mannered Morris Peterson, took exception and vowed some come-uppance down the road.

"When you've got guys on the other team laughing and joking while we're down 30 points, if that doesn't piss you off, then I don't know what does," an angry Peterson said after the game. "It pisses me off. I'm a competitor and I hate losing. I'm going to put that in my mental notes."

The 18,918 fans at the ACC were not thrilled either, booing both teams off the court at the end.

Perhaps Iverson's antics will motivate a Raptors team that has completely lost its way. The loss was Toronto's six in a row at home, and 12th in 13 games at the ACC. They now embark on a three-game road swing, beginning tonight in Orlando, followed by games in Houston, San Antonio, and then Detroit two days later on Dec. 27.

Peterson was clearly the most outspoken Raptor after yesterday's loss. Third-year forward Chris Bosh appeared stunned, as did struggling veteran Jalen Rose. Peterson said it is time every member of the purple and white, including himself, looked in the mirror and figured out how to help this team pull out of its funk.

"If you don't have a sense of pride, then what are you playing for as a professional?" MoPete said, adding that the Raptors should not allow any team to have a good time at their expense.

"When teams make a run, we're going to have to start knocking somebody on their behind," he said. "We didn't get aggressive. We let them make plays."

The Raps hung tough in early going, trailing 52-48 at the half. But for whatever reason, the wheels completely fell off in the second half, as the 76ers outscored Toronto 55-32, on the strength of 15 by Iguodala, who had 26 in total.

Without starting point guard Jose Calderon, who was placed on the inactive list because of a right heel bruise, the Raptors had difficulty making plays. Philly recorded 31 assists to Toronto's 14. Montreal-raised Samuel Dalembert had a double-double for Philly with 11 points and 18 rebounds.


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