Out of gas early

STEVE BUFFERY, TORONTO SUN

, Last Updated: 8:25 AM ET

PHILADELPHIA -- There was no miracle finish for the Raptors last night at the Wachovia Center, despite the best efforts of Chris Bosh.

But it was a miracle that head coach Sam Mitchell's head didn't explode in the third quarter.

For the second road game in a row, the Raptors completely imploded in the third. Leading by two at the half, the 76ers put it in overdrive and out-scored Toronto 34-16 in the third, much to the dismay of Mitchell, who stood by his bench, looking befuddled and bewildered, as his team wilted to a 20-point deficit with 12 minutes remaining. Toronto turned the ball over six times in that quarter.

Chris Bosh and Juan Dixon did their best in the fourth, scoring 14 and 13 points respectively, to bring Toronto to within four with just over a minute remaining, but Philadelphia's cushion was just too big and the 76ers prevailed 99-95, snapping a two-game Toronto win streak.

The loss was the Raptors' first in four games this season against the 76ers and only their second defeat in the past seven games.

Last night's game was the team's fourth in five nights and, until the adrenalin rush in the fourth quarter, it appeared as though they had completely hit the wall late in the second and third quarters.

"We got off to a very, very slow start (in the second half). You play four games in five nights and it's going to catch up with you, and it caught up with us at the wrong time and Philly took advantage of it," said Bosh, who finished the game with 25 points and nine rebounds.

"Most of the time when you're down by 20 going into the fourth quarter, you're going to lose games."

At one point in the third quarter, Bosh let out a piercing scream in frustration after Philadelphia forward Reggie Evans pulled in an offensive board, with two Raptors standing around doing nothing. That scream pretty well summarized the Raptors' performance at that point.

"That's when you have to be a little smarter and know if you take that one extra step, you'll be thankful for it," said Bosh, of that missed rebound. "We have to learn how to win games when we're tired and that's part of the learning experience."

The Raptors trailed by 20 points with just over eight minutes remaining, before going on a 22-6 run.

Shooting guard Anthony Parker clanked a three-point attempt off the rim with 30.8 seconds on the clock, which would have made it a one-point game, but the 76ers were able to hold on.

Three 76ers scored 20 points or better in the game -- Willie Green (23), Andre Iguodala (20) and Andre Miller (20). Canadian national team centre Samuel Dalembert had another big game for Philadelphia, pulling in 13 boards along with 14 points.

There were some positives for the Raptors. Two little-used bench players, Dixon and Joey Graham, had big games. Dixon finished with 18 points while Graham tied a season-high with 13. Point guard Jose Calderon finished with eight points and 11 assists.

Rookie small forward Jamario Moon finished with a career-high 17 points, along with nine boards.

The two clubs shot 48% from the field, but it really was a tale of two quarters. The 76ers went 14-for-23 (61%) and the Raptors 5-for-12 in the third. In the fourth, Toronto shot 14-for-19 (74%).

The Raptors led for most of the first half, but Philadelphia took a 42-40 lead with 1.5 seconds on the clock when Iguodala scored and was fouled by Carlos Delfino. Iguodala then made the free throw.

Graham had eight points, in seven minutes in the second quarter, before being replaced by Moon with 4:58 left and the Raptors ahead by four.

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REPLAY

TURNING POINT

The 76ers finished the first half by going on a 9-0 run, to take a two-point lead, and then out-scored the Raptors in the third quarter, 34-16.

BITTER BOSH

With about eight minutes left in the third quarter, Philadelphia forward Reggie Evans grabbed an offensive rebound, with a group of Raptors standing around watching, and fed it to Samuel Dalembert for a dunk and 52-45 76ers lead, prompting the Raptors' Chris Bosh to scream in frustration.

QUOTABLE

"Anthony's 32 years old. If we had to develop him any more, we'd be pushing him around in a wheelchair." -- Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell last night, when asked by a Philadelphia area reporter if he is surprised with the way Anthony Parker has developed in his two years in Toronto.


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