Raps earn comeback win

Toronto Raptors' Hedo Turkoglu heads to the basket under pressure from Philadelphia 76ers' Rodney...

Toronto Raptors' Hedo Turkoglu heads to the basket under pressure from Philadelphia 76ers' Rodney Carney. (REUTERS/Tim Shaffer)

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 8:35 AM ET

PHILADELPHIA — The knock on Chris Bosh is that he can’t create and get his shot off in late-game moments with the game hanging in the balance.

Power forwards in the NBA aren’t exactly asked to win games because, given their position, it’s too easy to send another defender and force the ball out of their hands.

But Friday night, with the game on the line and the Raptors running a two-man game featuring Bosh and Hedo Turkoglu, the club asked its franchise player to win a game, a game that went the host’s way for most of the evening.

And Bosh delivered, sending the Raptors to their thrilling 108-106 victory, Toronto’s eighth in the past 10 games, a win that puts the team one game over .500.

The Sixers preferred to play Bosh straight up, leaving Samuel Dalembert, who earlier had flushed home a put-back dunk to give Philly the lead, to fend for himself.

The left-handed Bosh took Dalembert off the dribble from the left block, got into the lane and used his right hand to find net.

The officials rightfully called a continuation as Dalembert fouled Bosh. It was the Canadian’s sixth and disqualifying foul of the night, sending Bosh to the line, where he converted with 8.4 seconds left.

On Philly’s ensuing possession, Antoine Wright forced the ball out of Allen Iverson’s hands and a feeble attempt at the buzzer by Lou Williams from three-point land went awry.

Bosh led all scorers with 29 points. Bosh and Andrea Bargnani, whose three-point shooting gave the Raptors their first lead in the final period after trailing by as many as 13 points, combined for 17 of Toronto’s 25 fourth-quarter points.

“Chris was bound and determined to get the ball,’’ head coach Jay Triano said of the late-game possession. “We got away from him on the previous possessions and he had asked for the ball.”

In last Sunday’s win over San Antonio, the ball was in Bosh’s hands, but the Spurs came a double-team, forcing Bosh to kick it out to an open Bargnani.

“This is the first time in a while where we’ve been behind and found it within ourselves to fight back, get stops when we had to and get buckets on the other end," Triano, whose team nearly imploded late in Wednesday night’s win in Orlando, said.

Being above the .500 mark was a topic the Raptors discussed during their morning shootaround at the Wachovia Center.

No one knows with certainty who broached the subject first, but the theme was embraced by everyone.

“We don’t want to be below .500 no more for the rest of the season, plain and simple," Jose Calderon said.

“We want to keep moving up. After beating San Antonio and beating Orlando on the road, we told ourselves that we couldn’t lose (last night against a vulnerable foe).

“It wasn’t pretty, but we won.”

Bosh recalls the cry to avoid being under .500, but doesn’t know who uttered it.

“One person just said something and next thing you know it becomes a motto," Bosh said. “I just want to win every game. Just to be playing well right now is good.”

Good aptly described Iverson’s night, albeit in a losing cause. The Answer produced a season-high 22 points, including 12 in the opening period.


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