(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia 76ers made a valiant effort to overcome a 19-point deficit in their recent loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday and will get back to work tonight with the Toronto Raptors in town.
The Sixers were able to erase their double-digit deficit to the Knicks and grabbed a one-point lead in the waning moments, but a missed three-pointer by Jodie Meeks allowed New York to settle down and take over from there. Thaddeus Young did his best to give Philadelphia life with 25 points off the bench, including 15 in the final stanza.
Elton Brand posted 24 points and nine rebounds for the 76ers, who switched spots with New York in the Eastern Conference standings and now sit a half- game off the sixth spot with three to go. Andre Iguodala and Jrue Holiday had 15 and 11 points, respectively, in a losing cause. The playoff-bound Sixers have dropped three in a row since a three-game winning streak and haven't suffered four defeats in a row since a five-game skid from Nov. 10-17.
"We were 2-for-18 from three. You make a couple of shots, you win the game," said Sixers head coach Doug Collins.
Philadelphia opened a season-ending four-game homestand on a sour note and is also slated to welcome the Magic and Pistons to Wells Fargo Center. It is 25-13 as the host and will continue to toil without reserve Lou Williams because of a hamstring injury suffered last weekend against Milwaukee.
Toronto is playing out the string and has dropped two straight and eight of nine games, including Wednesday's 104-96 setback versus the Cleveland Cavaliers from Air Canada Centre.
"I'm getting an opportunity right now and it's going well," Bayless said.
The Raptors are winless in their previous six road bouts and sport a paltry 6-33 record as the visitor this season. On the injury front for Toronto, center Andrea Bargnani (ankle) and guard Jose Calderon (hamstring) will miss Friday's game, while guard Leandro Barbosa (finger) and forward Amir Johnson (ankle) are listed as questionable.
Toronto leads the season series with the Sixers by a 2-1 count and owns a 10-5 mark in the previous 15 meetings between the teams. The Raptors have experienced recent success in south Philly, winning three straight and 13 of the past 19 visits there.