Elton Brand had his best game of the season, scoring 27 points with eight rebounds, while Jrue Holiday donated 17 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Rookie Evan Turner notched a double-double of 11 points and 12 boards for the 76ers, who have lost five straight.
Philadelphia star guard Andre Iguodala missed the game while dealing with an Achilles’ injury. In his absence, Turner played a team-high 43-plus minutes.
“We just aren’t finishing games,” 76ers head coach Doug Collins said. “You have to be able to close games. That is the essence of NBA basketball.”
Toronto went on an 11-1 scoring spurt in the final three-plus minutes to take home the victory.
After Brand stepped in the passing lane and cruised to the rim for a layup, giving the Sixers an 85-83 lead, Toronto’s main duo took over. Bargnani’s layup tied the game and his baseline turnaround jumper with 2:21 left put Toronto ahead to stay.
Turner made 1-of-2 free throws but Weems scored of a 2-on-1 break for a three- point edge with 1:25 on the clock. Toronto made 5-of-6 free throws in the final 50 seconds to hold on for the victory.
The Sixers raced out to an early lead with some sterling first-quarter shooting. A Brand layup and two Turner free throws opened a 17-10 advantage, and after Toronto cut the deficit to one, the margin again quickly grew to seven, 26-19, capped by Marreese Speights’ tip off a Thaddeus Young miss from in close.
Toronto, however, scored the next eight points spanning the end of the first and start of the second period to take the lead on Weems’ floater 15 seconds in. The teams traded blows for the remainder of the half with the Sixers clinging to a 47-46 lead.
The Sixers reeled off eight consecutive points to build a 55-48 lead on Brand’s free throw to complete a three-point play closing in on two minutes into the second half. Toronto scored nine of the next 10 as the see-saw affair continued, and by the end of the stanza, Philadelphia held a tenuous two-point edge, 71-69.
Bargnani and Weems combined for 55 points while the rest of the Toronto starters scored just 15…Young scored 10 points with five rebounds in defeat…The Raptors have won five of the last six meetings between the two teams.