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76ers earn 107-94 victory over Raptors

TORONTO — Even the cold-shooting Philadelphia 76ers found a way to shred the Toronto Raptors' awful defence.

TORONTO — Even the cold-shooting Philadelphia 76ers found a way to shred the Toronto Raptors' awful defence.

Marreese Speights had 23 points and nine rebounds coming off the bench as the 76ers beat Toronto 107-94 on Wednesday night to hand the Raptors their ninth straight loss.

"It was pretty easy," said Speights, who had no trouble dealing with the Raptors' porous coverage. "The zone wasn't really that hard to break."

The Sixers shot just 36 per cent in the first quarter, but the Raptors defence let them get back into it.

"(The 76ers) couldn't make a shot," Raptors head coach Jay Triano said. "We just kept giving them either drives in (or) easy uncontested shots and that allowed their confidence to grow. We couldn't keep them in front of us and conversely they did a great job of keeping us in front of them in the second half."

When the Sixers stopped missing shots, they took command of the game as their bench outscored the Raptors 58-17.

"The difference in the game is the bench points," Triano said.

DeMar DeRozan scored a game-high 29 points for the Raptors (13-33) while Andrea Bargnani added 17 points and Amir Johnson had 15 points.

Lou Williams had another 15 points off the bench for Philadelphia (20-25), including 11 in the third quarter.

"Our bench was fabulous," Sixers head coach Doug Collins said. "Mo Speights was our ace. ...Our second unit is probably our best offensive team."

Andre Iguodala and Jrue Holiday also had 15 points apiece, with Holiday adding 11 assists. Elton Brand chipped in with 14 points.

The 76ers out-rebounded the Raptors 43-33, outscored them in the paint 56-30 and had an 18-6 edge in second-chance points.

"They were much better defensively," Triano said. "They didn't allow Andrea any catches anywhere. They worked hard to take him out of our offence. DeMar stepped up a little bit but other than that we didn't have a lot."

Philadelphia had a seven-point lead going into the fourth quarter and boosted that to 14 points with 4:13 remaining to play.

The losing streak is Toronto's longest since losing 10 straight during the 2005-2006 season.

The Raptors, who've been hit hard by injuries, had point guard Jose Calderon back in the lineup Wednesday after he missed Monday's game with flu-like symptoms. He had eight points and 13 assists.

Sonny Weems had six points in his second game back after missing 18 contests with a back injury.

Joey Dorsey (patellar tendon) did not play for the third game in a row. Leandro Barbosa (hamstring), Linas Kleiza (knee) and Reggie Evans (foot) were still not available.

The two teams went into the half tied 50-50 before the Sixers took an 84-77 advantage through three quarters. Williams led the way with three three-pointers in the third.

Toronto watched a nine-point first-quarter lead disappear quickly in the second, and a layup by Speights gave Philadelphia a 33-31 advantage with 8:40 remaining in the half. Speights scored 17 points in the second after not playing in the first.

DeRozan led the Raptors with 17 first-half points while Bargnani added 13.

"Our defence was struggling especially when they were missing shots," DeRozan said. "We were missing rebounds and giving them a second chance. That's what really hurt us. When they started knocking down shots that definitely killed us."

NOTES — The Raptors were 2-for-8 from three-point range on Wednesday after having their NBA record 986-game streak of making at least one three-point shot in a game ended in a loss to Memphis. ... Bargnani went to the dressing for treatment during the first quarter for a jammed toe but returned before the quarter was over . . . The Raptors signed guard Trey Johnson to a 10-day contract Wednesday and released guard Sundiata Gaines early from the second 10-day contract he signed Monday. Johnson is the leading scorer in the D-League this season averaging 25.8 points for the Bakersfield Jam. He scored three points Wednesday . . . Toronto players had missed 133 games this season due to injury entering Wednesday's game . . . The Raptors made 5,876 total three-pointers during their NBA-record streak of 986 consecutive games of making at least one three-point that ended Monday. Dallas now holds the longest streak with 981 consecutive games with a three-pointer . . . Air Canada Centre attendance was 14,552 . . . Toronto is home to Milwaukee on Friday.

 
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