76ers lose 5th straight

January 9, 2008 8:23:01 PM PST
The Toronto Raptors found the perfect way to erase the memories from a painful defeat.

Anthony Parker matched his season high with 22 points, Chris Bosh had 21 and the Raptors beat Philadelphia 109-96 on Wednesday night, handing the 76ers their season-high fifth straight loss.

Undone by a 24-point fourth quarter from LeBron James in Sunday's 93-90 loss to Cleveland, Toronto held off the 76ers in the final quarter in this one.

"It's important that we start doing that on a regular basis," Parker said. "Against Cleveland, we had a couple of points where we had an opportunity to put the game out of reach and we didn't do it. We wanted to try and correct that tonight."

Toronto led 79-66 to start the fourth, only to see its lead dwindle after Andre Iguodala scored six points in a 51-second span to pull the 76ers to 90-85. But Bosh converted a three-point play and Calderon hit a jumper to push it back to 95-85 with 5:47 remaining.

"Sometimes we've lost these kind of games," Calderon said. "We have to finish these games where we're 10 points up, 20 points up. When they came back to five points, CB was strong to the basket and got the three-point play and that's what we have to do."

The loss left Iguodala frustrated.

"I'm upset we're not playing up to our ability late in games," he said. "We get times where we're down in a game, mentally. It's just tough losing.

"We're just really young right now. We don't understand how to respond to a 7-0 run or the right time of the game where we need to execute an offensive play."

Philadelphia coach Maurice Cheeks had no answers for his team's recent struggles.

"We'll look at the film and see if there's something we can change and go from there," Cheeks said.

Calderon had 17 points and nine assists for the Raptors, and Carlos Delfino added 12 points.

Parker, who also scored 22 points in a victory against Philadelphia on Nov. 9, made his first seven field-goal attempts and finished 8-for-11, including 4-for-6 from beyond the arc. He also made both attempts from the free-throw line.

"They spread the floor well," Philadelphia guard Willie Green said. "They come off the pick-and-roll, they've got shooters in the corners and they've got an All-Star in Chris Bosh. They make it real tough on you to be able to help, recover and do those things you can normally do."

Toronto snapped a three-game home losing streak and avoided its longest home skid since a five-game slide from March 29-April 9, 2006.

"We shot the ball well and made some good plays down the stretch," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said. "To me it was beautiful."

Green led the 76ers with 18 points, Iguodala and rookie Thaddeus Young both scored 16 and Andre Miller had 14 points and seven assists.

Philadelphia lost its fifth straight road game to drop to 7-12 away from home this season. The 76ers have played 10 of their past 13 games on the road.

"I forgot what (hotel) room I was in a couple of times," Green said. "It's been a little tough."

Toronto won for just the fourth time in 10 games.

The Raptors, who led 52-50 at the half, improved to 3-0 against the 76ers this season.

Bosh had just one rebound, matching a season low. ... Raptors guard T.J. Ford was cleared to resume workouts Wednesday after visiting a spine specialist in Cleveland. Ford has not played since being taken off on a stretcher after being knocked to the ground in a Dec. 11 game at Atlanta. ... The Raptors held a pregame ceremony to honor Philadelphia center Samuel Dalembert, a native of Haiti who was raised in Montreal. Dalembert became a Canadian citizen last summer and played for Canada at an Olympic qualifying tournament.