Raptors roll over 76ers
TORONTO — DeMar DeRozan and Amir Johnson scored 19 points apiece Wednesday to lead the Raptors to a 90-72 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers that ended Toronto’s two-game slide.
Ed Davis added 17 points for the Raptors (13-22), Jose Calderon had 14 points to go with 11 assists and Landry Fields grabbed a season-high 11 rebounds and added 10 points. Johnson had a team-high 12 boards.
Thaddeus Young and Jrue Holiday had 16 points each to top the Sixers (15-22).
Neither team could muster much energy through what was mostly a pedestrian affair. The Sixers had an excuse, coming off a 109-89 loss to the Brooklyn Nets the previous night in Philly. The Raptors hadn’t played since losing 104-92 to Oklahoma City at home on Sunday — with a day off and day of practice in between.
The frustration on the part of the Raptors was clear. Calderon’s body language told part of the story, while DeRozan hollered at himself as he walked back to the bench after being blocked.
Toronto led for most of the game in front of 15,629 fans at Air Canada Centre and took a 71-61 advantage into the fourth.
The Sixers pulled to within six points midway through the quarter, but that was as close as the visitors would come, as Davis and Johnson teamed up to score what looked to be the Raptors’ final five buckets of the game. Fields scored on Toronto’s final possession to earn the double-double.
The game was the beginning of a key stretch for the Raptors, which sees them play nine of 10 games against Eastern Conference opponents. Toronto began the night two games behind Philly for ninth in the East.
The Raptors were short on bodies once again due to injury. Rookie Terrence Ross missed the game after spraining his ankle on Sunday. Andrea Bargnani, who missed his 11th game, and Jonas Valanciunas (his seventh) have no timelime for a return, while Linas Kleiza sat out his fourth straight game.
Fields, who started in place of Mickael Pietrus, grabbed seven boards in the first quarter, helping the Raptors to an early 10-point lead but the Raptors held just a 24-21 edge going into the second.
Toronto led for all of a dreary second quarter, but never by more than nine points and took a 42-40 lead into the halftime break.
Calderon scored 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting in a third quarter that saw the Sixers pull even four times. The Raptors used a 15-6 run to take a 12-point lead and led 71-61 with a quarter left to play.
Note: The Raptors host Charlotte on Friday then wrap up their homestand against Milwaukee on Sunday.