PHILADELPHIA — Nick Young has some game to go with his style and swagger.
Young scored 23 points off the bench, Jason Richardson had six of his 21 points late in the fourth quarter, and the Philadelphia 76ers rallied to beat the Toronto Raptors 106-98 on Tuesday night.
Known for his cool nickname — Swaggy P — and his Afro hairdo, Young is earning recognition for his play on the court, too. He had four assists and three rebounds to go with his 7-for-13 shooting.
“That’s all part of the Swaggy P movement,” Young said with a smile. “I felt good.”
Coach Doug Collins texted Young on Monday to check up on him after he experienced some dizziness during Sunday night’s win. Collins even told Young he had a few plays designed just for him.
“He texted back: ’Laugh out loud, Coach. I’ll be ready,”’ Collins said
He sure was.
Jrue Holiday had 19 points and 12 assists and Thad Young scored 18 to help the Sixers win their third straight game.
DeMar DeRozan had 24 and Andrea Bargnani scored 22 for the Raptors, who are off to a 3-8 start. Jose Calderon, who had a season-high 18 assists in Toronto’s win over Orlando on Sunday night, got 12 more to go with 13 points.
“We had control of the game and we’ve got to make basketball plays,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey said.
“In our transition defence, we lose Thaddeus Young in transition and there’s no way. We’re jogging back in home run trot and in those situations you’ve got to execute on both ends of the floor, whether it’s defensively, knowing who you have in transition, communication, all those things add up in crunch time.”
Down 87-80 early in the fourth, the Sixers came back to win their first game in which they trailed after three quarters. Nick Young’s 3-pointer got Philadelphia to 92-89 with 5:11 left.
After Richardson and Dorell Wright missed 3s that would’ve tied it, Young nailed another 3 to make it 92-all.
The teams traded baskets before Richardson scored on a driving layup, got fouled and made the free throw for a 99-96 lead with 1:54 remaining.
Richardson extended the lead to 102-96 with his fourth 3, and the Raptors didn’t get any closer in the final minute.
“That was a win to remember,” Collins said. “It could’ve easily been an L. We finished the third quarter very poorly. We had a lot of fight in the fourth quarter. I was proud of them.”
For a while, it seemed the Raptors were going to run away with it.
After Holiday’s dunk put the Sixers up 65-64 midway through the third quarter, Toronto scored 12 straight points. Bargnani started the run with a 16-footer and finished it off with a 3-pointer, giving the Raptors an 11-point lead that was the largest for either team.
But the Sixers answered in the fourth. Collins went to a smaller lineup, moving Thad Young in the middle and it worked.
“I know it’s fun for me,” Holiday said of playing with the faster, smaller guys.
Collins plans to make lineup changes for Wednesday night’s game at Cleveland, but he wasn’t giving specifics.
“Byron Scott is on Twitter,” Collins joked, referring to the Cavaliers coach.
The Raptors built a 10-point lead early and led the entire first half until Philadelphia went on an 18-8 run late in the second quarter.
Richardson hit a 3-pointer and scored on a fast-break layup off a steal to get the Sixers to 46-44.
Holiday hit a 3-pointer to give Philadelphia its first lead, 51-48, with 30 seconds left in the half. Calderon answered with a 3 to tie it going into the locker rooms.