Raptors down 76ers in double OT

Sixers forward Andres Nocioni sneaks a basket past Toronto's Andrea Bargnani. Nocioni finished with seven points.
Sixers forward Andres Nocioni sneaks a basket past Toronto's Andrea Bargnani. Nocioni finished with seven points.
Posted: October 14, 2010

TORONTO - Two weeks and exactly two preseason games remain before the 76ers start writing this season in ink, not pencil.

They might need just a little longer.

On Wednesday night at the Air Canada Centre, the Sixers sprinkled stretches of winning basketball with stretches of losing basketball, eventually falling to the Toronto Raptors, 119-116, in double overtime.

Sixers point guard Jrue Holiday missed a long three-pointer at regulation's buzzer, Toronto's DeMar DeRozan missed a free throw with 1.8 seconds remaining in the first overtime, and the Sixers' Lou Williams missed a three-pointer at the end of the second overtime.

The Sixers dropped to 1-4 in the preseason. They will open the regular season Oct. 27 against the Miami Heat.

Is it enough time?

"No, no, no, come on now," Sixers coach Doug Collins said minutes afterward. "Hopefully we're going to be better in December than we are in November. That's what we're trying to do. . . . I just don't want there to be slippage."

Two weeks ago, Collins said his team would be at its best when scoring was distributed throughout the lineup, and when a high percentage of buckets were assisted.

By game's end on Wednesday, the Sixers had played 12 players, and 12 had scored. Six players finished in double figures: Holiday (18 points, 11 rebounds, 12 assists), Evan Turner, (13 points, 12 rebounds), Craig Brackins (15 points), Jodie Meeks (12 points), Elton Brand (12 points), and Lou Williams (10 points).

Of the team's 44 field goals, 26 were assisted.

So what happened?

For much of the fourth quarter and the overtimes, Collins played a lineup that would hardly be considered his finishers: Turner, Holiday, Meeks, Brackins, and Brand.

The Raptors also punished the Sixers by going to the rim. Toronto's DeRozan (16 points), Leandro Barbosa (19), Jarrett Jack (24), Sonny Weems, and even Linas Kleiza finished in and around the lane.

The Raptors outraced the race-happy Sixers, scoring 23 points in transition. The Sixers scored only 15.

"My two guards are my leading rebounders," Collins said. "That is a positive, but you'd like that not to be out of necessity. But that's a huge concern for our team if we can't rebound the ball or defend the paint."

Down. At the end of the third quarter, Marreese Speights went to the training room with a right hamstring strain. He did not return. The Sixers big man was saving a ball along the baseline and seemed to step awkwardly. He motioned for the training staff and gingerly walked to the locker room grabbing the back of his right knee.

Before his injury, Speights was 2 for 7 with seven points and four rebounds in 12 minutes.

Still hurting. The Sixers were without center Spencer Hawes, who missed his third consecutive preseason game with a lower back strain. . . . Center Tony Battie (right knee inflammation) was listed as questionable before the game but was eventually ruled out.

Contact staff writer Kate Fagan at 856-779-3844 or kfagan@phillynews.com.

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