Collins fires up Sixers, who roll past Raptors in second half

Posted: January 08, 2012

It was the start of the third quarter, his team was playing lethargically, and, well, 76ers coach Doug Collins had seen enough.

Four straight points by the Toronto Raptors, the last an uncontested jumper with 9 minutes, 50 seconds left in the third quarter, had cut the Sixers lead to 41-38, so Collins called a timeout and lit into the Sixers.

"I don't know if I can say that; we spoke basketball," is how Evan Turner described what Collins said to the players huddled around him. "But there was a lot of 'bleep, bleep, bleep.' 'Shut the front door,' and a whole lot of, 'What the fudge?' "

Whatever Collins said during that timeout, the Sixers took it to heart, because the game effectively ended in that huddle. When the teams returned to the floor of the Wells Fargo Center, the Sixers outscored the Raptors by 32-11 the rest of the quarter on the way to their biggest victory of the season, a record-setting, 97-62 victory over the Raptors for their fourth win in a row in front of 14,522.

The 62 points by the Raptors are the fewest ever scored by any professional team in the building, eclipsing the previous low of 63 scored by the Charlotte Hornets on Nov. 7, 2007. Since the start of the 1985-86 season, it is the second-fewest points scored by a Sixers opponent since Portland scored 60 on March 6, 2003. It is the largest margin of victory ever by the Sixers over Toronto. Of the Sixers' fives wins this season, four have been by 20 points or more.

Coaches call timeouts all the time. However, teams don't always respond the way Collins' did.

"It's a family show here," Collins said when asked about what he said. "A family show. But I was unhappy with the way we came out to start the third quarter. We had two bad possessions, and we didn't run one thing I asked us to run. We gave up two plays around the basket, and I just didn't think we were ready."

While they led, 41-34, at halftime, they were being outrebounded by the Raptors, 30-18. The Sixers made just 37.5 percent of their field goals in the first half and had been lured into playing exactly the type of game the Raptors wanted them to play.

All that changed in the second half as the Sixers won the rebounding in the half (33-18) and overall (51-48). They also shot the ball much better, connecting on 21 of 43 shots after halftime. They held the Raptors to just 28 points in the second half - the fewest points any team has scored against them in any half - and, as a result, they have now won four games in a row.

Andre Iguodala notched his first double-double of the season (14 points, 10 rebounds) and collected two of the Sixers' eight blocks. Jrue Holiday scored nine of his 14 points in the third quarter, and he handed out six assists.

Rookie center Nikola Vucevic contributed in a major way, finishing with 10 rebounds, 9 points, 2 blocks, and 2 assists, and Thaddeus Young added 12 points.

The news wasn't all great for the Sixers, although the bad news didn't appear to be too bad. Spencer Hawes left the game for good with just under 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter after suffering what Collins described as a mid-back strain.

"We're hoping that he'll be back in time for Indiana [on Monday]," Collins said.

Hawes said that he thought he would be OK.

"I wanted to go back in, but they thought that wasn't the best idea," Hawes said.

Contact staff writer John N. Mitchell at or @deepsixer3 on Twitter.


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