Sixers come back and run down Raptors

Posted: November 21, 2012

For a team that longed to play with a big lineup, the 76ers have become a team that thrives lately when it goes small.

Tuesday night's come-from-behind 106-98 victory over the Toronto Raptors at the Wells Fargo Center stands as a perfect example.

"I had to go small because we just weren't matching their energy," Sixers coach Doug Collins said. "We did and it worked well for us."

The Sixers fell behind by 10 points at the start of the game and trailed by 76-65 late in the third. But with a lineup that featured Thaddeus Young at center for the second time this season, they deployed a smaller lineup.

Young had 18 points and seven rebounds. Nick Young scored a season-high 23 points, 10 in the fourth quarter. Jason Richardson scored 21 points despite suffering a head bruise that temporarily forced him from the game in the third quarter.

Jrue Holiday had 19 points and a game-high 12 assists, and Dorell Wright contributed tough defense down the stretch.

The Sixers scored the most points in a game this season. They have won three in a row and six of their last eight games, and they have a chance to improve upon that Wednesday in Cleveland when they face the Cavaliers, who will be without leading scorer Kyrie Irving (broken finger).

"It gives us a chance tomorrow going to Cleveland, where they obviously won't have Kyrie Irving, to go in there and do something good," Collins said. "They will be rested and we are going to need everybody. It's going to be a tough game, but it would be nice over Thanksgiving to be 8-4. That's going to be our goal."

Collins said he might need to change his starting lineup. The Sixers fell behind early mostly because they could not contain Toronto on the pick-and-roll.

"They had us on skates, and I'm going to have to do something about that," Collins said, not revealing what his lineup change could be.

Toronto, which fell to 3-8, placed five players in double figures, led by DeMar DeRozan's 24 points. They also received 22 points from Andrea Bargnani, and Jonas Valanciunis finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Despite a size advantage, the Raptors were simply outhustled late in the game, something that was evident in the rebounding numbers. The Sixers won the rebounding battle in the fourth quarter, 14-8.

"We fed off of the fans' energy and we had it going when we needed to," Nick Young said. "That was the difference."


Contact John N. Mitchell at  jmitchell@philly.com. Follow @JmitchInquirer on Twitter

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