Sixers Use Huge Second Quarter, Balanced Attack to Silence Raptors

Coming off of a huge win over one division rival (Boston), the Philadelphia 76ers (4-2) looked to carry that momentum into yet another division matchup, this time against the Toronto Raptors (1-5) north of the border. While the Sixers came out flat offensive and defensively, they took it to Toronto in the second quarter, outscoring them by 25 in that 12-minute time frame on their way to a 93-83 win.

Hawes goes up against Bargnani on a put-back (via CSNPhilly).

Raptors star center Andrea Bargnani got things going for Toronto early in the first quarter, knocking down his first of three three-pointers. Two minutes later, after a small Raptors run, Thaddeus Young scored 2 of his team-high 16 at the charity stripe to bring the road team to within one, 13-12. Then, it was all Raptors. A Bargnani jump shot capped a 9-0 run that put Toronto up 22-12 with three minutes left in the first quarter, and even a small Sixers run wasn’t enough to close the gap by the end of the period. Bargnani scored 9 of his 23 in the first period to put the Raptors up 26-20.

The second quarter, however, was a completely different story. In the first six minutes, Philadelphia went a 20-3 run fueled by five Nick Young field goals; in fact, he scored 11 of his 16 points during that run. Now up 38-29 on Toronto, the Sixers wouldn’t look back, going on another run to close out the first half. It all came to a point when Jrue Holiday, in a rut offensively, sank his only attempted three-pointer of the night, putting his team up 52-33 at the half. The Sixers had allowed 7 points in the second quarter, one of the best defensive performances in franchise history.

The third quarter featured Jonas Valanciunas and DeMar DeRozan bringing the Raptors back to within seven, 69-62, by the end of the quarter, but two Dorell Wright three-balls within a span of 53 seconds helped the Sixers keep Toronto at bay and end up taking the game by a comfortable ten-point margin.

For the Raptors, it was really a three-man show. Bargnani had 23 points and 3 steals, DeRozan had 19 and six rebounds, and point guard Jose Calderon added 14 points and 11 assists.

The Sixers had a much more balanced attack, featuring five guys (Thaddeus Young – 16, Nick Young – 16, Jrue Holiday – 16, Dorell Wright – 15, Spencer Hawes – 12) in double-figures. Evan Turner led the team with 12 rebounds while Hawes added 11 of his own. Jrue Holiday led the team with 5 assists while Royal Ivey added three steals.

Player of the Game

Spencer Hawes looked good with his double-double, but game honors have to go to Nick “Swaggy P” Young, who finally found his stroke against Toronto. After shooting under 25% from the field through the first five games, it must have been nice for the streaky scorer to go 7-for-12 (58.3%) with 16 points. If he can regain his rhythm, this backcourt will be the deepest in the NBA once Jason Richardson comes back.

Key to the Game

Tonight it was about the rebounding. In the first quarter, the Sixers were out-rebounded 14-9 and it showed on the scoreboard. For the next 36 minutes of basketball, Doug Collins’ squad 37-21, and, not surprisingly, that also showed on the scoreboard. When guys like Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes, and Thad Young get tough inside, the Sixers are a tough team to deal with.


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: 76ers, Beat Writing

Author:Manav Khandelwal

I am the founder of Khandyman Sports, and follow all Philadelphia pro sports teams religiously. I also write for the Hoop76, covering the Sixers for ESPN, and am a credentialed Flyers reporter for Main Line Media News.

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