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Bosh huge down stretch as Raptors hold off Williams, Sixers

Nov 10, 2007 - 4:24 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Louis Williams did his best to keep the Philadelphia 76ers in the game, but Chris Bosh had just enough for the Toronto Raptors.

Bosh made several big plays down the stretch, including a game-saving blocked shot with five seconds left and an offensive rebound two seconds later, as the Toronto Raptors almost blew a second lead in 10 days to the 76ers before prevailing, 105-103, on Friday night.

Williams scored a career-high 21 points in a 20-minute span, including a 3-pointer, four-point play and a driving layup in the final 34 seconds, but he missed a free throw after the layup that would have tied the game at 103-103 with 15 seconds left.

"It's tough to miss a free throw," Williams said. "To make some big shots and then to miss a free throw, it's tough.

After a Raptors' free throw, the 76ers had another chance to tie the game, but Bosh swatted away a driving layup attempt by Andre Miller, who appeared to shed the defense with a pump fake, to preserve the victory.

"I saw Miller pump fake and he got me up in the air," Bosh said. "I just wanted to get back into the play really quickly. I don't think that he expected me to get back. I just got a piece of it and we got the rebound. I was just fortunate to hurry up, hustle back and make a big play like that."

Bosh finished with 24 points on 16-of-18 from the free-throw line - and 10 rebounds.

"I practiced my free throws a lot," Bosh said. "Sometimes, in a crunch situation, you need that practice to come through. I concentrate as much as possible and I'm glad I was able to knock them down tonight."

Anthony Parker, who knocked down a 3-point dagger - his fourth of the night - with 34 seconds left that provided the Raptors a 101-96 lead, finished with 22 points and six rebounds.

"I've been struggling lately with the shot," Parker said. I got in and got some extra shots in practice and today, they were falling. I got my confidence early and was able to hit them down the stretch."

"Every night is going to be a grind in the NBA," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said. "We got guys who can make those shots. That was a huge shot that Anthony made. We needed it."

In their previous meeting on October 31, the Raptors nearly blew a 22-point third-quarter lead as the Sixers climbed to within one with 4:47 to go in the fourth before the Raptors pulled away late in the game.

The Raptors squandered a trio of 10-point leads in this contest but held on behind big play after big play from Bosh.

"This Philadelphia team is a scrappy team," Bosh said. "It's not easy to come in here and win. We wanted to come in here and get back on track."

"We are never happy when we lose a game," Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "We hung in there and never thought the game was over. We had a chance to win the game."

Leading, 71-68, after three periods, Toronto quickly matched its biggest lead of the night at 10 on a layup by rookie Jamario Moon, but Philadelphia rallied and pulled even at 87-87 on a jumper from the right wing by Williams with 5:22 left in the game.

Bosh then kicked out from a double-team to Parker for his third 3-pointer of the game 22 seconds later.

Bosh knocked down two free throws 90 seconds later and a jumper from the right wing with 2:50 left to provide a 96-91 edge. The 6-10 All-Star then pulled down an offensive rebound on Toronto's next possession.

Williams finished 6-of-10 from the floor and hit all three of his 3-point attempts. Williams later said he got his inspiration from watching old tapes from his days at South Gwinnett High School in Georgia.

"My coach sent me all the tapes from my freshmen to my senior year," Williams said. "For about four or five hours, a friend of mine and I watched about five games. We just sat back and laughed about how many points I was scoring."

Williams said the lesson learned was a simple one.

"In high school, we had the type of team that we went 1-on-1 down the floor," said Williams, now in his third season. "That was some of the things that I looked at. And those are the things that I'm capable of doing now. I applied the same confidence into tonight's game."

Andre Iguodala had 26 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for Philadelphia, which fell to 0-3 against Atlantic Division opponents.

Behind some excellent shooting from the arc and foul line, Toronto took a 47-39 lead into the half. The Raptors led by as many as 10 points twice in the third quarter before Miller and Iguodala fueled a Sixers' comeback.

The duo combined for 21 points in the third, with Iguodala knocking down a pair of 3-pointers and a three-point play, and Miller scoring nine points, including a driving layup with two minutes remaining that cut the deficit to 64-62.

Philadelphia held a 16-15 edge in field goals in the first half, but Toronto had a 47-39 edge at the break on the strength of 46 percent (6-of-13) shooting from the arc and a perfect 11-for-11 from the foul line.

Parker knocked down a pair of 3-pointers among his eight points and T.J. Ford added seven points and a shot from the arc as Toronto took a 24-19 edge after the first.

A basket by Iguodala provided Philadelphia a 29-26 lead four minutes into the second, but Toronto went on a 17-5 tear over the next 5 1/2 minutes.

"We made some small mistakes down at the end," Igoudala said. "We didn't get the rebound when they were shooting and we had a couple of misreads on defense that led to a couple of their threes."

Carlos Delfino started the spurt with a pair of 3-pointers and Andrea Bargnani added another shot from the arc. Bosh capped the run with a dunk with 2 1/2 minutes left that provided a 43-34 bulge.

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