Green pours in 23 as Sixers survive RaptorsJan 20, 2008 - 5:51 AM By Michael Luongo PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- For the second night in a row, the fourth quarter proved to be a major challenge. But this time, the Philadelphia 76ers survived the charge.
The 76ers got a strong effort late in the second quarter and carried it into the third, building up enough of a cushion to claim a 99-95 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday.
Willie Green scored 23 points and Andre Miller and Andre Iguodala added 20 points apiece for Philadelphia, which picked up just its second win in the last ten games and its first at home in 2008.
One night after watching a third-quarter lead disappear while being outscored, 38-16, in the fourth quarter by the Boston Celtics, the Sixers refused to let the same thing happen on in this one.
Philadelphia held a 77-56 advantage after three quarters but saw its lead shrink to just 92-88 with 1:06 remaining after Toronto forward Chris Bosh scored nine points in a 12-2 run. But Miller and Iguodala made 5-of-6 free throws in the final 26 seconds to seal the win for the Sixers.
"We don't understand what it means to finish out games yet because we're young," Iguodala said. "Our minds tend to go blank for five seconds or five minutes. We have to stay alert. They made a run at the end but we were able to finish it."
Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said the deficit was too much for Toronto to overcome.
"You have to make every shot, and it's tough," Mitchell said. "You got to hope they miss free throws, but Miller and Iguodala made a couple of tough shots. We just didn't play well enough to win."
"Being the team that we are, we're going to force the issue and try to come back," Bosh said. "We can't dig a hole that deep and expect to climb out." Down by seven with 2:40 to play in the second, the Sixers closed the quarter with a 9-0 run to take a 42-40 lead on a three-point play by Iguodala.
"We did a good job of getting stops and turning them into some fast-break points." Iguodala said. "Willie got it going and the bigs got involved by cleaning the glass and getting extra processions for us."
Philadelphia carried the momentum over and took control in the third, opening the period with a 13-3 run. Samuel Dalembert and Miller scored four points in the run, which Green capped with a 3-pointer to give the Sixers a 57-45 lead.
"We just picked up our energy a little bit and it was good to turn it into another gear," Green said. "Tonight was one of those nights where we were hitting shots."
Green later hit a jumper and Iguodala did the same as time expired in the third to give the Sixers their big advantage after three.
"I was able to get it going and the guys just found me," Green said. "It was one of those days where the basket got bigger and bigger the more times I shot it."
Bosh finished with 25 points and nine rebounds for the Raptors, who shot 8-of-16 from the arc and got 18 points off the bench from Juan Dixon - matching his total from the last 11 games combined.
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