NBA Game Summary - Toronto at Philadelphia
(Friday, April 6th)
Final Score: Toronto 94, Philadelphia 85
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Chris Bosh scored 23 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and had four steals to lift Toronto over Philadelphia, 94-85, and the Raptors captured a division crown for the first time in the team's 12-year history.
Anthony Parker, T.J. Ford and Juan Dixon each poured in 12 points, while Ford also had six assists for the Raptors, who have won five of six.
With six games remaining, the Raptors have a eight-game lead over second- place New Jersey in the Atlantic Division. Toronto won the Atlantic Division with the win, coupled with the Nets' loss to Chicago on Friday night.
Toronto is also trying to hold off Miami for third place in the East standings. A No. 3 seed would likely pit the Raptors against Washington in the first round, while a fourth seed would mean a matchup with Cleveland or Chicago.
"It's important, it's a start," said Toronto head coach Sam Mitchell, of his team's push to win the division. "You come to all of these arenas and they have division championship banners up in the rafters. If you are trying to start a culture of winning, these guys need to start seeing the fruits of the labor and those things are important. You have to start somewhere and this would be a good start for this group."
Andre Iguodala had a team-high 20 points, while grabbing seven boards and dishing out seven assists for Philadelphia. The squad has dropped three of five and sits in 11th place in the East, four games back of Orlando for the eighth and final playoff spot.
Samuel Dalembert finished with 15 points, Willie Green had 12 and Andre Miller chipped in with 10 points and 11 assists for the Sixers.
Philadelphia held the advantage early on, but watched its four-point lead quickly evaporate as Toronto used a 13-4 run to grab a 21-16 lead with 1:12 remaining in the first.
The Raptors held a 23-18 lead after the first quarter, then forged ahead and took a seven-point lead on a Kris Humphries jumper at 10:05 in the second.
Philadelphia responded with a 9-2 burst to tie it up at 29, and the game remained tight as both teams continued to battle down the stretch. The Sixers held a 46-45 lead at intermission.
Miller's shot off the glass put Philadelphia up, 52-47, with 8:54 remaining in the third. Toronto battled back, however, eventually tying the game at 58 before a 10-3 run put them on top 73-61. Parker's trey capped the rally, and the Raptors carried the 12-point edge into the fourth.
It was nearly all Toronto in the fourth, as Joey Graham's jumper gave the Raptors a 79-64 advantage with 9:39 remaining. Philadelphia made it a six- point game, 88-82, inside of three minutes to play, before both sides traded a shot from the line.
The Sixers never got closer than eight the rest of the way.
"The Raptors are a good basketball team," said Philadelphia head coach Maurice Cheeks. "The second half is really when they took over the game. I thought our screen and roll defense was very good in the first half, and obviously it tailed off in the second half. I think that's where they made the difference in the game, in the screen and roll defense and Bosh and the way he plays. We couldn't score in the third quarter and they scored. That obviously was the difference. I give the Raptors credit, they are a good basketball team. They played better than we did tonight."
The Raptors lead the season series 3-0. These teams conclude the regular season against each other on April 18 in Toronto...Graham and Humphries each finished with 10 points for Toronto...The Raptors shot 47 percent in the contest...Philadelphia made 43 percent of its shots...Steven Hunter had 10 rebounds for the Sixers.
04/07 00:07:41 ET