Holiday leads comeback, Sixers beat Raptors in OT

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- Toronto coach Dwane Casey said before his team's game Friday night against the Philadelphia 76ers that Sixers point guard Jrue Holiday has his vote for the Eastern Conference All-Star team.
That figures to be doubly true now, after Holiday, en route to a 33-point, 14-assist game, scored the tying basket with 1.9 seconds left in regulation and then tacked on all 12 of his team's points in overtime, lifting the Sixers to a 108-101 victory over the Raptors.
Holiday's point total matched his career high. His big night, coupled with the 27-point, 14-rebound effort of Thaddeus Young, enabled the Sixers (17-23) to rally from a 19-point second-half deficit and win for the second time in three games, but just the fifth time in the last 19.
"It was just a good feeling to win," Holiday said. "Just coming back in any game feels really good, down 19."
The Eastern Conference reserves, which are decided by a vote of the coaches, will be announced on Thursday. When asked before Friday's game about Holiday's candidacy, Casey said, "Right off the top of my head, he's got my vote. I love the kid."
"Everybody knows how good Jrue Holiday is," Sixers coach Doug Collins said afterward. "I just hope our record doesn't hurt him."
Holiday said making the first All-Star team of his four-year career is "a goal I'd like to have under my belt." And, he added, "If I have to do everything for our team to win, then so be it. I'm going to give my all every game."
The Raptors (14-26), who were paced by Ed Davis' 18 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, led 96-92 after Alan Anderson made two free throws with 8.8 seconds left in regulation.
But Philadelphia's Spencer Hawes tipped in Young's miss with 5.9 seconds left, and after an errant inbounds pass by Toronto's Jose Calderon, Holiday scored on a drive to tie the game.
Holiday then put the Sixers ahead to stay 34 seconds into overtime when he stole the ball from Kyle Lowry and converted a fast-break layup. He gave the Sixers a 100-96 lead by making a wing jumper with 1:55 left, and after Calderon cut the gap to one with a 3-pointer, Holiday nailed a 3 of his own.
Holiday added a layup and three free throws.
Anderson and Terrence Ross also had 18 points for the Raptors, who held a 64-45 lead early in the third quarter, only to see the Sixers outscore them 27-9 to cut the gap to 73-72. Holiday had six points in the run, while Young and Evan Turner added five apiece.
The Sixers took their first lead of the game on Hawes' basket 13 seconds into the fourth quarter, but Ross answered with a jumper, which triggered a 15-4 run, giving the Raptors an 88-78 lead.
Toronto was still up by 10 at 92-82 when the Sixers reeled off eight straight points, six of those by Young, to make it 92-90 with 2:54 to play.
After the Sixers fell behind by 10, Casey said, "They continued to street-fight, and we didn't respond."
On the next Toronto possession Anderson lost the ball while rising to shoot from the right wing. But Amir Johnson saved the loose ball at the baseline to Davis, who knocked in a short jumper to give the Raptors a four-point lead.
Anderson also countered Young's dunk by making a pair of free throws with 8.8 seconds left, making it 96-92.
Ross scored 12 points in the first half -- all in the second quarter, on 4-for-4 shooting from 3-point range -- and Davis added 11, as the Raptors took a 60-43 lead. Toronto, which made its last seven shots of the first period, shot 58.5 percent from the field in the first 24 minutes.
Holiday countered with 11 first-half points for the Sixers.
A 3-pointer by Calderon early in the third quarter extended the Toronto lead to 64-45.
"It's very disappointing," Lowry said. "We had that game, just to be honest. We had the game at halftime. We were rolling, but then in the third quarter, they threw a couple haymakers and hit us."
NOTES: The NBA announced Friday that the referees had erred Wednesday when the Raptors' Johnson was not awarded free throws after being fouled by Chicago's Joakim Noah with 3.3 seconds left in overtime in a game the Bulls went on to win, 107-105. "It is what it is," Casey said. "It doesn't change our record. ... It shows the system's in place, and there is accountability for everybody." ... Jason Richardson started at guard for the Sixers, despite having his left knee drained Thursday. Backup center Kwame Brown was not in uniform because of what the team described as a sinus infection. ... Lowry, a Villanova product, had 11 points and 11 assists off the Toronto bench. ... Philadelphia center Lavoy Allen scored 12 points, two off his season high.

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