Raptors' newcomers help beat 76ers

Larry Millson, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

TORONTO -- If first impressions mean anything, the Toronto Raptors and their new teammates are going to get along quite well.
With guard DeMar DeRozan leading the way with 27 points and forward Terrence Ross adding 24, the Raptors defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 108-100 on Friday night while working in three new teammates as the result of Monday's trade with the Sacramento Kings
"They're learning the system, learning to play with each other," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "I thought they were a little tight playing the first game which is understandable but I liked what I saw and going forward I think they're going to mix in quite well."
Guard Greivis Vasquez was the most impressive of the three newcomers -- forward Chuck Hayes, the fourth, did not play -- with 12 points coming off the bench while new forwards Patrick Patterson had five points with five rebounds and John Salmons scored three points.
"They came in with one practice under their belt and played well and had an impact," DeRozan said.
Sixers coach Brett Brown was especially impressed with the way DeRozan and Ross played.
"Ross and DeRozan, you take their athleticism plus they come off screens and shoot like they do, they're hard guards," Brown said. "They're really difficult to defend. Those two guys had fantastic games throughout and Greivis brings such energy. I give them credit they closed out the game when they had to."
Forward Amir Johnson scored 17 points with 10 rebounds for the Raptors (8-13), who have won two of their past eight games. Center Jonas Valanciunas added 12 points and 13 rebounds and guard Kyle Lowry had 11 assists and six points.
Guard Tony Wroten had 23 points to lead the 76ers, who lost their fifth in a row. Forward Evan Turner added 21 points and 10 rebounds while forward Thaddeus Young had 18, center Spencer Hawes 15 and forward James Anderson 13 coming off the bench.
"We've just got to keep playing and keep working," Turner said. "Obviously something is going to go our way eventually. We've just got to keep battling and stay with the game plan for the whole four quarters and take it from there."
The Raptors entered the fourth quarter leading by seven and stretched it to 14 with 7:11 to play on three successive 3-point shots -- two by Vasquez and one by Johnson. But Young's layup with 5:18 to play cut the lead to seven. Turner's 3-pointer cut the lead to four with 2:32 left.
Wroten cut the lead to two with 1:58 to play. Ross countered with a 3-pointer and the Raptors regained the ball on a turnover.
"That shot from the corner was probably the back breaker," Brown said.
DeRozan made one of two free throws with 1:14 to play and hit a jumper with 40.7 left to put Toronto ahead 106-98.
The Raptors took an eight-point lead into the second half. DeRozan scored the first four points of the third quarter to help the Raptors open up by 14 in the first 2:45 of the third. After the 76ers cut the lead to two with 1:2 left in the third, the quarter finished with the Raptors up 83-76 on Lowry's running tip shot beat the buzzer.
The 76ers trailed by 15 points after the first quarter, but trimmed the lead to three points after 3:49 of the second on a layup by Anderson. The Raptors got the lead back to eight on Vasquez's first two points since his arrival after Monday's trade with Sacramento.
A pair of free throws by Wroten tied the game at 45 with 3:30 left in the half. The Raptors led 56-48 at the half after Patterson made a layup and a free throw for his first Raptors points.
The Raptors opened the game with a 13-2 run and led 36-21 after the first quarter paced by 12 points from Ross, usually a guard coming off the bench who started his second consecutive game at forward. They have been his only two starts of the season.
"Consistency is what he's fighting for," Casey said. "He's a talented young man and he's been consistent the last couple of games."
"You can see it (the ability)," DeRozan said of Ross. "He works hard and with more minutes comes confidence."
"Down the stretch we got some stops," Casey said. "And DeMar made some big plays down the stretch and he has to be one of the closers at the end of the game. Terrence Ross had a big night and he made a big 3 that really stopped the flow a little bit."
NOTES: Philadelphia G Michael Carter-Williams (skin infection) did not play Friday for the fifth consecutive game. ... F Arnett Moultrie (left ankle) and C Nerlens Noel (left knee) did not play for the 76ers. ... Raptors F Tyler Hansbrough (left shoulder sprain) returned to the lineup after he missed two straight games. ... F Chuck Hayes, one of four players acquired by the Raptors in Monday's trade that sent F Rudy Gay, C Aaron Gray and F Quincy Acy to Sacramento, needs to pass a routine baseline cardiac test on Monday at Cleveland Clinic before he can play. ... The Raptors will play the Bulls in Chicago on Saturday. ... The 76ers will be home to face the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday.

What to Read Next