By Sam Bush
It’s one thing for the Sixers to lose a game to the Toronto Raptors, who lead the Atlantic Division, but on Friday night they were beaten by a Philly native who just made the All-Star team
Kyle Lowry scored 17 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Raptors to a 91-86 comeback victory over the Sixers at the Wells.
Patrick Patterson added 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Raptors, who overcame a nine-point deficit with 5 1/2 minutes left.
Lowry, named Thursday as a starter for the All-Star game, entered the final period with four points on 2-for-9 shooting before heating up late when the Raptors desperately needed him.
Robert Covington scored 18 points to lead six 76ers in double-figures. It was the fourth straight loss and sixth in seven games for Philly, which dropped to 3-18 at home.
The Sixers played without leading scorer Tony Wroten for the sixth straight contest. The team announced before the game that Wroten will be sidelined indefinitely due to a partially torn ACL that will require surgery.
Philly’s Nerlens Noel returned to the lineup after missing Wednesday’s 98-91 loss to the Knicks due to sickness. It was the first time Noel and Michael Carter-Williams were on the court together since Noel’s critical comments of the point guard following Monday’s 111-76 defeat at Washington.
The duo provided a Philadelphia highlight early in the fourth quarter when Carter-Williams whipped an over-the-shoulder pass to Noel for an easy dunk that tied the game at 68 with 9:09 left.
The 76ers then went ahead 70-68 on Luc Mbah a Moute’s jumper with 8:11 remaining, giving Phillyits first lead since early in the second quarter. Two straight baskets by Noel followed by Mbah a Moute’s three-point play put Philly up 77-69 with 5:39 to play.
Lowry, a Philly native who played at Cardinal Dougherty High and at Villanova, then heated up, scoring all 13 points during a 13-4 Toronto run over the next three minutes and his third 3-pointer during the stretch knotted the game at 81 with 2:48 left.
The Raptors went up 85-81 on Demar DeRozan’s layup and Lowry’s two free throws, but Carter-Williams hit a 3 with 1:03 left and then stripped Lowry and converted a breakaway layup to give the 76ers an 86-85 lead with 42.1 seconds left.
Greivis Vasquez put Toronto back in front 87-86 with a layup with 25.9 seconds remaining.
The 76ers had a chance to go in front but Carter-Williams’ pass attempt inside to Noels was denied. He then committed a foul and Jonas Valanciunas made both free throws with 10.6 seconds left and Philly turned it over on its next possession as well.