The Sixers lost the game 105-103, but they may have gained something much valuable than a "W" tonight. Lou Williams played a season-high 20 minutes, and finished with 21 points, 2 boards, 3 assists, 1 steal, 0 turnovers and about 50,000 new fans.
Lou was all over the floor in the fourth quarter and he single-handedly brought the Sixers back into the game with 3 threes, including a four-point play to cut the Raptor lead to 1, a driving layup to tie the game, and a driving hoop with the foul to bring the Sixers within 1 with less than a minute to play. Unfortunately, Lou missed the free throw, but that's not the thing to remember from this one. The thing to remember is that Mo Cheeks went with Andre Miller and Lou down the stretch, and the team erased a 10-point deficit, took the Raptors to the edge and very nearly sent them packing.
Chris Bosh made the two decisive plays with less than 10 seconds left on the clock. First, Andre Miller smoked his man off the dribble with the Sixers down 2. Miller got to the hoop, pump-faked and got Bosh into the air, he then went up for what looked like an uncontested layup, but Bosh went right back up in the air to block the shot. The Raptors missed two straight free throws, but Bosh was there to secure the offensive rebound and put the final nail in the Sixers.
Both Dalembert and Reggie Evans spent large portions of time on the bench due to foul trouble, so the Sixers were forced to go with a small lineup. Two coaching moves impressed me: 1) The Raptors absolutely killed the Sixers from three in the first half. Cheeks went with quicker players, and a philosophy not to help off the shooters in the second half. It paid dividends. 2) Mo used Andre Iguodala to cover every member of the Raptors. Whoever got the hot hand, Iguodala covered, including Bosh. Iguodala looked like a man among boys out there tonight. His final line: 26 points on 11/21 from the floor, 8 boards, 7 assists, 3 steals and only 2 turnovers.
Questionable coaching moves of the night:
- Down the stretch, Mo had an opportunity to get Reggie Evans back in there in an offense/defense switch to provide some rebounding. He didn't, and the Raptors cleaned up the offensive glass.
- Calvin Booth, 11 minutes on the floor. Horrible.
Team Record: 2-3