Andrea Bargnani scored 23 points and DeMar DeRozan added 19 for the Toronto Raptors on Saturday, but their solid nights were spoiled by a horrendous second quarter en route to a 93-83 loss to Philadelphia 76ers.
"We haven't put together a true 48 minutes. Give me 46, I'd be happy with that," said Toronto coach Dwane Casey.
The Raptors have been plagued by poor first quarters, but it was a horrible second that proved costly against a Philly team that's won three straight games.
In the span of 15 dreadful minutes, a 10-point first-quarter lead turned into a 19-point deficit for a stunned Raptors squad that was booed to the dressing room trailing 52-33 at halftime.
The Raptors shot a woeful 2-for-20 from the floor and was outscored 32-7 in a second quarter that had Casey screaming himself hoarse. It was Toronto's worst scoring output in a quarter since 2003.
"We've been talking in all the games, we play good for three quarters, we lose it in one, everything we worked for," said Jose Calderon. "Sometimes you get into that kind of downhill and we've got to be able to turn it around when it happens in the game.
"It's happening so many times, it's always playing good for a while and then we hit that wall and stop playing. It looks like we forget to play basketball."
Calderon added 14 points and 11 assists as the Raptors (1-5) dropped their third straight.
Thaddeus Young, Nick Young, and Jrue Holiday scored 16 points apiece to top the Sixers (4-2). Dorell Wright added 15 while Spencer Hawes finished with 12.
The Raptors, wearing their camouflage uniforms in honour of Remembrance Day, made a game of it in the third quarter, cutting Philly's lead to seven points heading into the fourth.
But Toronto's burst of energy was short-lived and when Nick Young drained a long jumper as the shot clock sounded with just over three minutes left in the game — putting the Sixers up by 17 points — plenty of fans tugged on their coats and headed for the exits.
The Raptors had one last gasp capped by a Calderon three-pointer with 1:01 left that cut Philly's lead to 10 points, but it was too little too late for the home team.
"The second quarter was the picture of the game," Bargnani said. "Against a team like Philadelphia which is playing great basketball you cannot afford to do that. We played a decent game for three quarters, but again we cannot afford to have a quarter like that.
"Of course it is our fault."
The Raptors were missing starters Kyle Lowry and Landry Fields, Lowry with a sprained ankle he suffered two games earlier at Oklahoma City and Fields with tenderness in his right hand.
Alan Anderson started in place of Fields but was carried off the court with a sprained left foot to end the third quarter.
The loss of Lowry was big for Toronto. The point guard has been the Raptors' most consistent player, and has had some of his best games against his hometown Philly team.
Casey said he sees "light at the end of the tunnel."
"I see that with our fight, I see that for three quarters, every game there's been three solid quarters, three competitive quarters each game, and now we've got to close that gap with four, get that one extra quarter," the coach said.
The Raptors' bench was outscored 38-12.
"If we were going to win this game our bench was going to have to help us because we were very tired," said Sixers coach Doug Collins. "Our first unit tonight just didn't have any juice at all. We were down in the first quarter, and then our second unit was fantastic."
The Sixers, who were coming off a 106-100 victory at Boston the previous night, shot 47 per cent on the night to the Raptors' 38 per cent and outrebounded Toronto 46-35.
Bargnani had a big first quarter with nine points, his turnaround jumper with three minutes left lifting the Raptors to a 10-point lead. The Raptors led 26-20 heading into the second.
The Sixers shot 67 per cent in the second quarter, outscoring Toronto 32-7 to take a 52-33 lead into the dressing room at halftime.
The Raptors pushed back in the third, shooting 69 per cent in the quarter and outscoring the Sixers 29-17. A three-pointer by DeRozan late in the quarter cut the Sixers' lead to seven point and Philly led 69-62 with one quarter left.
NOTES: Linas Kleiza was back in the lineup after missing four games to attend to a family matter. . . Toronto is at home to Utah on Monday. . . The Raptors honoured Olympians Rosie MacLennan (gold in trampoline) and Robyn Gayle (bronze, women's soccer) at centre court. The two were presented with framed No. 12 Raptors jerseys. . . The Raptors' warmup shirts read "Forces."Suggest a correction