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Raptors dump winless 76ers

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PHILADELPHIA—After a buzzer-beating “three” put the 76ers on the ropes, Kyle Lowry had fellow Philly native and boxer Danny Garcia at his side in the locker-room for a post-game celebration.

They were there for the latest KO against the Sixers.

Lowry scored 23 points, and Luis Scola had 21, to help the Toronto Raptors snap a three-game losing streak with a 119-103 victory over the winless Philadelphia 76ers last night.

One year after starting 0-17, the sorry Sixers have lost their first eight games of this season.

Philadelphia now has lost 18-straight dating back to March 27.

That’s the fourth-longest mark in franchise history—one shy of the 19-straight dropped from March 21-Nov. 10, 1972.

The Sixers matched an NBA record with 26-straight losses from Jan. 31-March 27, 2014, and also lost 20-straight from Jan. 9-Feb. 11, 1973.

“You just can’t get into a pity party,” coach Brett Brown stressed.

“You have to deal with it and try to figure out ways to try and steal a win,” he noted.

The Sixers would have to pull off some grand theft to win during a difficult upcoming stretch, with games ahead against Oklahoma City, San Antonio, and Dallas.

Lowry, a Philadelphia native who played two seasons at Villanova, heard polite applause during pre-game introductions and gave hometown fans plenty of reason to cheer.

He scored 14 points in the first half—capped by a 27-footer with 0.9 seconds left to send the Raptors into halftime with a 63-57 lead.

“I always think every time I shoot it it’s going in,” Lowry noted.

Lowry left about 65 tickets for friends and family, and was sleeping in his own bed last night before meeting up later with the Raptors.

“It’s always good to come home,” Lowry said. “We played our game.”

The Raptors built a 20-point lead in the third and left no doubt about the outcome.

Scola scored 17 points on 8-for-10 shooting in the third quarter and helped Toronto become the latest team to punish the Sixers.

“When you get easy shots, the confidence builds,” Scola noted.

“It starts with defence,” he added. “You get a lot of easy shots, the defence tends to collapse, and the confidence is higher.”

While the Raptors had four starters in double-digit scoring, the Sixers started marginal NBA players JaKarr Sampson, Nik Stauskas, and T.J. McConnell.

Stauskas, a noted three-point shooter at Michigan, has struggled from the arc in the NBA.

He missed of 5-of-7 against the Raptors and entered only shooting 29 percent overall on “threes.”

Jahlil Okafor led the Sixers with 26 points and had seven rebounds.

McConnell had 13 assists while Jerami Grant had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

The Raptors beat the Sixers for the ninth-straight time—the longest winning streak on either side in 20 years of the series.

They play their next six games against the Western Conference.

Toronto coach Dwane Casey, meanwhile, said he did not want to look back at a referee mistake that cost them in the final minute of a 111-109 loss to New York on Tuesday night.

Crew chief Ed Malloy said post-game that Carmelo Anthony stepped out of bounds and the ball should have been awarded to Toronto.

Casey said he was an advocate of replay in a situation like that one.

“We have some of the best officials in the league, in the world,” he noted.

“It’s honourable that the league admits it, but you take that and $3 and you won’t get a cup of coffee.”

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