Raptors 106, 76ers 90
Whenever Reggie Evans needs motivation, he thinks about the die-hard fans high in the upper deck and turns up his intensity level just for them.
Evans had a career-high 22 rebounds and a season-high 12 points, Andrea Bargnani scored 24 points and the Toronto Raptors extended their winning streak to four games with a 106-90 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.
Andre Iguodala scored 17 points, Jrue Holiday had 16 and Thaddeus Young 14 for Philadelphia. The 76ers have lost seven of eight.
Evans, who played two seasons with Philadelphia before being traded to Toronto, said thinking about fans gives him extra drive when he's on the court.
''You have so many people who go out there and work so hard from 9 to 5 to make an honest living and buy a Raptors ticket,'' Evans said. ''They want to come here and see somebody work just as hard as they do in the real world. A lot of times, they appreciate it more to see a guy go out there and bust his butt. That way they get their money's worth when they see the Raptors play.''
Evans came in ranked fourth in the NBA in rebounding behind Minnesota's Kevin Love, Chicago's Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Iguodala said he admires his former teammate's tireless effort on the boards.
''It's just about hard work,'' Iguodala said. ''There is no equation behind that. He just goes out there and works hard and you can only respect that. If anything, our guys should learn from the way he plays the game.''
Teammate DeMar DeRozan sees Evans a little differently.
''He's just a big crazy dude who gets rebounds. A tough guy out there on the floor,'' DeRozan said.
Jose Calderon had a season-high 16 points and nine assists, newcomer Jerryd Bayless added 13 points, Leandro Barbosa had 11 and the Raptors matched a season high with nine 3-pointers.
The 76ers were without forward Elton Brand, suspended without pay for one game after committing a flagrant foul on Wizards center JaVale McGee on Tuesday night in a 116-114 overtime loss in Washington. Young started in place of Brand.
Philadelphia coach Doug Collins said his team was still sluggish after blowing a late lead and losing to the Wizards.
''I thought we played tired early,'' Collins said. ''We had a lot of guys play heavy minutes. I think Andre played 50 minutes last night. And we had no Elton Brand. It's tough for us to come down and throw the ball in the post and calm the game down because we don't have a post presence without him.''
Toronto started its winning streak with a 94-86 victory at Philadelphia last Wednesday.
After going 2 for 8 from the field Tuesday night, Sixers guard Lou Williams struggled again in this one, finishing 1 for 11.
''Lou is just not shooting well,'' Collins said. ''He's in one of those ruts and we need him to make shots because he's an integral part of our team coming off the bench.''
The 76ers trailed 87-71 after three quarters, then cut the gap to 10 at 98-88 on Marreese Speights' consecutive dunks. But Philadelphia didn't score again after Iguodala made two free throws with 3:36 remaining, allowing Toronto to close out a comfortable win.
Bayless and forward Peja Stojakovic, acquired Saturday in a trade with New Orleans that sent David Andersen, Marcus Banks and Jarrett Jack to the Hornets, made their Toronto debuts. Bayless played 15 minutes and Stojakovic scored seven points in 6 minutes.
''It went well,'' Bayless said. ''Everybody played well. Reggie had an unbelievable game.''
Evans had 10 rebounds and Bargnani scored eight points to help the Raptors open a 33-18 lead after a quarter, with Bayless adding a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Bargnani scored seven points in the second, and Stojakovic had seven more, giving Toronto a 62-43 lead at the half.
Evans led Toronto with eight points in the third, helping the Raptors carry a 16-point advantage into the final quarter.
The 76ers are 1-8 on the road. Only Washington (0-6) and the Los Angeles Clippers (0-7) have worse records away from home.
NOTES: Donyell Marshall holds Toronto's franchise record for rebounds with 24, set against Chicago on Feb 17, 2004. ... Evans had 15 rebounds in the first half, a Raptors record. His previous career high was 21, set Feb. 5, 2005, against Charlotte. ... Two of Philadelphia's starters, center Spencer Hawes and rookie swingman Evan Turner, failed to score in the opening half. ... Holiday's seven rebounds were a season high. ... The Raptors will visit Boston on Friday night, while the 76ers are at Miami.