PHILADELPHIA -- The Toronto Raptors narrowly averted a costly letdown in their push to make the playoffs.
Toronto blew a 17-point third-quarter lead against the lowly Philadelphia 76ers and trailed in overtime Saturday before Chris Bosh stepped up with two key shots to keep the Raptors in control of the eighth and final playoff spot with a 128-123 win.
"I wouldn't want to imagine the [playoff] scenario if we lost that game," Bosh said.
He finished with 28 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists, including a bank shot with 30 seconds left that put Toronto (38-37) ahead by three and avoided what would have been a gloomy scene in the visitors' locker room.
Rookie Jrue Holiday put Philadelphia (26-50) up 114-111 with 59 seconds left in regulation, but Jose Calderon tied it 17 seconds later with a 3. Bosh had a chance to win the game, but missed a contested layup at the buzzer. He atoned for the miss in overtime.
"It was a real good win for us, but we blew a big lead," Bosh said. "We got a little complacent out there."
Philadelphia led 120-119 after Andre Iguodala's 3-pointer with 2:56 remaining in overtime.
The teams were tied at 122 before Bosh's layup with 1:55 left moved the Raptors ahead. Philadelphia had a chance to tie it with 52 seconds left, but Samuel Dalembert missed a free throw. Bosh drilled a 6-foot bank shot that extended Toronto's lead to 126-123.
"There was a real exchange of 3-pointers out there, but we made the big shots in overtime," Raptors coach Jay Triano said.
Toronto hit 11 of 24 3-pointers and both teams finished the game shooting 56 percent in a back-and-forth contest that featured minimal defense.
Iguodala missed a long 3-pointer with a hand in his face that would have tied the game after Bosh's banker.
"I think to be one of the elite players you have to have that confidence in yourself no matter what situation, whether you are making shots or not," said Iguodala.
Jarrett Jack missed two free throws with 20 seconds left, but teammate Antoine Wright hauled in an offensive rebound and returned the ball to Jack, who went back to the line and hit both shots to clinch the victory.
"Wright's offensive rebound was huge for us," Bosh said. "Jarrett's usually a great free-throw shooter, but he made the next two."
Iguodala finished with 33 points and 11 assists, both season highs, to go with eight rebounds. Holiday added a career-high 25 points to help Philadelphia come back after falling behind in the third. The Sixers used a smaller lineup featuring Lou Williams and Holiday during their fourth-quarter run that stumped the Raptors.
"We tried to change a couple of pick-and-roll schemes, and that didn't work, so we changed personnel, and that worked," Sixers coach Eddie Jordan said.
Toronto hit just three of 15 shots and turned the ball over five times in the fourth quarter to let Philadelphia back in the game.
"We had the momentum, but they went to a small lineup," Triano said. "Then we had turnovers and they started making shots. But we figured a way to come back."
Toronto shot 16 for 21 from the floor in the third quarter and opened the fourth up 99-87, but the Sixers put together a 20-7 run to open the quarter. Willie Green's 19-foot jump shot with 3:59 remaining put Philadelphia ahead 107-106, the team's first lead since the second quarter. Green scored six in a row in that stretch and finished with 13 points.
Sonny Weems continued to have a hot hand for the Raptors, putting in 18 points on 9-of-11 shooting. He was 8 for 8 with 17 points in the Raptors' win over the Clippers on Wednesday. The Raptors' sharp shooting and Philadelphia's sloppy defense led to the Sixers going the entire third quarter without an individual rebound.
Lou Williams returned for the Sixers after missing five games with lower back pain. ... Toronto entered the game with a 1 1/2-game lead over Chicago for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. ... Philadelphia had just three team rebounds in the third quarter. ... Elton Brand had no rebounds for the first time in his career.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
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