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Raptors 125, 76ers 114

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TORONTO — Guard Kyle Lowry returned from a bruised kneecap to score a game-high 29 points, leading the Toronto Raptors to a 125-114 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night at Air Canada Centre.

Lowry, who missed the previous three games, scored 10 of his points in the fourth quarter, including four straight Toronto points as the Raptors opened a late 120-110 lead.

Toronto center Jonas Valanciunas added a career-high 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds just two days after he was charged with drunk driving. He entered Wednesday averaging 17.6 points over his previous five games, up from his season mark of 11.

Raptors center Patrick Patterson had 17 points and five rebounds, while guard DeMar DeRozan added 17 points and five assists.

Toronto (46-32) extended its winning streak to four games and earned its seventh victory in eight games. The Raptors swept the four-game season series with Philadelphia (17-61). The 76ers lost for the 14th time in their past 15 road games.

Philadelphia center Henry Sims posted 22 points and eight rebounds, while guard Michael Carter-Williams added 19 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

Toronto improved to 29-19 this season against Eastern Conference opponents, including 17-7 at home. The Raptors are 18-8 since the All-Star break and 39-20 since trading forward Rudy Gay to the Sacramento Kings in December.

The Raptors used a 6-1 surge to start the fourth quarter, pulling away good.

The Sixers opened the second half on an 8-2 run, closing Toronto’s lead to 78-74.

Following a Raptors timeout, Sixers guard James Anderson (17 points) drained a 3-pointer, making it a one point-game.

Guard Terrence Ross got the Raptors turned in the right direction, hitting two difficult, long shots, giving the Raptors a 98-89 lead heading into the fourth. Ross, who finished with 11 points, shot 3-for-5 from 3-point range.

Valanciunas had 17 points in 17 minutes and was 6-for-7 from the field as the Raptors lead 68-60 at halftime. He finished 10-for-14.

Wednesday marked Valanciunas’ eighth consecutive game scoring in double digits, matching his season-high.

NOTES: Raptors F/C Amir Johnson (ankle) missed his third game. He was replaced in the lineup by Patrick Patterson. … Toronto is one win shy of the franchise record set during the 2006-07 season. … The Raptors entered their night tied with the Chicago Bulls for the third seed in the Eastern Conference with five games remaining. … The 76ers entered Wednesday allowing a league-high 109.9 points this season.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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