TORONTO -- They were undermanned and out of sync, early.
And in desperate need of a win, on the road or otherwise, the 76ers put on a late, fourth-quarter charge at Air Canada Centre.
After trailing by 15 points in the first half, they battled back to pull within two late in the game, only to have a similar, disappointing result: a 108-100 defeat.
As the final seconds ticked away, the Sixers (7-17) had their 10 consecutive road loss, and fifth straight overall.
"You always go back to how you started, I think," coach Brett Brown said. "We dug ourselves a hole. We clawed ourselves back into it where we actually could have found a way to win that game.
"But I give them credit. They made shots they made some threes when they needed to."
Perhaps the biggest three came after Tony Wroten's layup capped the Sixers' 7-0 run to close the gap to 100-98 with 1 minute, 56 seconds remaining.
Terrence Ross responded with his fourth three-pointer 18 seconds later to give the Raptors (8-13) a four-point cushion. Shooting guard DeMar DeRozan followed with a foul shot and layup to make it a 106-98 lead with 40.9 seconds left.
DeRozan finished with a game-high 27 points. Ross, a swingman making his second consecutive start, added 24 points on 10-for-16 shooting.
Meanwhile, Wroten had his best shooting performance as a Sixer.
The 6-foot-6 point guard, who played in place of standout rookie Michael Carter-Williams, finished with a team-high 23 points. The 20-year-old made 5 of 8 three-pointers and shot 8 for 17 from the field overall. Wroten went into the game as a 19 percent three-point shooter.
Swingman Evan Turner added 21 points for the Sixers.
Early on, the game had all the signs of a Raptors blowout.
Toronto began the game with a 10-2 run and finished with a 10-0 mark. As a result, the Raptors took a commanding 36-21 cushion into the second quarter.
"I mean you play your defensive strategy and if guys hit threes, guys hit threes," Turner said of Toronto making 4 of 9 first-quarter three-pointer. "Right now, the tendency versus us is everybody has a hot hand.
"So we just got to keep battling, sticking with the game plan the whole fourth quarter and take it from there."
The Sixers pulled within two points (76-74) on Lavoy Allen's alley oop dunk with 1:23 left in the quarter.
After Toronto turned the ball over on the ensuing possession, the Sixers had a chance to knot the score.
However, Turner misfired on an alley oop pass to Anderson. The Raptors went on to end the quarter with a 7-2 to take an 83-76 cushion.
The Sixers pulled within five points (87-82) with 8:22 remaining. But Greivis Vazquez sandwiched two three-pointers around one by Amir Johnson on the Raptors next three possessions to put their lead up to 14 points (96-82).
"You leave and feel a little bit empty," Brown said. "You feel like you had a chance to get a road win and we didn't. The health side of the program has to prevail, you have to find a way to back up against a really good team (Portland Trail Blazers) tomorrow night."
Carter-Williams missed his fifth consecutive game because of soreness and a skin infection on the front of his right knee.
(c)2013 The Philadelphia Inquirer
Visit The Philadelphia Inquirer at www.philly.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services