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DeRozan and Johnson lift Raptors over 76ers

Toronto Raptors forward Amir Johnson celebrates after slamming home a dunk during first half NBA action against the Philadelphia 76ers in Toronto on Wednesday January 9, 2013.


It was far from what could be described as an artistic success but given the outcome Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey was not about to start complaining.

The Raptors (13-22) led from wire to wire and were rewarded with a 90-72 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers (15-22) at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday night to snap a two-game National Basketball Association losing skid.

It was a game in which neither team displayed much in the way of a sustained attack as the defences on both sides set the early tone.

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The Raptors were especially stingy, limiting the 76ers to just 39.2 per shoots (29 of 74) in the game while out-rebounding Philadelphia to the tune of 46-37 to win for the ninth time in their last 12 outings.

"It was a grind it out, it was an Eastern Conference grinder," is the way Casey described the affair.

Casey was happy his team was able to endure, his bench down to eight players due to a variety of aches and pains.

Rookie Terrence Ross was once again not available because of a sore left ankle as was Linus Kleiza who missed his fourth straight game with a bad knee.

Casey also made a change to his starting lineup, inserting Landry Fields into the small forward spot in place of Mickael Pietrus and the move paid immediate dividends.

Fields was active at both ends of the court, scoring 10 points while grabbing 11 rebounds, both season highs "He did exactly what we needed," Casey said of Landry. "He gave us energy, running the floor, activity. And I thought his defence was pretty solid."

Amir Johnson and DeMar DeRozan each scored 19 points to lead the Raptors while Jose Calderon, the starting point guard, was also effective with 19 points and 11 aassists.

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"Jose did a hell of a job of really executing and ran the show," Casey said.

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