TORONTO - It was fan appreciation night at the Air Canada Centre.
There were jersey giveaways, boxes of white T-shirts distributed, free vacations, and - perhaps most unexpected - a 111-104 Toronto Raptors victory over the 76ers.
In front of 18,018 last night, and against a surprisingly more determined, more focused Raptors team, the Sixers lost their fifth straight game.
For the Sixers, now 40-40, only two regular-season games remain: against the defending champion Boston Celtics and at Cleveland, the top-seeded team in the Eastern Conference.
About this killer end-of-season schedule, Sixers point guard Andre Miller said, "Most likely, they'll be in the conference finals, so we'll see what happens."
The Sixers are now tied with the Chicago Bulls for the sixth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Miami clinched the fifth spot yesterday.
Is Sixers coach Tony DiLeo worried about his team's free fall?
"We're not playing good basketball, that's what worries me," he said.
"This was definitely a step back. We have two more games to try to get back and play good basketball."
The Sixers had 10 turnovers - 10 of them by Andre Iguodala - and the lowly Raptors turned them into 31 points. Toronto shot 53.8 percent from the floor.
The Sixers not only appeared on different pages from one another, but in entirely different books.
"Overall, I didn't like our chemistry on the court," DiLeo said. "Too many times we failed to rotate."
"I don't really see a difference between this game and the Cleveland game," said Miller, referring to Friday night's close loss to the Cavs. "We lost them both. I don't see what chemistry has to do with it."
The Sixers had two chances to turn what was a nip-and-tuck game into a big win.
In the second quarter, the Sixers were ahead, 52-43, behind a trio of three-pointers from reserve Royal Ivey. A crossroads was approaching where the Sixers would either step on the Raptors, pushing their lead to 15, or take their foot away, allowing Toronto to close the gap.
The Raptors ended the half on a 10-1 run, tying the game, 53-53.
Then, to start the third, the Sixers built a 63-57 lead, and held possession. Ninety seconds later, the game was 63-62. A minute later, it was tied. A few minutes after that, the Raptors were ahead, 73-70.
The third period ended with Toronto ahead, 81-80.
A breakaway with just over 10 minutes left in the game seemed to spark Toronto's strong finish. With Lou Williams retreating as the Sixers' only defender, facing four white jerseys, the Raptors had more appealing options than an ice cream shop.
A Shawn Marion dunk for an 87-80 lead. The Raptors, who were led by Chris Bosh's 22 points, would eventually lead by as many as 14. The Sixers, who were led by 23 from Williams, cut it to four, but a turnover by Iguodala with 36.9 seconds left ended any thoughts of a comeback.
"I had some bad turnovers, some miscommunication; it's all on me," said Iguodala, who finished with 21 points.