Marshall nets TWELVE 3-pointers!

One night after losing to the lowly Hawks, Donyell Marshall scored a career-high 38 points versus Philadelphia, including a NBA record-tying 12 three-pointers.TORONTO (CP) — Donyell Marshall wasn’t aware how close he was to making history, but his teammates certainly were.

With his Raptors teammates chucking him passes and cheering him on, Marshall tied an NBA record with 12 three-pointers, and the Raptors topped the NBA record for triples in a game with 21 in a thrilling 128-110 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday.

“I knew I was getting close because the last two threes I took … my teammates were yelling, `run, run, run, get to the corner,’ they were telling me to shoot it,” said Marshall. “They were telling me `we’re going to keep getting you the ball — if we get it to you, shoot it.”‘

Marshall and the Raptors simply couldn’t miss. Toronto’s 128 points tied the Raptors club mark for points in a game set against the Dallas Mavericks on March 10, 1996. And Marshall poured in a career-high 38 points, his three with 2:52 left in the game putting the Raptors over the previous NBA record of 19 threes set by Atlanta at Dallas on Dec. 17, 1996.

“Donyell was on fire,” said Jalen Rose, who contributed two threes and finished with 14 points. “Today we just moved the ball, made the extra pass, made a good shot into a great shot.

“I wish (Marshall) could bottle it up and take it with him on every road trip, every home game, and sell me a little bit of it.”

Morris Peterson had four threes to finish with 20 points. Chris Bosh had 25 points and 10 rebounds, while Rafer Alston finished with 17 points.

Marshall had an inkling he was in for a good night after hitting a couple of threes in warm-up over assistant trainer Sam Gibbs.

“(Gibbs) was like, `every time you hit a three look over at me.’ I hit the first four and he looked at me, put his head down and started laughing,” Marshall said with a chuckle. “From there on, I just felt more and more confident.”

The historic performance was all the more sweet coming against Philly. Marshall grew up in Reading, Penn., about 80 kilometres from Philadelphia.

“I know I’m going to get a lot of calls from my kids, from my family and friends, I know they were all at home watching,” said Marshall. “It was good doing it against the team you grew up watching.”

Marshall missed his last two attempts of the game, which would have put him over the record he now shares with Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant.

“I was giving him the play-by-play,” said Rose. “I let him know how many he had, I let him know what the record was, I even tried to name the guys who had the record. I was trying to do whatever I could to allow him to have sole possession of it.”

Marshall’s night brought back memories of his 40-point performance when he was at the University of Connecticut.

“I hadn’t had a game that felt that good since college,” Marshall said.

The Raptors (27-36) sorely needed the win, coming two days after a horrible loss to Atlanta, and with the team still holding onto slim hope of a playoff berth.

Philadelphia, on the other hand, was just three games back of first place in the Atlantic Division coming into Sunday’s division matchup.

The game was close until the third quarter when the Raptors blew open the game by outscoring the Sixers 36-17 to go up by as much as 25 points late in the third.

The Raptors continued to light up the scoreboard in the fourth, much to the delight of the raucous crowd of 19,800 fans at the Air Canada Centre, who stood and cheered with each three-pointer that fell in the dying minutes.

The capacity crowd was just the Raptors’ sixth sellout this season and Marshall certainly gave the fans their money’s worth.

The Raptors forward shot 12-for-19 from beyond the arc, and connected on five threes in the fourth quarter. The crowd stood and chanted his name when Marshall left the game with 47 seconds left.

“(Marshall) shot the ball unbelievably,” said Raptors coach Sam Mitchell. “But I just thought they were wide open shots. I thought we moved the basketball. I can’t recall a game where we had guys turn down threes because the next guy was more open. It was unbelievable.”

Marshall’s teammates — and even the opposition — marvelled at his red-hot performance.

“As a shooter, watching that, that was unreal,” said Peterson. “Hopefully one day I can match that.”

Added Philly coach Jim O’Brien: “(Marshall) made threes whether he was challenged or unchallenged. It was a spectacular shooting performance. We just didn’t have what it took to defend him.”

Rose, who was teammates with Marshall at Chicago before the pair were traded to Toronto in 2003, said he’s proud of how Marshall has persevered through trying times this season.

“Whether it’s coming off the bench every game this season, whether it’s understanding he may be traded at trade deadline (but then) still being here, still being a pro competing…” said Rose. “We really fed off of him today and I’m just happy for him as an individual.”

The Raptors shot 50 per cent from the field and connected on 62 per cent from three-point range.

Allen Iverson led Philly (30-33) with 32 points.

Chris Webber added 16 points for Philly in his first visit to Toronto since he was traded there from Sacramento on Feb. 23 trade with Sacramento. The Sixers are (4-5) since the trade.

The Sixers raced out to a 22-12 lead midway through the first quarter, but Marshall hit three consecutive three-pointers to spark a 12-4 Raptors run that tied the game 26-26. The Sixers led 31-28 heading into the second.

Peterson’s second three in a row put the Raptors up 47-40 at 7:04 of the second, and Toronto led 63-60 at the break.

A driving finger roll by Alston with 1:27 left in the third quarter stretched Toronto’s lead to 96-71 and the Raptors cruised to a 99-77 advantage with a quarter left to play.

From Sporsnet

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