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TORONTO - As the Raptors wandered into the locker room, heads down after Fridays loss to the Knicks, they found a red t-shirt dr

in Zertifikate 14.12.2017 10:17
von jokergreen0220 | 1.210 Beiträge

TORONTO - As the Raptors wandered into the locker room, heads down after Fridays loss to the Knicks, they found a red t-shirt draped over each of their chairs. Joel Edmundson Jersey . "Atlantic is ours," read the shirts, delivered by the league that afternoon. Moments earlier they learned that, for the second time in franchise history, the Raptors will be crowned division champions, also earning home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The celebration was not exactly how they expected it. "Its sweet and sour," said Kyle Lowry following Torontos 108-100 loss to the Knicks. Shortly after the Raptors game went final, the Nets would fall to Atlanta at home, in effect clinching the division for Toronto. "Its very sweet that we won the division," the Raptors point guard explained, "but it sucks that we didnt win it [with] a win. But well take the division [title] any day." Its been a long and sometimes strange road for this Raptors team and in that way Fridays bizarre post-game proceedings seemed almost fitting. No one was quite sure how to feel. Torontos defeat, at the hands of a desperate Knicks teams fighting for their playoff lives, exposed a series of lingering concerns for Dwane Casey and his club. Meanwhile, with Chicago coming back from an 18-point deficit to knock off the Pistons, the Raptors fell out of the Eastern Conferences third seed. Do they care who theyll face in the opening round of the postseason, beginning next weekend, on Apr. 19 or 20? "No, not at all," Lowry stated. "Weve proved we can play with anybody in this league," DeRozan added. "We understand that, so it really doesnt matter to us." He was not alone. The consensus in the room was just that, no, theyre not stressing over their first-round opponent, or so they say. In the grand scheme of things it could be the difference between the teams second ever series victory or an early vacation, a reality they all seem to grasp, given their expressions of discontent upon learning that Chicago had won. If the season ended today, Toronto - the fourth seed - would host fifth-placed Brooklyn, a daunting matchup for the inexperienced Raptors, although home-court would play a big factor. "You definitely want to have home-court advantage, because our fans get into it," Amir Johnson said. The Raptors have won 22 of their last 30 games at the Air Canada Centre. "Its always tough to go into someones house and win a game." It would be especially tough to win in Brooklyns gym, should they meet up in the postseason. The Nets loss to Atlanta Friday was just their third at home since the calendar turned to 2014. Whomever they face, the Raptors have some work to do if they hope to advance. The Knicks were the hungrier team on Friday, they wanted it more and Toronto was never able to match that level of intensity. Their inexperience showed against the likes of Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, a less than encouraging sign if they do end up seeing the veteran Nets next weekend. Defensively they were a step slow, they got outworked in the paint once again and for the 11th time in their last 19 contests the Raptors surrendered at least 100 points. "We saw it from them for 48 minutes," Casey said of the Knicks, who stayed in playoff contention with the victory, although theyre one loss or Hawks win away from being eliminated. "You have to shake their hands. They came in and made the shots they needed to make." The Raptors, trailing by one to start the fourth, went nearly seven minutes without recording a field goal in the final quarter, squandering an opportunity to tie the franchise win record in front of their home fans. In the end, the sellout crowd could not see their team celebrate a division title in the way they had hoped. Still, for a fan base that has gone six years without watching a single playoff game, Friday was - as Lowry puts it - a "sweet and sour" day. "Its great for the fans, Im excited for the fans," Casey said, upon learning his team had won the division, as the Nets game become a final during his post-game press conference. "Im excited about it. Its good for us. But Im more concerned about getting better and continuing to play." The Raptors have indeed come a long way and the perfect reminder of that, Andrew Wiggins, was sitting baseline in the first row. Six months ago, Wiggins, not a division title, seemed like the end goal. But here they are. "We still want more," said DeRozan, who led the Raptors with 26 points on Friday. "Were not satisfied with nothing [yet]. We understand we have much more basketball to play and a long road to go and we want to take advantage of it, not just get there and say we got there, where people doubted us. We definitely feel like we can go in and make some noise." The Raptors have three games remaining, in Detroit Sunday, at home to the Bucks Monday and their season finale in New York on Wednesday. Chicago also has three to go, a game in New York, a home tilt with the Magic and their final contest in Charlotte. With the Raptors owning the tiebreaker, they sit one game back, needing the Bulls to drop at least one of those games for an opportunity to regain the third seed. Until then, Chicago is in the drivers seat and Toronto can only hope that they hit a speed bump. Another career night for Valanciunas Jonas Valanciunas continued his recent stretch of standout performances Friday in a tough matchup with former defensive player of the year Tyson Chandler. After setting a new career mark in scoring with 26 points in Wednesdays win over the 76ers, the Raptors sophomore centre grabbed a career-best 21 boards to go along with 14 points against the Knicks. Once again, Valanciunas was aggressive and assertive, showing continued growth and a newfound level of confidence, recording his team-leading 24th double-double of the campaign. Amirs return Although Johnson started in his return from a three-game absence, resting a lingering right ankle injury, the Raptors forward played just 17 minutes and was held scoreless, looking a step slow as he worked his way back into game shape. Casey said the limited playing time was not a direct result of the injury or any setback but was more about him struggling to find his wind after sitting out for over a week. "I felt good," Johnson said after the game. "My ankle was alright, a little sore but it was just me getting back into my groove. I felt like I was a step slow but I have these last couple games and Im pretty sure Ill pick it up." Milestones for Lowry and DeRozan With a triple in the first quarter, his 178th of the campaign, Lowry set a new franchise record for most three-pointers made in a season, passing Morris Peterson who had accomplished the feat in 2005-06. Lowry, 4-for-7 from long distance on the night, has come a long way in that regard, hitting the three-ball at a 38 per cent rate this year after struggling with his jump shot early in his career. "Its part of my game now," said the eighth-year point guard. "You cant just expect me to be a driver like my first couple years in the league. Now, its a threat. Its definitely a big thing for me to get as an individual goal. Ill take it and look at it after the season and take in all the things that we accomplished and I accomplished." DeRozan also made his mark on the Raptors record book, besting the teams single season mark for made free throws late in the fourth quarter. DeRozan, who hit 12 of 13 attempts from the line Friday, is third in the league in free throws made and passes Chris Boshs previous record of 504 previously set in 2008-09. "It means a lot," said the Raptors all-star guard. "Only so many guys shoot the amount of free throws I shoot. Its an honour when you look at the names thats up there of guys that shoot free throws at a high clip. Its definitely big. You cant take that away. Hopefully I can beat the record again next season." The stat The Raptors have made 10 or more three-point shots in each of their last five games. Half of their 30 field goals on Friday came from beyond the arc, as they matched a season-high with 15 treys. The quote "Its funny how the expectations change," Casey said. "We go from developing and now all at once we lost to Carmelo Anthony and a team like this and the world [is collapsing]. We still have some growing to do. We have a great foundation from where we are. Now we just want to be ready to go into the playoffs with some momentum." Ivan Barbashev Jersey .Patterson marked his anniversary by proving his worth — once again.Lou Williams poured in 26 points, and Patterson drained two huge three-pointers late in the fourth quarter, as the Raptors topped the Denver Nuggets 112-107 in overtime Monday. Klim Kostin Jersey .Y. - Matt Harvey wants to make sure hes on the mound in late October — if the New York Mets get there for the first time since 2006. http://www.officialbluesnhlshop.com/brett-hull-jersey/ . The Wizards announced Friday that Webster had surgery to repair a herniated disc in his lower back. The operation was performed Thursday in Los Angeles.OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma City Thunder became familiar with Memphis grind-it-out defensive style while losing to the Grizzlies during last seasons NBA playoffs. On Monday night, the Thunder beat Memphis at its own game. Kevin Durant had 31 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, Serge Ibaka had 21 points and 12 rebounds and the Oklahoma City Thunder continued their home dominance, beating the Memphis Grizzlies 86-77. Oklahoma City (39-11) had a 10-game winning streak snapped Saturday at Washington, but the Thunder moved to 21-3 at home while winning their seventh straight game at Chesapeake Energy Arena. In doing so, the Thunder posted its second-best defensive outing of the season. Oklahoma Citys inside quartet of Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins, Steven Adams and Nick Collison combined to limit Memphis potent frontcourt duo of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol Meanwhile, Thabo Sefolosha limited Memphis Courtney Lee -- who scored 24 points in the last meeting between the teams -- to 11 points. Memphis finished 2 of 16 from 3-point range. "I thought we did a good job of playing tough defensive basketball throughout the game," Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. "One of the strengths of our team, obviously, is our versatility. I think tonight it showed that sometimes you have to play different styles of basketball to get a win." Randolph had 13 points and 13 rebounds and Gasol added 13 points for Memphis (26-21), which lost for the second time in 13 games. The Grizzlies had won six straight games, the NBAs longest winning streak entering Monday. "We didnt play the basketball that we normally play," Randolph said. "We made bad decisions at important times of the game. There were a lot of turnovers, including myself, but youve got to be smart. And weve got to hit shots." Coming off a remarkable January during which he averaged 35.9 points per game on 54.9-per cent shooting, Durant finished 11 of 21 from the field. Ibaka went 10 of 17 from the field and posted his 19th double-double of the season while helping lead the Thunders interior defence. Oklahoma City finished with nine blocked shots, four of those by Adams, a career high for the rookie from New Zealand. "Steven only had three points and five rebounds and Perk only had one point and eight rebounds, but both impacted the game," Brooks said. Memphis, which trailed by 177 points late in the first half, pulled within three points three times in the final 6:45, the last time at 78-75 after Lees driving 5-foot jumper with 4:54 left. Luke Opilka Jersey. Durant answered with a 14-foot jumper, then after an exchange of empty possessions, Sefolosha swished a 3-pointer and Durant followed with a steal and layup to give Oklahoma City an 85-75 cushion with 2:54 left. "That gave us a boost when he hit that shot," Durant said. The Thunder managed only one point after that, but the Grizzlies couldnt take advantage, scoring only on a follow shot by Randolph with 1:12 left. The Thunder used an 18-2 run near the end of the first half to take a 51-36 halftime lead. By halftime, Ibaka already had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. "We started the game great defensively and we built off of that," Durant said. "Offensively we played a little slow but we picked it up in that second quarter and built some momentum going into the second half." With a lineup of reserves, Oklahoma City didnt score for almost three minutes to start the fourth quarter, causing Brooks to reinsert Durant with 9:41 left. Durant promptly drew a foul on James Johnson and hit 1-of-2 free throws, then swished a 14-foot jumper from the left wing to put the Thunder up 72-63. "We played from too far behind," Memphis coach Dave Joerger said. "We gave them 51 points, lots of layups, in the first half. . It was very difficult for us. When you come back, you have a very small margin for error." Reggie Jackson started the game with two airballs but eventually finished with 12 points for Oklahoma City. Mike Miller added 11 points for Memphis. Notes: With starting point guard Mike Conley out with an ankle injury, Memphis signed G Darius Morris to a 10-day contract on Monday. Morris averaged 4.2 points and 1.6 assists in 22 games this season with the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers. ... Memphis had a six-game road winning streak snapped. .. The Thunder recorded its 113th straight regular-season sellout, although there were some empty seats visible in the lower sections of Chesapeake Energy Arena. ... Joerger was named as the Western Conference coach of the month for January, beating out Brooks. Memphis went 12-3 in January, compared Oklahoma Citys 13-5 mark. ... At least twice, Joerger complained about the volume level in the arena. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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