Author Topic: The Toronto Raptors got back into the win column last time out and theyll conclu  (Read 13 times)

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The Toronto Raptors got back into the win column last time out and theyll conclude their western road trip Wednesday night with a trip to EnergySolutions Arena to take on the Utah Jazz. Chad Kelly Jersey . The Raptors broke out of a season-high, two-game losing streak with a 117-109 victory Tuesday night over the Sacramento Kings. Kyle Lowry scored 27 points, handed out 13 assists and made a critical 20- footer down the stretch to lead the Raptors past the Kings in a rare road win at Sacramento. The Raptors had dropped 14 of their previous 15 trips to Sacramento but used six double-digit scorers to rebound from a head-scratching overtime loss to the Lakers on Sunday. I think we go out here and try to do our job, winning as many games as possible, said Lowry. Terrence Ross netted 20 points, James Johnson added 19, and Jonas Valanciunas went for 15 for Toronto. Greivis Vasquez, who is starting in place of the injured DeMar DeRozan (groin), added 12 and seven assists and Patrick Patterson scored 12 as well. The Raptors own the best record in the Eastern Conference and will face a stiff test in their return to Toronto. Two of their next three games are against LeBron James and the resurgent Cleveland Cavaliers. The Jazz have struggled mightily of late thanks to a six-game losing streak. Four of those defeats have come at home and theyll wrap up a four-game residency Friday versus the Orlando Magic. On Monday, the Jazz lost a heartbreaker, 103-101, to the Denver Nuggets at home. Ty Lawson made a jumper with 29.6 seconds left that proved to be the game-winner. Gordon Hayward ended with 25 points for the Jazz. Alec Burks and Enes Kanter had 22 and 17 points, respectively, with Kanter also pulling down 15 rebounds. Trey Burke scored 18. I think when we defend everything the game is easier, the basket is bigger you shoot better, you play better and youre more connected, Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said. We need to have better concentration, which leads to better effort. Jazz forwards Derrick Favors (flu-like symptoms) and Jeremy Evans (ankle) missed the game. The Raptors bested the Jazz in Toronto on Nov. 15 and have taken three in a row in the series. Toronto has won two of its last three in Salt Lake City, but the Jazz are 9-3 in their last 12 as the host in this series. Steve Atwater Jersey . - The Denver Broncos kept rookie wide receiver Tavarres King from joining the Green Bay Packers by promoting him to their active roster Tuesday. Tramaine Brock Jersey .I dont think it comes to mind in this business, in this game, the Philadelphia Flyers forward said. You dont try to lose games. . That time around, the cage is as much a part of baseballs daily routine as a beer and a hotdog is to a fan in the stands. Coaches, scouts, broadcasters and other media hover, tossing verbal barbs, telling stories and sharing laughs. Occasionally, especially in spring when the atmosphere is relatively laid back, the list of invited guests expands and on this day, Gibbons welcomed two men strongly influential in his life.TORONTO - Shortly after Raptors rookie Lucas Bebe Nogueira returned to the locker room following his NBA pre-season debut Wednesday, he received an emotional phone call from back home. His family and friends had watched the game live from Brazil. His mother was first on the line. My mom, shes so emotional, the 22-year-old Nogueira said after scoring eight points and blocking three shots in the Raptors 92-85 victory over Israeli club, Maccabi Haifa. She [was] crying a lot. She cries about everything, but I understand why she is crying, because they adopted me. Nogueira went on to praise his family and his upbringing. They gave me all the support to be, not [only] a basketball player, but a good person and a good human, he continued. I think the most important thing about making money and playing basketball is that you get to be a good person. They gave me a whole education and support so right now to see her son in the NBA, shes so proud. So I understand why shes crying. Leave it to Nogueira, a player who has already become known for his trademark afro and infectious positivity, to make the best of a three-week delay to the start of his first-ever NBA training camp. The seven-foot Brazilian has been a spectator for most of the fall, sitting out practices and the teams first six preseason games with a couple lingering injuries, most notably a hamstring ailment that forced the coaching staff to play it safe with the young centre. Not the ideal start to anyones career, let alone someone who has been waiting a long time for his first NBA opportunity - one of the reasons he could barely hide his excitement when he learned hed be in uniform and available for Wednesdays contest. I was nervous because it was my first game, he admitted when it was all over. I had just two practices with the team, so I was a little bit nervous. Nogueira waited anxiously, standing in front of his locker just over an hour ahead of tip-off. James Johnson, his neighbour and one of his biggest supporters on the team, came over to give him a pep talk. He didnt have to wait long to get his feet wet, checking into the game with fellow rookie and countryman, Bruno Caboclo, midway through the second quarter. He didnt look out of place but, as he pointed out before the game, hes not the typical first-year player. Its my first year in the NBA, [but] itís not my first professional year, said Nogueira, who has been playing pro ball in Spain since he was 16-years-old. If I have a chance to play, Ill try to show the skills I learned in Spain: protect the rim, rebound [and] I can score sometimes. Less than a minute after entering, Nogueira drained a pair of free throws after he was fouled around the rim. Later in the quarter, he blocked shots on back-to-back possessions, a brief glimpse into the defensive presence the Raptors hope he can become with some added strength and seasoning. With their foreign visitors on a 16-0 run to begin the fourth quarter and take a five-point lead, the Raptors turned to both rookies, Nogueira and Caboclo, to close out the game. Down by one with two-and-a-half minutes remaining, Johnson found Nogueira wide open under the rim for an easy dunk. Moments later, he followed up a missed Caboclo jumper with a put-back lay-up to give Toronto a five-point advantage. Lucas came in and deterred some shots and thats what he should do, coach Dwane Casey said of his young centre. I was really impressed with the way he came in and played. The original timetable for Nogueiras absence - nursing what he called a fatigued hamstring muscle - was six-to-eight weeks. Tom Jackson Jersey. Asked how long he had been out, he knew instantly. Yesterday was six weeks. We worked so hard, he said. Three weeks ago, I was not 100 per cent, but I was, like 80 per cent, because we worked so hard. Sometimes, it was two sessions a day. So its not surprising to me [to be back]. Maybe if you stay home and do nothing, maybe itís surprising. But I worked hard to come back early. Even in the middle of the game, during timeouts, Nogueira worked with team trainers to keep his hamstring loose. Given the amount of time hes spent with Alex McKechnie, Raptors director of sports science, of late, one would think they might be tired of each other by now. But thats not in Nogueiras makeup. As Casey says, hes never met a stranger. Heís my guy, the chatty Brazilian said of McKechnie. Heís an amazing guy, an amazing professional. We are friends. I hope Iíll have that friendship all my life. Its that uniquely positive approach that helped him bare the lay-off while he watched the rest of his teammates bond on the court throughout camp. Its also what hes relying on as he plays catch-up. Iím a young player, he said. I dont have problems adapting. Of course, the guys ahead of me are in better shape than me because they didnít stop working the whole summer. I worked the whole summer too, except right now, my six weeks out. Maybe Iím a little bit [behind], but I donít have a problem of [getting back into] shape. With the preseason winding down, Nogueira returned just in time to get some run. Wednesday was likely the final opportunity for Casey to get an in-game look at his younger players - and those who are in contention for the teams final roster spot - before he goes back to his regular rotation in Fridays exhibition finale. If all goes right once the season begins for real next week, Nogueira - like Caboclo - will have to develop on the sidelines, in practice and, perhaps, in short stints with the D-League affiliate in Fort Wayne, but hes well aware of what his role will be in year one and doesnt seem remotely fazed by it. Iím okay because Iíve played six years professionally, he reiterated. The first three years, I didnít play. I stayed on the bench the whole year. Sometimes, the [centre] got hurt, coach put the shooting guard in the post, but didnít [play] me. Iím okay if I donít play 82 games. The good thing about it is the D-League, said Casey. We can see [Nogueira and Caboclo] playing in real games against players there if theyre not playing here. Thats going to be very beneficial to both of them, getting those minutes in the D-League and learning in game situations there more so than here. Our goal is totally different now, along with developing them, winning is as important as the development, Casey continued. Theyre going to get their opportunities in practice and, knock on wood something doesnt happen [with injuries], but right now, theyre kind of down on the totem pole as far as rotation is concerned. Wherever Nogueira finds himself - whether its the bench, the D-League, or elsewhere - hell be wearing a smile across his face and perhaps the newest addition to his wardrobe. [Kyle Lowry] gave it to me, he said of the fluffy pink rabbit hat sitting in his locker, a form of rookie hazing. I have a rabbit, [Will Cherry] has a wolf, Bruno has a rabbit too, but a white [one]. 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