was in the locker-room getting treatment for a sore and
Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:49 am
TORONTO -- The clock was ticking down and the Toronto Raptors were clutching a one-point lead. And Kyle Lowry, the player who has so often carried them down the stretch, was in the locker-room getting treatment for a sore and swollen knee. But with DeMar DeRozan leading the way, the Raptors showed the resiliency that has become part of their makeup this season en route to a 107-103 victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. "Every win is great for us right now for what were trying to do, especially with Kyle out and Amir (Johnson) out," said Raptors coach Dwane Casey. "Hopefully it gives our guys some confidence. . . guys who stepped in, to go where we need to go." Johnson missed all but the first three minutes with an ankle injury. DeRozan poured in 29 points, and was key in the fourth quarter, doling out a couple of assists and uncharacteristically taking a charge. "Those are the winning plays that hes learning to make and hes making now, other than just scoring," Casey said. "Hes doing a great job of scoring but theres so many other things when he plays those kinds of minutes, especially now with Kyle out, hes got to do a lot more." When he somehow cut his finger with just over three minutes to go, he continued to play despite the blood that was smeared across his shorts. "I kind of split the middle of my hand, the webbing of my hand, I didnt even notice," said DeRozan, who estimated he had four or five stitches. "I looked down and my whole hand was soaked." Jonas Valanciunas and Greivis Vasquez added 15 points apiece, and Terrence Ross finished with 14 for the Raptors (43-32). James Harden scored 26 points to top the Rockets (49-25), who were missing Dwight Howard (ankle) for the third consecutive game. Chandler Parsons added 20. Lowry missed the game after a hard knee-on-knee collision with LeBron James in the Raptors 93-83 loss to Miami two nights earlier. His X-rays were negative, so there was no structural damage. Johnson played the first three minutes but headed to the locker-room with a sore right ankle. But despite the absence of not only two of the teams top contributors but arguably its two hardest workers, the Raptors werent going to let this game slip away. With seven games to go, every game is meaningful as the Raptors fight for a favourable opponent in the post-season and homecourt advantage. Vasquez, who started at point guard, said its no surprise that DeRozan and the Raptors stepped up so well in Lowrys absence. "Its not hidden that (DeRozan and Lowry) are our leaders. We go as they go. And everybody else understands that," said Vasquez. "This is why we have a healthy locker-room, were not fighting egos, we know whats going on. Those two guys are going to score, those two guys are going to make winning plays. And whenever one of those guys goes down, weve got their back. Thats what this team is all about. "This is not a fluke. We earn wins, and we earned a win tonight." Houston, which has now dropped seven straight decisions in Toronto, was coming off a 105-96 loss the previous night at Brooklyn, and arrived in Toronto at 3 a.m. Wednesday. The Raptors led by as much as 20 points in the third against the fourth-place team in the mighty Western Conference. But they allowed the Rockets to pull within 90-80 heading into the fourth and it was during a stretch in the final 12 minutes that the Raptors really felt the absence of Lowry and Johnson. The Rockets pulled within two points with 8:45 to play but that was as close as the visitors would get, and when a wide-open Ross drained a three-pointer with four minutes to play it brought the crowd to its feet and gave Toronto a six-point lead. There were some tense moments as Houston showed some life late. Jeremy Lin drained a three-pointer to cut Torontos lead to three points with nine seconds left, but a free throw by Vasquez sealed the Raptors victory. "We are a team that is desperate for a win right now," Lin said. "Weve dropped three in a row, definitely not a good feeling. We just have to regroup. The one thing I will say is that Im proud of how hard we played but we didnt play great in terms of execution, in terms of coverage and a lot of those little things." As for Lowrys knee injury, Casey said sitting his starting guard wasnt a matter of getting him rest. Wednesdays game was one the coach really wanted to win, so if Lowry could have played, he would have. "Theres a pride factor, you want to win, you want to win a division, you want to win and try and get home court," Casey said. "Were in position, so theres no use of letting off the pedal now. Every game for me is desperate. "But its not live or die or anything like that, were not going to risk a kids health to try to do that." Lowry is averaging 17.4 points, 7.6 assists and 4.8 rebounds. Johnson, whos averaging 10.8 points and 6.8 boards, has long battled bad ankles, but the hardworking forward normally plays through the pain. The fact he left the game is worrisome. The Raptors are tied with Chicago for third in the Eastern Conference and two-and-a-half games ahead of Brooklyn. The good news is Wednesdays game was the Raptors last against a Western Conference opponent. And of the remaining games, Toronto plays last-place Milwaukee twice, and Philadelphia (second-last) once. The Raptors got off to a sloppy start, falling behind by 12 points midway through the first quarter. Toronto ended the quarter with a 12-2 run capped by a three-pointer by Vasquez and trailed 25-23 heading into the second. DeRozan led the way with 15 points in a second quarter that Toronto finish with a 13-4 run, and when the Raptors all-star drilled a 32-footer at the buzzer it sent Toronto into the dressing room with a 55-50 lead. A pair of free throws by Salmons gave the Raptors a 20-point lead -- their biggest of the game -- with just under four minutes to go in the third. But the Rockets finished with an 18-8 run to make it a 10-point game with a quarter to go. NOTES: The Raptors have another tough game Friday when they host the Indiana Pacers. The Raptors are in Milwaukee on Saturday before returning home to face the Sixers and New York Knicks. . . Toronto FC midfielder Dwayne DeRosario was at the game. Cheap Nike Air Max Tn Australia . The New York Rangers centre had a goal and two assists in a 4-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators ending a 13-game goal-scoring drought. Nike Vapormax Womens Australia . - Joao Plata scored twice in the final 24 minutes, including the winner in stoppage time, to help Real Salt Lake remain unbeaten with a 3-2 victory over the winless Chicago Fire on Saturday night. http://www.vapormaxaustraliashoes.com/a ... ralia.html . -- Rory McIlroy birdied his last two holes Thursday for a 7-under 63 to take the lead after one round of the Honda Classic. Air Max Plus Tn Australia . 1 and reigning champion Caroline Wozniacki was among Thursdays third-round winners, while second- seeded Victoria Azarenka pulled out of the draw at the $4. Nike Tns Mens Australia . Blackhawks RW Patrick Kane came up big when it counted, tallying two goals and an assist. He scored the game-winner with 4:45 remaining in the third period, stopping on the right hashmarks, carrying the puck up through the top of the Kings zone, then firing a wrist shot from the top of the circles past Jonathan Quick, who had his view obstructed by Andrew Shaw. CHICAGO -- Jimmer Fredette wanted to start over. The Chicago Bulls wanted to improve their outside shooting. Each side is hoping for a perfect match. Fredette joined the surging Bulls on Sunday after the team announced it had signed the sharp-shooting guard for the rest of the season. The 6-foot-2 Fredette was in uniform for Chicagos game against the New York Knicks. "I see how this team plays and they play hard every single night and they play for each other," he said. "They play the right way. Thats something I was looking for, to come into a team I could fit in and play the way I wanted to and play hard every single night and be part of a team. Im excited to be here. I cant wait to start and get out there and play and see how things go." Fredette, the 10th overall pick in the 2011 draft, was bought out by the Sacramento Kings on Thursday and cleared waivers on Saturday. He is averaging just 5.9 points and 11.3 minutes in his third season, but is shooting 49 per cent from 3-point range. The Bulls, who had won eight of nine coming into the day, had been looking for more outside shooting since they lost Marco Belinelli in free agency last off-season, and then traded Luol Deng to Cleveland in January. "I hope I can space out the floor for these guys and help create open shots for my teammates and also create open shots for me," Fredette said. "I think it fits well. Hopefully Ill be able to come in and do what I do on the basketball floor." The knock on Fredette is his defensive ability and finding a way to get open for his accurate shot, but coach Tom Thibodeau said he wants to come to his own conclusions about what the former BYU star can do on the court. "Hes got to learn defensively what to do in terms of team defence and thats usually the biggest adjustment," Thibodeau said.dddddddddddd "But the fact that he can shoot the way that he can, I think it complements our primary scorers as well." Fredette became a top NBA prospect when he led the nation in scoring at 28.5 points per game during his senior year with the Cougars, who made it to the final 16 in the NCAA tournament in his last season. He was The Associated Press player of the year, but he never lived up to his billing in Sacramento after the Kings acquired him in a draft-day trade with Milwaukee. It was clear his time with the Kings was coming to an end when they decided not to pick up his option for 2014-15 before this season. "I appreciate everything that happened in Sacramento," Fredette said. "It was character building for me continuing to go out and play hard. I feel like I progressed as a player even though sometimes you dont get the minutes you want to, youve just got to continue to work hard and know that if you keep playing hard and doing the right things then eventually things will turn your way." One of the top attractions for Fredette with the Bulls is Thibodeau, who has a history of helping lower-tier free agents turn into valuable commodities. Belinelli and Nate Robinson flourished in Chicago last season, and D.J. Augustin has played well since he signed with the Bulls in December. "This time of the year, I think youre always looking to get insurance for your team," Thibodeau said. "You like his makeup. I think he can grow. I think hell get better. So well see how it unfolds. But you also have to remember you have to put the team first." ' ' '