#1 ed to designated hitter. Gibbons wanted to challenge an out call on Lawries von miaowang123 15.08.2019 03:18

SACRAMENTO - When Kyle Lowry, the Raptors highest-paid player, re-upped in Toronto this summer he knew he was signing on to be the face of the franchise, even if the spotlight would be a shared one. Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, a tenacious tandem on the floor and good friends off it, have blossomed into one of the NBAs premier backcourt duos but with the latter sidelined for an indefinite period of time, the starting point guard has been thrust into the lead role. Its a gig hes more than capable of filling and thriving in but its been something of an adjustment, understandably so. Since inheriting the bulk of the offensive responsibility, along with DeRozan, following last years trade of Rudy Gay, Lowry has settled in as the quarterback, the straw that stirs the drink, the head of the snake. Now, with their leading scorer out, hes tasked with being the head as well as most of its body. Im always going to be comfortable, Lowry said after scoring a game-high 27 points and matching a season-best 13 assists in Torontos 117-109 victory over the Kings, snapping the teams two-game losing streak and winning in Sacramento for the first time since December of 2008. At the end of the day, I still gotta go out there and do my job, he continued. There might be a little bit more of a scoring load on me but Imma go out there and play my game. Of course we miss DeMar and wish him to get back as soon as possible but until then Ive gotta do a job. As the game was on the line late in the fourth quarter, Lowry was relentless, darting to the rim with reckless abandon and carrying his team down the stretch, scoring 10 in the final frame. The dagger came with just under a minute left, Raptors up four. Knowing where Lowry wanted to get to, the Kings clogged the lane and forced the fiery guard out of their paint. Channeling his inner DeRozan, Lowry stepped back and drilled a 20-foot, mid-range jumper. He made the right reads, Dwane Casey said. He kicked it out when he was supposed to kick it out and took what the defence gave him. With DeRozan to lean on, Lowrys instincts had become tremendous, reading game situations and determining whether his team needed him to facilitate or take over at various stages each night. I mean its my partner, Lowry said of DeRozan, who missed his second straight game with a torn groin tendon Tuesday. Thats my teammate. I think we all found ourselves looking for him but we know hes not there and hes not coming through the door right now so weve got to do our job. Finding that balance between leading the team and doing too much will continue to be a work in progress, its a challenge that he had early in his Raptors tenure. DeRozan went down early in the second half of Fridays loss to the Mavericks, a night in which Lowry attempted 22 shots, his third highest total as a Raptor. On Sunday in Los Angeles he shot the ball 28 times, a career-high. Its probably a little bit too many, Casey said Tuesday morning. And hed be the first to tell [you that], but thats an overtime game. Its nowhere near from a selfish standpoint, not even one iota from a selfish standpoint. Just from being in that position from a point [guard] to a scorer, theres a happy medium there and he understands that. I think youll see a difference in his approach. Although he put up 21 shots on Tuesday, 11 of them came in the fourth quarter and most of them were hoisted around the rim. He was more efficient, hitting 10 of those shots on the night, while also finding teammates and taking care of the ball. Theyre corralling him, staying with him longer, Casey said of the added attention hes seeing from opposition defences. Him getting into the paint, the kick outs are going to be there. Thats one decision hes gotta see and make, hes a smart player so hell do that. Because he is going to get attention, more so now than he has. Im just going to be aggressive, Lowry added. Im going to take shots that are there for me. Sometimes when I know Ive got DeMar he might shoot 22 times and Im passing up shots. But I cant afford to pass up shots in this situation. Imma make the right play for my team. Mutually beneficial trade Nearly a full 12 months after the Raptors and Kings pulled the trigger on last seasons seven-player trade - the one-year anniversary is on Monday - both teams are reaping the benefits. For Toronto, the franchises turnaround, while unexpected, was almost immediate. The Raptors are 56-25 since acquiring four key reserves - three of which remain on the team - from the Kings on Dec. 8, 2013, good for the best record in the East. But Sacramento has also started to make strides in the right direction, doing so in the more difficult conference. Despite finishing the season 23-41 after picking up maligned forward Rudy Gay from Toronto - in addition to Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray, who have since moved on - the Kings have shown some promise to begin the new year, with Gay and DeMarcus Cousins at the forefront. After winning five of their first six games, the Kings - recently riddled with injury and illness - have cooled off a bit, losing eight of their last 12. Still, theyve seen enough from the duo of Gay and Cousins to confidently invest in keeping that core together for the foreseeable future. Gay - who had opted into the final year of his deal over the summer, paying him $19.3 million this season - agreed to a three-year $40 million extension with Sacramento last month. Among other factors - namely the repetition alongside a similar high-volume wing player in DeRozan - Gays ambiguous contract situation was one of the primary causes that prompted his trade out of Toronto. Playing off Cousins, a dominate interior presence, the 28-year-old has rediscovered his game in Sacramento. Thats a mark of a good trade, for both teams, said Casey. [Gays] come in here and established himself as one of the stars, one of the key hubs. He fits with this team. Theyve got an inside presence, he fits the wing that they needed, that kind of gives them a post-up, ball hander type guy. After shooting 39 per cent, a career-low, in 18 games with the Raptors to begin last season, he shot the ball at a career-best 48 per cent clip as a member of the Kings over the duration of the campaign. This year, hes taking fewer shots than he has since his rookie season (15.7), while averaging more points than he ever has (21.1). His 4.0 assists and 6.7 free throw attempts per game are also career-highs. I think giving him a guy like Cousins to really dominate a game [has helped], said Lowry, a close friend of Gays. I think [Valanciunas] was still trying to learn and for me and DeMar it was just kind of a learning process and we didnt really have a lot of time to learn. Without Cousins in the lineup Tuesday, he missed his third straight game with a virus, Gay thrived with the offence going through him. Scoring 20 points on 16 shots, the former Raptor forward also recorded a career-high 10 assists. Meanwhile, Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson and Chuck Hayes were all victorious in Sacramento for the first time since being dealt last December. It means a lot to us, Vasquez admitted after the game. We wanted to come out here and give it to them. Thats how it is, you get traded from a team and you try to do your best and kill it. Both parties should be happy, Casey said. I know Rudys happy and were very happy with the guys we got last year. Unhappy returns James Johnsons brief tenure as a member of the Kings is one hed like to forget. Sacramento acquired Johnson from Toronto, following a turbulent first stint with the Raptors, back in the summer of 2012. Thats where his career would hit rock bottom. Appearing in 52 games and logging just over 16 minutes per night that season, Johnson shot a career-low 41 per cent from the field, 60 per cent from the line, while hitting just two of his 21 attempts form long range. Off the court, he hardly endeared himself to the Kings loyal fan base. He was said to be overweight at the time and reportedly wore a Sonics hat into the locker room as the city was fighting to keep their team and block a move to Seattle. I just think it was tough for me to play here, Johnson admitted. I wont put all the onus on Sacramento either. It had a lot to do with me being immature. I was playing bad. I had a bad year that year. I have to own up to it. The rest is history. As a result, Johnson fell out of the NBA completely, signing with Atlanta the following fall, only to be waived a month later and end up in the D-League before redeeming himself in Memphis last season. Now, hes making the most of his second opportunity in Toronto, excelling in a role he was once hesitant to accept and hes not looking back. [Its a] fresh start, Johnson, who was greeted with a few boos as he checked in to begin the second quarter. [I] try to forget about stuff like that, try to move on. Like I said before, the old James Johnson dont exist no more. The only thing that Sacramento has that has anything to do with me or that holds any value to me is my son was born here. We all go through something that makes us better people, Casey said. We all fall down and how we get back up is important. James has gotten back up and hes on the path of going the right way. So hes got to continue to do that and put everything else in the rearview mirror and grow from it and learn from and forget about it. I think thats the lesson hes probably learned. In 28 minutes coming off the bench Tuesday, Johnson scored a season-high 19 points, shooting 9-of-13 and grabbing seven boards. I think it means more that we didnt lose three in a row than it does coming back to your former team and trying to win, said the 27-year-old forward. It was a team win and we played like it was any other team, any other game. Theres no revenge or no grudges in this league. You never know when youre going to come back, like how Im back with the Raptors. Ernie Banks Jersey . Jackson Houck added a goal and two assists for the Giants (28-23-10), who halted a five-game slide, while Tyler Morrison, Mason Geertsen and Dominik Volek each scored once. Matt Bellerive scored both goals for the Blazers (12-43-5), who are 1-9-0 in their last 10 outings. Ron Santo Cubs Jersey .com) - Delon Wright scored 17 points and No. http://www.thecubsteamshop.com/Cubs-Kendall-Graveman-Kids-Jersey/ .com) - The Eastern Conferences best team takes on one of its worst Tuesday night when the Atlanta Hawks pay a visit to the Wells Fargo Center to take on the Philadelphia 76ers. Kris Bryant Cubs Jersey .com) - John Wall supplied 24 points and 11 assists in leading the Washington Wizards to a 102-91 win over the New York Knicks on Christmas Day. Chicago Cubs Jerseys . TSN 1290s Jordan Cieciwa, Big Marv and Toby are here to give their predictions on who will leave with the belt and who will take some of the other key bouts on the card. Johny Hendricks vs. PORTLAND, Ore. -- Given an opportunity to clinch a post-season berth, the Trail Blazers made the most if it. LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 18 rebounds and Portland earned a playoff spot for the first time in three seasons with a 100-94 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday night. Wesley Matthews added 21 points, Damian Lillard 20 and Nicolas Batum had 16 points and 12 rebounds for Portland (50-28). The Blazers are in fifth place in the Western Conference with four games remaining. "Fifty wins is always a big honour in this league," Aldridge said. "Especially being in the West with so many good teams. Its definitely not something to take for granted. Guys are happy about it and were definitely happy to be locked into the playoffs." Memphis loss to San Antonio earlier in the evening cleared the way for Portland to clinch. It appeared the Trail Blazers might fumble the chance when New Orleans took a 10-point second quarter lead. But the Blazers blew past the Pelicans with a 25-6 third quarter run and never trailed again. Reserve Anthony Morrow scored 17 for New Orleans and Anthony Davis had 15 points on 6-of-18 shooting. New Orleans got within 97-94 with 35.9 seconds left when Morrow nailed a jumper, but Lillard scored on a driving layup and then made one of two free throws. "They made runs - thats what they do," said Morrow, who is averaging 19.4 points in his last seven games. "We know when this team is at home they are going to make runs, they are going to hit shots." Portland had won four in a row before running out of gas Friday and losing 109-93 in Phoenix. Clinching a playoff spot at home was an important step for a team that won just 33 games last season, but the Blazers werentt whooping it up in the locker room after the game.dddddddddddd "We were happy for about five minutes," Batum said. "But we have four more games and then the playoffs start." The Pelicans, last in the Southwest Division and out of the playoff race, have lost five straight games. Davis started the game despite back spasms that kept him out for long stretches of the past two games. He limited Aldridge to 6-of-16 shooting in the first half. "Hes just trying to do everything he can to help his team and tonight was no different," coach Monty Williams said. "Thats why we love him." Davis had 11 points in the first quarter, but the Pelicans went on a run with their All-Star on the bench in the second, going up 39-29 as reserve big men Al-Farouq Aminu and Alexis Ajinca combined for 10 points in a 14-4 run. Portland trailed 55-48 at the half. The Blazers picked up the pace in the third, as Aldridge regained his shot and Lillard, Matthews and Batum each scored in transition. Portland led 77-67 just before the end of the third. Several players scoffed at suggestions that the Blazers rest some starters with the playoffs in hand, and coach Terry Stotts indicated there were no plans to change focus. "Were not prepping for the playoffs," he said. "We want to keep going in the right direction." NOTES: Portlands last playoff appearance was in 2010-11, when the Blazers lost a first-round matchup to the Dallas Mavericks in six games. ... New Orleans G Eric Gordon missed his ninth straight game with knee tendinitis, and is not with the team after travelling to Los Angeles for a medical examination. . The Pelicans are 12-27 on the road this season. Their last win in Portland was in 2010. ' ' '

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