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who missed the game with a concussion

 
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Dołączył: 22 Paź 2019
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PostWysłany: 03 Gru 2019 03:16    Temat postu: who missed the game with a concussion Odpowiedz z cytatem

BOSTON - An anonymous Raptors player stepped into the elevator descending from the third floor following a Saturday afternoon practice at Air Canada Centre and with the mental and physical grind of a long season beginning to weigh on him he let out a long sigh. "I just want the playoffs to start," he said in a moment of refreshing truthfulness. Hes not alone. He cant be. They can see the light at the end of the tunnel, a tunnel that has led to darkness so many times before for the bulk of this Toronto roster. On Wednesday they moved one step closer. "That was a character test for us," Dwane Casey said after his teams bounce-back 99-90 win in Boston. "I think this team has a lot of character. I get upset with them but theyre mine, just like youre kids. They compete hard and they make mistakes but its not from a lack of fight or togetherness." It was their first victory in Beantown since 2008, the last season in which they qualified for the playoffs. Now, theyre on the cusp of returning to the postseason, and theyre in the drivers seat. The Raptors are just one win, or Knicks loss, away from clinching their first postseason berth in six years and can do so as early as Wednesday evening if the Kings defeat New York in Sacramento, a game Kyle Lowry says he wont watch but admits hell have to keep an eye on. "I said that before the game, I said look, we can take care of our business tonight," Lowry told the assembled media after the win. "We cant count on anyone else but we can take care of our part. I aint going to lie; I think tonight everybodys rooting for that Western Conference team over there." Going into the game, the Raptors were in danger of dropping their second straight and five of their last seven, following Tuesdays botched comeback attempt in Cleveland. Even after getting off to a better start - scoring 31 points in the opening 12 minutes after totaling 33 in their last two first quarters - they looked like a team going through the motions at points in the middle of the game, exchanging the lead with a lackluster Celtics club. Then the sense of urgency kicked in. Lowry scored nine of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and the Raptors closed out a win they needed to have. "[Casey] challenged us," Lowry said. "He challenged us big time and I think we responded tonight." With a little help from the Bobcats, who defeated the surging Nets in overtime, the Raptors have a two-game cushion sitting stop the Atlantic Division, also moving into a virtual tie with the Bulls for the Easts third seed. Although theyre anxious, theres still work to be done and each game, regardless of opponent, is increasingly meaningful with playoff seeding at stake and things to shore up over the seasons final three weeks. "We cant afford to look ahead," Casey cautioned. "Weve got to take care of business. Weve got to continue to get better and improve and shape up some areas that we have thats leaking a little bit." Only five of the Raptors 15 players have appeared in a postseason game over the last three years. Only three on the roster have logged time in more than 20 playoff contests. The teams starters have a combined 24 games of playoff experience, all from Lowry and Amir Johnson, who havent been to the dance in five years. "Its tough just because guys havent been there before," Casey told TSN.ca. "Playoff runs are tough. Theres a mental toughness, a physical toughness you have to have. Fight through injuries, little nicks and bangs that we have. You cant feel sorry for yourself because its a marathon. Youve got to be able to do that. This is the first time for some of our guys so its a new frontier for them." Many of them are heading into unchartered waters. Its only natural to fixate on the final destination but theyve come too far to lose focus now. "I think its kind of human nature," said Landry Fields, who started eight playoff games for the Knicks in his first two NBA season. "We see the playoffs and theres a pretty high probability that well get in but at the end of the day you cant really focus on that. These last few games are important, not just for us growing and building and getting momentum for the playoffs but also seeding. Seeding is huge in the playoffs and I think as long as we keep that as a focal point rather than thinking these games are just filler games until we get into the playoffs than theyll become more meaningful for us." "Were going to finish it off strong," echoed DeMar DeRozan, who scored 20 on Wednesday and will be making his playoff debut next month. "Weve worked too hard to just to get complacent with where were at. Weve still got a long ways to go and everybody in this locker room loves the game too much to sit back and say, were going to wait until the playoffs." Big night for the sophomores Both Terrence Ross and Jonas Valanciunas stepped up in Wednesdays win. Ross led Toronto with 24 points, hitting five of his nine attempts from three-point range, while Valanciunas registered his team-leading 20th double-double of the season with 15 points and 14 rebounds. "I thought Jonas had one of his better nights, not only scoring but he rebounded," Casey said. "[Ross] kept us afloat. He knocked down some shots. We needed it." Struggling second unit The Raptors second unit - still without injured forward Patrick Patterson - mustered only seven points, all from Greivis Vasquez, who made just three of his 10 shots. Meanwhile, the Celtics bench scored 51, led by Jared Sullingers 26, 19 of which came in the fourth. "Again, point production from our bench has been an issue," Casey said. "Thats something we have to rectify. Thats just putting too many minutes on our starters." Toronto bench has now been outscored by a total of 129 points in 11 games without Patterson, who was cleared for contact earlier this week. Although theres no timetable for the return of Patterson - out with an elbow injury - the team hopes to have him back later this week. The stat The Raptors snapped an 11-game losing streak in Boston, the fourth time theyve snapped a skid of eight road losses or more against an opponent this season. Earlier this year, Toronto ended a 10-game slide to the Lakers in Los Angeles, also snapping a nine-game skid against the Nuggets in Denver and an eight-game losing streak versus the Bucks in Milwaukee. The quote "We cant worry about those other teams," Lowry said. "We control our own destiny. When you start worrying about other teams is when you lose focus and I think tonight we did a good job of focusing in on our team and not worrying about nothing else." 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Trey Johnson Jersey Signed .3 seconds remaining, and No. 7 North Carolina held off a resilient No. 25 Virginia team, 54-51, on Saturday. John Henson contributed a double-double with 15 points to go with 11 rebounds for the Tar Heels (25-4, 12-2 ACC), who have won five straight and 10 of 11.Chapel Hill, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Justin Jackson scored 16 points with a full line and Brice Johnson posted a double-double as No. 15 North Carolina took care of Virginia Tech, 68-53, on Sunday. Johnson tallied 12 points and 11 rebounds and Jackson added seven boards and four assists for North Carolina (14-4, 4-1 ACC), which won comfortably after playing three straight nail biters. The Tar Heels went 2-1 during a stretch of one-possession finishes. Sometimes youve got to win ugly to have a really good year, UNC coach Roy Williams said. That was an ugly win. J.P. Tokoto added 10 points and three other Tar Heels chipped in eight apiece. Adam Smith paced the Hokies (8-9, 0-4) with 11 points, and Shane Henry scored 10 with nine rebounds. I thought we controlled the time of possession, which you have to do against a team as fast and as good as they are, Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said. Its just really hard when you get beat as hard on the glasss as hard as we do, but I thought that we were trying really, really hard.dddddddddddd Virginia Tech was without leading scorer Justin Bibbs, who missed the game with a concussion. Virginia Tech stayed within striking distance early on, trailing just 19-16 following Jalen Hudsons 3 near the midpoint of the first half. But the Hokies went nearly seven minutes without a point after that as UNC created some distance. Dunks by Johnson, Tokoto and Isaiah Hicks kicked off an 11-0 run, which Jackson capped with five points. The Tar Heels led 34-21 at halftime and extended the lead to 17 points on back-to-back Johnson baskets with 11 1/2 minutes to play. Virginia Tech trailed by at least eight the rest of the way. Game Notes UNC outrebounded Virginia Tech, 49-22 ... Virginia Tech has lost five straight games ... Virginia Tech has lost 13 straight road games dating back to last season. ' ' '
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