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#1 18.12.2019 06:50:30

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CLEVELAND -- The Raptors arent officially in the NBA playoffs. [url=h

CLEVELAND -- The Raptors arent officially in the NBA playoffs. Darrell Griffith Jersey . They dont look ready for them, either. Dion Waiters scored 24 points, Luol Deng added 19 and the Cleveland Cavaliers prevented Toronto from getting closer to a post-season spot with a 102-100 win over the sloppy Raptors on Tuesday night. Toronto fell behind by 21 points in the third quarter, and then battled back to take a 95-94 lead. But the Raptors fell apart in the final minutes. With their fourth loss in six games, the Raptors dropped one-half game behind Chicago for the No. 3 playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. "We gotta get back to who we are," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said in disgust. "Its easy to get up for OKC, Miami and Indiana, but the other teams are playing for something too, which is pride. That can be even more dangerous." Despite playing without All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, who missed his fifth straight game with a strained biceps tendon, the Cavs were able to hold on and snap a five-game losing streak at home. "It was a good win by our guys," coach Mike Brown said. "Thats a playoff team. They were playing good basketball. In a game like that, maybe earlier in the season we might have lost, especially coming down the stretch when a team makes a run against us. Our guys found a way to win." Kyle Lowry scored 22 and Terrence Ross had 16 for the Raptors, who had a chance to tie it in the final seconds but guard Greivis Vasquez lost his footing and committed a turnover with 1.9 seconds left. "I was trying to spin and I lost my balance," Vasquez said. "It was just a bad play for me. It was me going to my weak hand and I lost my balance, stepped kind of weird. I turned the ball over. Ill take responsibility. Im not going to run away. Im a man. I wish I could be in that position again so we have another opportunity tomorrow (at Boston)." Toronto took a 95-94 lead on Vasquezs 3-pointer with 6:45 remaining, but the Raptors went just 1 of 9 from the floor and scored five points the rest of the way. Tristan Thompson added 15 points and 13 rebounds and Jarret Jack had 13 points for Cleveland, which kept its faint playoff hopes alive. The Cavs trail idle Atlanta by 4 1/2 games for the No. 8 playoff slot. The Raptors may be closing in on their first post-season appearance since 2008, but the Atlantic Division leaders looked out of sorts at both ends. They fought back from a big deficit, but fell apart with the game on the line. Toronto missed three free throws in the final 4:26, but still had a chance to force overtime or possibly steal their 40th win after forcing a Cleveland turnover on an errant inbounds pass with 7.8 seconds to go. But Vasquez, who finished with 16 points, drove the left side and slipped about 10 feet from the basket. As he fell, Vasquez flung the ball in desperation and it was intercepted on the right side by Deng. Vasquez remained on the floor for a few seconds grabbing his ankle before he limped off the court. "It was a handoff to Greivis to turn the corner," Casey said. "I thought he turned it pretty well and his ankle went out on him. But one play was not when we lost that game. The game was decided with the way we played in the first quarter." However, Toronto didnt execute when it needed to and lost to a Cleveland team playing for nothing more than pride. At least the Cavs overcame their own mistakes, something theyve rarely done during this disappointing season. "We just stayed with it," Waiters said. "We didnt get rattled and made plays when we needed to." Clevelands offence was clicking early on. The Cavs recorded assists on eight of their first 10 buckets, opened a 14-point lead in the first quarter and pushed their advantage to 18 in the second. Toronto made three 3-pointers -- the Raptors had eight 3s in the first half -- in a span of 1:27 to climb within 49-40, but Cleveland regrouped and led 59-45 at halftime. NOTES: The Cavs are 12-11 since Feb. 7. ... Toronto was just 16 of 26 from the line. ... Irving rode a stationary bike on the side as the Cavs went through their morning shootaround. Afterward, Irving looked good doing some shooting drills. Brown said Irving is "closer" to returning, but its not guaranteed the third-year pro will play again this season. ... Raptors F Patrick Patterson (right ulnar collateral sprain) missed his 10th consecutive game. He was cleared to resume contact practices Monday. Rudy Gobert Jersey . Jacob Jacques, Andrew Ryan and Jonathan Drouin also scored for Halifax (37-18-3), who outshot the Islanders 40-26. Kevin Darveau stopped 25 shots. Bradley Kennedy had the lone goal for Charlottetown (18-33-5), which has nine losses in its last 10 games. Utah Jazz Gear . Philippe Desrosiers stopped 42 shots through overtime and three more in the shootout to pick up his third shutout of the season for Rimouski (31-15-7). Zachary Fucale made 28 saves for Halifax (34-17-3) in the loss. https://www.cheapjazzonline.com/608e-gr … -jazz.html . -- The Windsor Spitfires were left with just one goaltender Tuesday after having their starter walk out on them midway through Game 3 of their Ontario Hockey League playoff matchup with the London Knights.SOCHI -- After the team photo had been snapped, after the Canadian players had taken off their game sweaters and pulled on their practice jerseys, Sidney Crosby and head coach Mike Babcock skated a few laps around the ice together and held what appeared to be a deep discussion. They looked each other in the eye. They made gestures with their hands. The two leaders were engaged. In fact, near the end of the conversation Babcock skated through a crease, while Crosby toured behind the net as a puck whizzed behind the back of the coachs head. He didnt even notice and kept on talking. “I think everybody has to adjust a little bit and was just making sure Im on the same page as far as what he expects and what he wants,” Crosby explained after Canadas second practice at the Bolshoy Ice Dome. “The offensive part and the skill that we have, I think that will come quicker then some of the adjustments we might make in the defensive zone. Defensive zone coverage was the topic of discussion between the two as they skated. Babcock and his coaching staff had shown the players a video in one of the many meetings the group has had since arriving in Sochi on Monday. Crosby wanted some clarification. “There was a little confusion there,” Babcock said. “We sorted it out. That gives me a chance tomorrow to sort it out with the group. “What weve tried to encourage is … if there is something as a player you dont feel or dont know, we encourage you to talk. The idea is to get everyone comfortable so we can play the game fast. When youre thinking you dont go fast. That was a good part of the process. Obviously, [Crosby] is a guy who is real comfortable and we want that from the captain. We want him to ask questions if there are any issues.” Crosby won a world junior title and steered the Rimouski Oceanic to a Memorial Cup final as a teenager. He was a Stanley Cup champion as a captain before his 22nd birthday and won an Olympic gold medal nine months later. Next chapter Now the 26-year-old Crosby has been asked to take over as captain for Scott Niedermayer, who had thee captaincy in Vancouver four years ago, and write the next chapter in Canadian hockey leadership that stretches from the smooth-skating defenceman to Mario Lemieux and all the way back to Phil Esposito and beyond. Deron Williams Jersey. ``I think youre much more used to things, youre a little wide-eyed that first time,” Crosby said. “The biggest thing I learned from a guy like Scotty is that he didnt really say that much, he just said the right thing at the right time. The way he carried himself and his whole demeanour that he had, his quiet confidence, it was really something that was felt throughout the whole room. ``The other thing here is that weve got a lot of guys who have played together not just the last Olympics but going back a ways, I think theres some trust there. And for the new guys coming in, you try to make them feel as comfortable as possible. Were trying to do that. Thats the strength of Canada, guys always come together pretty quick. Thats instilled in us at an early age. I like that side of things for sure. Niedermayer was 37 when he captained Canada to gold in 2010. He retired a few months later. Mario Lemieux was 36 when he captained Canada to gold in 2002. He retired before the next Olympics. Does age matter when it comes to Olympic hockey leadership? Babcock likes the fact that Crosby will be surrounded by all the returnees from the Vancouver team. “The reality for me is we have 11 guys back from the last time who had success,” he said. “We have a new opportunity and we have to come up with a new identity. Does experience help in winning? Absolutely. Does the Olympics weigh in more than the guy who has won a Stanley Cup, I dont know that? “I know I like guys who have won because theyve been through it and done it right. You dont win unless youve done it right. In the details is whats going to separate. There is a whole bunch of teams with really good players. Someone is going to become a really good team and win the tournament. Thats what were going to try to do. Were going to try to get better each and every day so we can win.” ' ' '

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