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#1 2016-09-18 12:41:18

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SAN ANTONIO - As members of the media waited outside the visitors lock

SAN ANTONIO - As members of the media waited outside the visitors locker room at AT&T Center, Dwane Casey addressed his players behind closed doors, a standard post-game procedure, win or lose. After Mondays hard-fought loss, the wait seemed longer than usual. Getting set to go their separate ways for a short Christmas break, the Raptors coach credited his team for their effort on a seemingly impossible three-game road trip, urging them to build on that success when they get back to work at the end of the week. "It was a good trip," Casey said after their 112-99 loss to the Spurs capped off a 2-1 stretch in four days, highlighted by impressive wins in Dallas and Oklahoma City. "I told the guys it was a good start. Were just getting started to where we want to go." Playing in the second night of a back-to-back and coming off their most physically and mentally taxing victory of the campaign - a 104-98 win over the league-best Thunder Sunday - the Raptors simply ran out of gas in San Antonio, facing an unforgiving terror of a team. "We missed some good looks, some of it was fatigue, some of it was legs, some of it was their good defence getting into us," Casey said. "We knew that coming in, that it was going to be a battle. "And thats our next step, to be mentally tough, to fight through fatigue, to fight through back-to-backs and try to do the same things we did [Sunday] night." The final score is not indicative of how closely matched this game turned out to be. In fact, the 13-point margin of victory was San Antonios largest lead of the contest. Although the home team maintained control for most of the night, the Raptors kept pace and refused to roll over or look ahead to their upcoming two-day vacation. "We are a team that has to be scrappy," Amir Johnson acknowledged, scoring just seven points and grabbing eight rebounds in a match-up with future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan. "Against teams like [the Spurs] we have to play with the physicality just like we did in Dallas and OKC. We have to be the team that pushes the tempo. We cant relax and thats what we have been doing these past couple of weeks. We fight but unfortunately we came up short tonight." Although Duncan had a quiet nine points and 12 boards, the other two-thirds of San Antonios vintage big three controlled the tempo of the game. Tony Parker led all scorers with 26 to go along with eight assists, while Manu Ginobili added 18 points of the Spurs bench. San Antonios second unit - one of the best in the association - contributed 52 points, giving the Spurs 48-minutes worth of high-level production. The Raptors couldnt keep up. The Spurs out-rebounded Toronto by 10 and grabbed 16 offensive boards. They held a 16-point advantage in the paint, dished out 27 assists and recorded a season-high 24 second chance points. "Its always tough playing in a back-to-back, especially against two of the best teams in the West," said DeMar DeRozan. "We understood that coming in but we were in the game. They hit a couple big time threes that pushed the lead up for them and made it tough for us to keep it within arms length but we fought." DeRozan - who had already face a pair of tough wing defenders in Shawn Marion and Thabo Sefolosha on the trip - struggled against Kawhi Leonard, scoring 13 points on 5-of-16 shooting. "He had a rough night but Kawhi Leonard is one of the top defenders in the league," Casey said of DeRozan. "They were double-teaming him in his post-ups so they werent going to let him go." Terrence Ross was the beneficiary of the added attention paid to DeRozan. The Raptors sophomore made 10 of 16 attempts for 23 points, while Kyle Lowry also scored 23 and recorded a team-best nine assists. Although a 2-1 record on this trip is nothing to scoff at - its two wins more than most expected them to get - Caseys message has been received and his team is striving for more. "I wish we would have got that last win," Johnson insisted. "The two wins is great but it would have been nice to finish with one more. "We cant settle," he continued. "We played some tough teams (on the trip) and that is definitely a confidence boost but we want to keep going and keep the focus we have over this break. We are definitely not happy. We just have to keep working." The Raptors players and coaches will be excused for two days to spend Christmas with their family and friends before reconvening in New York City for practice on Boxing Day. "Its coming at a great time," admitted DeRozan, who is among the league leaders in minutes played and could use the rest. "[It] just gives us a chance to refresh our minds and our bodies and understand what lies ahead after this Christmas break." DeRozan and Johnson are each spending their time off in Toronto with their daughters, both of whom will be celebrating their first Christmas. Jacoby Jones Chargers Jersey . "It doesnt get any better than that," Giambi said. "Im speechless." The Indians are roaring toward October. Giambi belted a two-run, pinch-hit homer with two outs in the ninth inning to give Cleveland a shocking 5-4 win over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night, keeping the Indians up with the lead pack in the AL wild-card race. Stevie Johnson Jersey . The judges scored it 48-47, 48-47, 49-46 for Jones (19-1). It was the champions closest call. Despite the loss, it was a remarkable show by the confident Swedish challenger, who had the best of the early rounds and then hung on in the fourth and fifth. http://www.chargersjerseysportsauthenti … ue-jersey/ . Scott won the Australian PGA last week in his first event in Australia since winning the U.S. Masters in April. American Matt Kuchar, ahead by two strokes with four to play and even with Scott with one to go, double-bogeyed the 18th after taking two shots to get out of a bunker. Branden Oliver Jersey . Defenceman Yannick Weber scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period and the Canucks breathed a sigh of relief with a 2-1 win on Saturday night. Joe Barksdale Chargers Jersey . There are surprises among the Vezina candidates, but most of the others are standard top-tier performers, even if the two Hart Trophy runners-ups have never been quite as good as they have been through the first half of the season. VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Canucks prepared Monday to play without their coach and captain for the foreseeable future. Coach John Tortorella was suspended 15 days on Monday, a span that will include six games starting with Tuesday nights game in Edmonton. He missed practice to attend a disciplinary hearing in New York with NHL officials. Tortorella got in trouble for entering the Calgary dressing room area, in an apparent attempt to get at Flames coach Bob Hartley, after the first period of a game marred by a line brawl following the opening face-off. Meanwhile, assistant coach Mike Sullivan, who ran practice and will take the reins from Tortorella against the Oilers, confirmed that captain Henrik Sedin will miss the game due to an undisclosed injury. Sedins absence will bring his consecutive-games-played streak -- the second-longest among active NHLers -- to an end following 679 straight games. "His status is day to day, but he will not play in Edmonton," said Sullivan. While NHL officials did not appreciate Tortorellas actions, which were aired on "Hockey Night in Canada," the players did. "I think it shows how passionate he is and how much he cares about his team," said defenceman Kevin Bieksa, who was at the centre of the brawl. "The other guy (Flames coach Bob Hartley), I dont know what he was thinking. But I think you respect a coach more when you see that hell watch your back and you see how much he cares. "Were not just pawns out there." Bieksa was among the eight players -- four from each team -- who were ejected two seconds into the contest that featured 10 fighting majors and a total of 152 penalty minutes after both coaches put out their fourth lines first. The punches started flying when Bieksa moved from his defence position to take the opening draw after he saw Kevin Westgarth, usually a penalty-prone winger, preparing to take the opening draw against Kellan Lain, a rookie whose NHL debut lasted only two seconds before he was ejected for fighting. "I kind of put two and two together," said Bieksa. "We heard their starting lineup. We definitely knew what was going to happen and we were told to defuse the situation if we could. I saw Westgarth line up at centre and evened that match." Bieksa said Tortorellas between-period actions occurred because the coach was upset that Lain, whose parents travelled from Oakville, Ont., to watch him play, had to fight on his first shift, and the other bouts that occurred. Zack Kassian, who has been in and out of Tortorellas doghouse because of inconsistency, undisciplined play and penalties, also praised him. "No matter who you talk to in this (dressing) room, everyone knows (Tortorella) is changing the culture of this team," said Kassian, who was on the bench during the brawl. Tortorella indicated after the game that he put out his fourth line instead of his first forward unit because he was wary of potentiall injury to Daniel and Henrik Sedin, who do not usually fight.dddddddddddd. Winger Dale Weise, who was among the players ejected, said Tortorella, did not tell the fourth liners to drop their gloves. "I agree with putting that line out just in case something happened there," said Weise. "I totally agree with (Tortorella) 100 per cent. You cant take a chance with a guy like that, Westgarth, and how tough he is." "(Tortorella) is always preaching that hes always got our back," added winger Tom Sestito, Vancouvers resident heavyweight. "He was just showing up. Thats great. I think the guys rallied around him. I thought it was pretty good." Sullivan said the Canucks would accept Tortorellas punishment. The assistant felt Tortorellas actions near the Flames dressing room to the "heat of the moment" and declined to discuss them. "As far as the starting lineup, we talked about it as a (coaching) staff before he decided who he was going to put on the ice, and I know Torts motivation was to protect his players and his team," said Sullivan. Replacing Tortorella at the helm, he will try to get the Canucks back on a consistent track. Vancouver has only one win in its past four games and is 2-3-2 in its last 10. Bieksa said a switch to Sullivan, a former head coach with the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers, would be a change behind the bench, but not in how the team plays. "Sullys been a head coach in the NHL before and he knows what its like to be the big cheese behind the bench," said Bieksa. However, Henrik Sedins absence will prompt a change on the top line, where Ryan Kesler played centre in practice between Daniel Sedin and Alex Burrows. Henrik Sedin had ranked second in consecutive games played among active NHL players to St. Louis Blues defenceman Jay Bouwmeester. "I just think its a testament to how tough he is," said Sullivan. Henrik Sedin, who according to multiple media reports was playing with a splint on an injured finger and sore ribs, left Saturdays the game following the second period after Tortorella told him to take his equipment off. Burrows indicated it will take a while to get used to playing without Sedin, who has 40 points in 50 games and last missed a contest in March 2004. "Since Ive been here, hes played every game, and thats an amazing feat," said Burrows. "Hes such a big part of this team. a Well try to win without him, but well have to wait and see." Notes: Injured defenceman Ryan Stanton (ankle) and centre Jordan Schroeder (foot), who practised Monday, are close to returning to the lineup following extended layoffs and travelled with the team to Edmonton. a The Canucks have returned goaltender Joacim Eriksson now that starter Roberto Luongo has returned to the lineup. a Lane praised Bieksa for showing leadership by replacing him in the opening face-off Saturday. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China ' ' '

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2016-09-18 12:41:18

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