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jokergreen
jokergreen Jun 27 '19
TORONTO - Drake stood from his courtside seat, his arms over his head motioning for the sellout crowd to get on their feet as the final buzzer sounded and his iconic anthem, "Started From The Bottom" blared over the Air Canada Centre loudspeakers. Clay Matthews Jersey . The Raptors global ambassador was the guest of honour on Saturday but - as he explained to the hoard of media that assembled in front of him before the game - he did not want the evening to be about him, although the night was in fact titled Drake Night. It could have been and very nearly turned out to be a sideshow. The Toronto-born recording artist handed out free shoes while his DJ entertained a captivated audience of 19,800 at halftime. Moments later the buzz that had filled the arena abruptly disappeared as the Raptors came out flat in the third quarter, trailing by as many as 10 to the division-rival Brooklyn Nets, winners of their previous five contests. In the end, Drake asked for noise and the ACC faithful obliged, saluting the team and its ambassador. The Raptors had earned it, putting on a show of their own and sending their fans home with more than just a black and gold OVO T-shirt. "I think we just got a spark there," coach Dwane Casey said after the Raptors closed out the game on a 40-18 run to defeat the Nets 96-80. "I thought our guys showed mental toughness and won a slug-out game, which I dont know if we could have won a couple months ago, no less last year. [Its] a testament to our guys mental growth and mental toughness to win a game like that." "We stayed patient," said DeMar DeRozan, who led all scorers with 26 to go along with seven rebounds and a team-high five assists. "We knew they were going to make a run, especially in the second half and we understood that. We stayed disciplined, understood we had to get stops, rebound the ball and push it." DeRozan scored the last seven points of the third and first two of the fourth as the Raptors began to take advantage of a veteran Nets team that had played a double overtime game against the defending champions a night earlier. Toronto held the visitors without a point for over seven minutes of game time and without a field goal for over nine minutes during a 22-1 run midway through the final frame. Despite their 41 per cent field goal shooting and just 16 assists, the Raptors were able to get out in transition - besting the Nets 13-6 on the break - and take advantage of Kevin Garnetts absence on the boards (the 37-year-old was rested on the second night of back-to-back). As a team the Raptors grabbed 16 offensive rebounds, five of them from Patrick Patterson, who continued to be a game-changer off Torontos bench. The Raptors outscored Brooklyn by 40 with Patterson on the floor Saturday. He finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds while fellow reserve John Salmons added 13, connecting on all five of his shots. The Nets and their rookie head coach Jason Kidd were struggling when they visited Toronto in late November, having lost five in a row before narrowly defeating the Raptors. This time around, they came to town riding a five-game winning streak, which included impressive victories over the Heat, Warriors and Thunder. Without Garnett, Deron Williams (nursing an ankle injury) and Brook Lopez (out for the season after foot surgery) in the lineup on the second night of a grueling back-to-back, Toronto seized another opportunity during this crucial stretch against sub-.500 teams. The Raptors have now won seven of their past nine contests overall and five of their last six at home, pulling within one-game of third place Atlanta in the Eastern Conference standings. With some assistance from Drake, the in-arena atmosphere reflected the teams recent success on Saturday and did not go unnoticed by those in the locker room. "I definitely think (Drake) succeeded," Amir Johnson said. "He got fans hyped, they had some sweet t-shirts in the crowd, everybodys screaming, every play everybody seemed like they were standing up cheering for us and thats what we need from our fans." "The atmosphere was great, I hope we can continue having that. Weve got to keep winning though." Accompanied by an entourage that included Tim Leiweke and Masai Ujiri before the game, Drake showed off his suit jacket, lined with a retro Vince Carter jersey. He also pitched in during the pre-game introductions, announcing the Raptors starters with his own unique twist. "Tonights not really about me, despite the title of the night," he said. "I think its just more about the momentum in the city, bringing the city together, how well these guys have been playing, honouring this squad that is really finding [itself], finding stability with each other and the revamp of this team." Given the result, its safe to say his mission was accomplished. Ray Nitschke Youth Jersey . Coaches are now allowed to challenge both called and potential defensive pass interference fouls under certain conditions. Darnell Savage Jr. Youth Jersey . Now he has a complete game. Scherzer tossed a three-hitter in his 179th career start for his first complete game and Victor Martinez hit his 16th homer to lead the Detroit Tigers a 4-0 win over the Chicago White Sox.Their season is just four days old, but the Seattle Mariners are off to an impressive 3-1 start. They swept the Angels, then lost a 3-2, 12-inning heartbreaker to the Oakland As on a Coco Crisp walk-off home run. The biggest story in my mind though was the performance of their number three starter James Paxton, in an 8-2 victory over the Halos. He pitched a two-hitter over seven innings and immediately threw himself into the mix for those to watch in the Rookie of the Year race this season. Paxton is a 64", 220-pound lefty who hails from Richmond, BC. Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, hes one that got away. Paxton was originally drafted by the Blue Jays 37th overall in 2009, but he chose not to sign. He intended to return to the University of Kentucky, but was ruled ineligible because he had signed an agreement with agent Scott Boras. Paxton went on to pitch briefly for the Independent Grand Prairie Airhogs of the American Association in 2010. That year he was drafted by the Mariners in the fourth round. With Hisashi Iwakuma and top prospect Taijuan Walker rehabbing from injuries, Paxton may be around for awhile and could be a key part of the Ms resurgence. Seattle has another impressive young lefty in their rotation in Cuban-born lefty Roenis Elias, who pitched well, but got saddled with a no-decision in the Mariners loss to the As. The only question coming into this season was over their ability to score runs, even with the addition of ex-Yankees star Robinson Cano. With this seeming wealth of starting pitching, the Ms may be able to deal for the bats they need as the season unfolds. Cano, by the way, is off to a decent start with Seattle, going 6 for 16 with a pair of intentional walks. Here and Now Theres no sense fretting now over the Jays not getting Paxton. Better to concentrate on the top two pitching prospects they do have. Marcus Stroman started the Buffalo Bisons season opener on Thursday against the Twins Rochester farm club, the Red Wings. He was on a pitch count and over four innings, made 73 pitches - 47 for strikes - gave up four hits and two earned runs, struck out three of the first four batters he faced and got a no decision in the Bisons 6-3 victory. The Bisons are veteran team, with 16 players on their roster who played in the Majors last season. Matt Tuiasosopo, who was just picked up on waivers last week from Arizona and then three days later was outrighted to Buffalo, led the attack with thrree hits. Dave Robinson Youth Jersey. After Stroman, the rest of the Buffalo rotation consists of Ricky Romero, Kyle Drabek, lefty Sean Nolin, who was briefly with the Jays, and Liam Hendricks. J.A. Happ is expected to join them as well in the near future on a rehab assignment. Bisons closer Neil Wagner, who figures to be up with the Jays at some point this season, struck out three of four batters and racked up the save. Blue Jays blue chip prospect Aaron Sanchez started opening night for Double "A" New Hampshire at Trenton. He was described as being dominant over his five-inning stint, giving up just one hit and striking out five while walking two. He also got the victory in the Fishercats 6-0 victory over Trenton. Fresh Start Emilio Bonifacio, who was a bust with the Blue Jays last season and eventually moved on to the Royals, signed with the Cubs as a free agent and is off to a torrid start at the plate with Chicago. Hes 11 for 16 with four stolen bases on the young season. Hes been batting lead-off and playing centre field. The Cubs - weather permitting - will be marking the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon in their home opener against the Phillies. Great trivia question on Wrigley: name the only person to hit the scoreboard. Heres a clue, it wasnt a ball player. It was golf legend Slammin Sammy Snead. He teed off from homeplate in a publicity stunt and hit the 89 high scoreboard, which was 420 feet away on the fly. On his next try he hit it right over the scoreboard. Wrigley has also hosted two of the wildest games in Major League history. In the highest scoring game ever, the Cubs beat the Phillies 26-23 on August 25, 1922. The Phils got their revenge in 1979, 57 years later, when they edged the Cubs 23-22 in 10 innings. Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt hommered off Cubs closer Bruce Sutter to win it. The teams combined for 11 homers, including three by the Cubbies Dave Kingman.  Roys Return Great move by the Blue Jays to get Roy Halladay to throw out the first pitch for their home opener Friday night at sold-out Rogers Centre against Derek Jeter and the Yankees. It makes you wonder if they will put Halladays name up on the "Level of Excellence" tonight or at some point down the road. The pitching match-up couldnt be more intriguing with the comeback king Dustin McGowan facing Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka, who will be making his first Major League start. Wholeslae Jerseys NFL Jerseys Cheap Wholesale NBA Jerseys Cheap NHL Jerseys Cheap MLB Jerseys Wholesale Soccer Jerseys Cheap College Jerseys Cheap Football Jerseys Cheap Basketball Jerseys Cheap Baseball Jerseys ' ' ' 
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