Raptors top Pacers to take series lead

admin   •   April 27, 2016   •   2244

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) looks to pass as Indiana Pacers forward Myles Turner (33) tries to defend during the fourth quarter in game five of the first round of the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre. The Toronto Raptors won 102-99. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) looks to pass as Indiana Pacers forward Myles Turner (33) tries to defend during the fourth quarter in game five of the first round of the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre. The Toronto Raptors won 102-99. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

(The Sports Xchange) – Dwane Casey’s decision to go with a mixed-bag group on the floor in the fourth quarter paid off on Tuesday as the Toronto Raptors erased a 13-point deficit to defeat the Indiana Pacers 102-99.

With the win, the Raptors take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.

A group, which included Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Bismac Biyombo and Norman Powell, helped Toronto battle back from a 90-77 third-quarter hole to tie the game 92-92.

Powell put an exclamation on the comeback throwing down a monster dunk, much to the delight of the sellout crowd of 19,800 in attendance at Air Canada Centre.

“I thought we were going to go down with the guys that were swinging,” Casey said of the group he had on the floor in the fourth.

“That group was giving it to us physically — what did (Indiana) score in the fourth quarter? Nine points? They were just scrapping and that’s what the playoffs are about: fight, toughness and for whatever reason we didn’t start the game that way.”

DeRozan gave the Raptors their first lead of the game, draining a 3-pointer with 4:15 remaining and they never relented.

DeRozan finished with a team-high 34 points and Kyle Lowry added 14 points, four rebounds and five assists. Jonas Valanciunas chipped in with 11 points.

“I felt like my normal self,” said DeRozan, who entered the game averaging just 13.3 points while shooting below 30 percent from the field.

“Me and the guys weren’t thinking too hard. It’s all about patience, you can’t get flustered, you can’t get frustrated, you’ve got to stay the course and that’s what we’re going to continue to do, whatever it takes to win.”

Pacers coach Frank Vogel elected to start the fourth quarter with Paul George on the bench, which coincided with the Raptors comeback.

“Their bench came in with great energy and made a little bit of a run early and they carried it over against our starters when our guys got back in,” Vogel said.

“(George) looked pretty gassed at the end of the third. We had a decent lead, but I thought we could hold up.”

With two seconds remaining, Solomon Hill had a chance to force overtime, but the shot left his fingers a frame too late.

George, who entered the game averaging 26.3 points in the series, had a game-high 39 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. George Hill added 15 points and Myles Turner had 14.

“We didn’t make enough plays, that is what it came down to in the fourth quarter,” said George. “We have to put this (game) away. Friday (Game 6) is a new day and we have to get a win — it’s a must win.

“It’s awful to have a chance to win on the road and then come back home, but we failed to live up to the moment.”

The Pacers led 61-52 at halftime.

Early in the first quarter, DeRozan scored six straight points as Toronto went on an 11-0 run, cutting Indiana’s lead to six.

The Raptors eventually trimmed the Pacers’ lead to three, but when George re-entered the game with four minutes expired in the quarter, he led Indiana on a 10-2 surge.

George finished the first half with 22 points and five assists. Hill added 15 points.

DeRozan had 19 first-half points, but Lowry was held to 1-of-6 shooting from the field and eight points through two quarters.

Toronto trailed 35-20 after the first quarter after a 15-2 Indiana run. George led the Pacers with 12 points and four assists in the opening quarter and Hill added nine points.

DeRozan had six points and Bismack Biyombo added four points and two rebounds off the bench for the Raptors.

Game 6 is on Friday in Indianapolis. When an NBA series is tied 2-2, the Game 5 winner has a 151-33 series record.

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Vince Carter retires after NBA record 22-season career

UNTV News   •   June 26, 2020

Atlanta Hawks guard Vince Carter officially announced his retirement from professional basketball on Thursday (June 25) after an NBA record 22-season career during which his high-flying dunks made him one of the game’s top players in his prime.

Carter, widely regarded as one of the greatest dunkers of all time, had previously said the 2019-20 NBA campaign would be his last but had not addressed his playing status since the NBA suspended its season in mid-March due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“I am officially done playing basketball professionally,” Carter, 43, told the “Winging It” podcast.

Carter, the first NBA player to feature in four different decades, signed a one-year deal with the Hawks last August.

However, their season is over as they did not qualify for the NBA’s 22-team format for restarting action in late July at Disney World amid the novel coronavirus.

Carter played for eight teams during his career but will be most remembered for his time with the Toronto Raptors, where he put the Canadian city on the basketball map and earned the nickname “Air Canada” for his feats above the rim.

After his first season in Toronto, Carter was named the NBA’s rookie of the year in 1999. He was then named an All-Star for each of the following eight seasons.

In his second season, Carter won the Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend with a dazzling display that further increased his stardom and helped ignite basketball’s popularity in what had otherwise been an ice hockey-mad country.

Carter, who ranks 22nd on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, averaged 16.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game during a career that also included stops in New Jersey, Orlando, Phoenix, Dallas, Memphis, Sacramento and Atlanta.

He also helped USA Basketball win gold medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2003 FIBA Americas tournament. (Reuters)

(Production; David Grip)

League approves plan to resume NBA season in July at Disney World

UNTV News   •   June 5, 2020

REUTERS – The National Basketball Association (NBA) Board of Governors have approved a plan to restart the suspended season with a tentative July 31 start at Disney World, Florida amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the league said on Thursday (June 4).

The plan would see 22 of the NBA’s 30 teams play eight games to determine a 16-team playoff field that would follow the traditional post-season format with four best-of-seven series that would crown a champion no later than October 12.

The league said approval from its Board of Governors, which came on the day originally scheduled for the start of the NBA Finals, is the first formal step among the many required to resume the season.

According to ESPN, the vote on the format was 29-1, with the Portland Trail Blazes voting against the proposal.

All games, practices and housing would be at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex which is inside the Orlando resort and has multiple hotels and arenas, and would allow the league to limit outside exposure.

The NBA was the first North American sports league to suspend its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic after one of its players tested positive for the new coronavirus in mid-March.

The 22 returning teams would be comprised of the eight teams from each of the two conferences currently in playoff positions plus the six clubs that are six games or fewer behind the eighth seed in their respective conferences.

If everything goes according to plan, the NBA said the 2020-21 season would begin on Dec. 1.

The league also said it plans to hold its 2020 NBA Draft Lottery to determine the order of the first 14 selections on Aug. 25. Lottery teams would be comprised of the eight clubs that do not participate in the restart and the six that go to Florida but do not qualify for the playoffs.

The actual NBA Draft, typically held in June, is now scheduled for Oct. 15.

(Production: Kurt Michael Hall)

Jordan’s autographed game-worn sneakers from his rookie season sold for record $560,000

UNTV News   •   May 18, 2020

NBA great Michael Jordan’s autographed game-worn sneakers from his rookie season fetched a record $560,000 (463,380 pounds) in an online auction, Sotheby’s said on Sunday (May 17).

The Air Jordan 1s, designed for Jordan in 1985 and the first ever signature sneakers, were expected to sell for between $100,000 and $150,000 in the auction.

Known for selling multimillion-dollar art, Sotheby’s held its first auction dedicated entirely to sneakers last year and had then set a world record of $437,500 for a pair of 1972 Nike running shoes known as the “Moon Shoe.”

“We saw tremendous bidding up until the moment the sale closed, with the value more than doubling in the final hour alone,” said Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s director of eCommerce development.

“That coupled with strong international bidding from six countries on four continents shows not only the incredible appeal of Michael Jordan… but also that sneaker collecting is truly a global and growing market.”

Like most of Jordan’s basketball shoes, they are a mismatched pair in a size 13 (left) and size 13.5 (right).

The auction coincided with the 35th anniversary of the Air Jordan brand and the screening of the 10-part ESPN documentary “The Last Dance” about the Chicago Bulls and Jordan. The final two episodes of the show are set to air later on Sunday.

The shoes were sold by collector Jordan Geller, the founder of the sneaker museum Shoezeum in Las Vegas. (Reuters)

(Production: David Grip)


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