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10 things: Raptors sink to new low after losing to Timberwolves on Pascal Siakam's missed layup – Yahoo Canada Sports

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The Canadian Press

Jokic gets triple-double as Nuggets beat Lakers 122-105

DENVER — Nikola Jokic recorded his sixth triple-double of the season and the Denver Nuggets beat Los Angeles 122-105 on Sunday night in a game where Lakers forward Anthony Davis hobbled from the court after re-aggravating his sore right Achilles. Davis will have an MRI on Monday. He strained his Achilles late in the first half. The spotlight was on the showdown between Jokic and LeBron James, who are both among the favourites in the NBA MVP race. Jokic finished with 23 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists. James had 22 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, but the Lakers’ seven-game win streak ended. Jamal Murray scored 25 points for Denver in its third straight win. Zeke Nnaji had 16 points, and fellow reserve Facundo Campazzo finished with 15. CLIPPERS 128, CAVALIERS 111 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lou Williams scored a season-high 30 points in his first start of the season, and the Clippers handed the Cavaliers their seventh straight loss. The three-time Sixth Man of the Year added a season-high 10 assists and made all eight of his free throws on a night when the Clippers were without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Leonard has a lower left leg contusion and Paul is dealing with bone swelling in his right toe. Marcus Morris had a season-best 23 points for the Clippers, who have won three in a row and seven of 10. Collin Sexton scored 23 points for the short-handed Cavs. Darius Garland and reserve Cedi Osman each scored 20 points. Cleveland has dropped nine of 11. TRAIL BLAZERS 121, MAVERICKS 118 DALLAS (AP) — Damian Lillard hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer in the final minute, and the Trail Blazers overcame another high-scoring outing from Luka Doncic. The young Dallas sensation scored 44 points two nights after getting a career-high 46 in a victory over New Orleans, but it wasn’t enough to extend the Mavericks’ four-game winning streak, tied for their longest this season. Lillard finished with 34 points and 11 assists. He connected on the go-ahead 3 after Doncic assisted on a tying 3-pointer from Dorian Finney-Smith after the Mavericks trailed by 13 midway through the fourth quarter. The Trail Blazers won their fourth consecutive game with help from a 45-point third quarter, matching the franchise record for that period. SUNS 109, MAGIC 90 PHOENIX (AP) — Devin Booker scored 27 points, Mikal Bridges added 21 and Phoenix cruised to its sixth straight victory. The Suns have won nine of their past 10 games and this one wasn’t close. Phoenix never trailed and jumped out to a 14-2 lead after Orlando missed 12 of its first 13 shots. It never got much better for the Magic, who had just eight players available because of injuries. Orlando has lost eight of its past 10 and fell to 10-18 for the season. The Suns improved to 17-9. Terrence Ross led the Magic with 23 points. Dwayne Bacon added 19 points, and Nikola Vucevic had 14 points and 10 rebounds. PISTONS 123, PELICANS 112 DETROIT (AP) — Mason Plumlee had 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his first career triple-double, and the Pistons spoiled Stan Van Gundy’s return to Motown. Van Gundy was the coach and president of basketball operations for the Pistons from 2014-18. He’s coaching the Pelicans now, and Detroit became the latest team to blitz New Orleans from 3-point range. The Pistons had six players with at least 15 points, and Detroit went 17 of 35 from beyond the arc — 13 of 21 during the final three quarters. Josh Jackson led Detroit with 21 points, and Svi Mykhailiuk added 18. The Pelicans also lost their previous two games, allowing 25 3-pointers in each one. Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram each scored 26 points for New Orleans. GRIZZLIES 124, KINGS 110 SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Jonas Valanciunas scored a season-high 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, leading Memphis to the victory. Ja Morant added 16 points and 10 assists despite a rough 7-for-18 shooting night from the field. Dillon Brooks scored 22 points for Memphis, which had lost five of six. Two days after blowing a 20-point, first-quarter lead in a loss to the Lakers, the Grizzlies built another early advantage and withstood a late run by the Kings. The Grizzlies had not won in Sacramento since Dec. 31, 2017. De’Aaron Fox had 23 point and nine assists for the Kings. THUNDER 114, BUCKS 109 OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Justin Jackson scored a season-high 22 points and hit a critical 3-pointer in the final minute to help Oklahoma City overcome Giannis Antetokounmpo’s triple-double. With Milwaukee making a late push, Jackson hit a 3-pointer with 14.9 seconds remaining to put the Thunder in control for good in just his second start of the season. Al Horford had 20 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for Oklahoma City, which played without leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander because of a sprained left knee. Antetokounmpo had 24 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists for his fourth triple-double of the season. Khris Middleton added 23 points for the Bucks. Milwaukee has lost three straight — all without guard Jrue Holiday, who has been out because of health and safety protocols. TIMBERWOLVES 116, RAPTORS 112 TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Karl-Anthony Towns scored seven of his 20 points late in the fourth quarter before fouling out, helping Minnesota snap a four-game losing streak. Malik Beasley also scored 20 points for the Timberwolves, and Anthony Edwards finished with 18. The Raptors had a chance to tie the game after Beasley stepped out of bounds with 12.1 seconds left for Minnesota’s eighth turnover of the fourth quarter. But Pascal Siakam missed a layup that was contested by 6-foot-10 Jaden McDaniels. Jordan McLaughlin clinched the victory with two free throws with 3.7 seconds left. Kyle Lowry led the Raptors with 24 points, and Fred VanVleet and Norman Powell had 22 points apiece. Siakam finished with 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists. SPURS 122, HORNETS 110 CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Dejounte Murray had 26 points and 12 rebounds, and the Spurs outlasted the short-handed Hornets. Derrick White scored 12 of his season-high 25 points in the fourth quarter, helping San Antonio to its fifth win in six games. Terry Rozier had 33 points for the Hornets, who played without leading scorer Gordon Hayward because of a sore back and P.J. Washington, Caleb Martin and Cody Martin due to health and safety protocols. In addition, Devonte Graham departed because of knee discomfort and did not play in the second half. Malik Monk scored 23 points for Charlotte, and rookie LaMelo Ball had 17 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. WIZARDS 104, CELTICS 91 WASHINGTON (AP) — Bradley Beal scored 35 points in his return from a rare night off, leading Washington to the victory. Beal went 10 for 18 from the field and 11 for 11 at the free-throw line. The NBA’s leading scorer rested during Friday night’s loss to the New York Knicks. Russell Westbrook had 13 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds for the Wizards. Rui Hachimura added 15 points. Kemba Walker and Jalen Brown each scored 25 points for Boston, which has lost 10 of 16. Jayson Tatum, who entered the game averaging 26.6 points, was held to a season-low six points. ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press

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Maple Leafs ‘have to look in the mirror’ after being swept by Canucks – Sportsnet.ca

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We often describe this game we love with rugged adjectives.

Hockey is gritty and requires sandpaper. It’s greasy and gutsy. Hard-nosed. A series of tough battles that will be won by the side triumphing in the dirty areas. Those ugly trenches.

The game can be looked at another way, too.

Fragile.

A disappointed Sheldon Keefe used that adjective twice on Saturday in the aftermath of his Toronto Maple Leafs’ 4-2 defeat by the hand of the 21st-place Vancouver Canucks, who swept this mini-series without top-line centre Elias Pettersson in their lineup.

It marked the first comeback victory of Vancouver’s campaign and the first set of consecutive regulation losses the Maple Leafs have suffered all year. It’s also the first time Toronto superstars Auston Matthews and Mitchell Marner have both been held off the scoresheet in back-to-back games.

Much like Game 1 of the series, Toronto ran up against a hot power-play and a razor-sharp goaltender in Thatcher Demko.

Unlike Thursday’s defeat, however, the visitors controlled the run of play for the bulk of the night.

Brock Boeser converted net-front on a beautiful cross-ice J.T. Miller pass on an early rush with Matthews serving a high-sticking minor, but the Leafs responded with a pair of pretty passing plays on their own at even-strength.

John Tavares clapped a blast clean and high by Demko after a nifty one-touch area pass from winger Alexander Kerfoot. Then Jimmy Vesey converted a tic-tac-toe sequence from Jason Spezza and T.J. Brodie.

Toting a 2-1 lead into the third, Toronto fired the first nine shots of the final period and looked poised to lock up another ‘W’.

Momentum spun on a dime when an unpressured William Nylander committed a puck-over-glass penalty — “Can’t just give them a freebie like that,” Keefe said — and Bo Horvat promptly tied the game with the man-advantage.

“We’ve got to get a kill. We’ve got to get a blocked shot. These are the kind of things that make a big difference,” Keefe said. “We didn’t really go through that in [sweeping] the Edmonton series. We were in full control. We built big leads for the most part.”

The Canucks’ power-play went a perfect 3-for-3 in the series; Toronto went 0-for-3. There’s the difference.

“The power-play goal really gave them some life,” Tavares said.

A pair of neutral zone giveaways by the Leafs led to odd-man rushes the other way. Bang, bang: A hungry Miller and Nils Hoglander cashed in.

In 42 seconds, a win poofed into a loss and a great road trip got downgraded to a good road trip.

Fragile.

Beat on the Miller strike, fumbling at the puck first with his hands then with his feet, Morgan Rielly pointed to sloppy details: special teams, puck management and D-zone breakouts.

“We have to take responsibility for what happened in terms of two losses,” Rielly said. “I mean, we have to look in the mirror.”

Marner wondered if the top line was trying to force plays that weren’t there.

“Sometimes it slips away. It happened tonight,” said Marner, a minus-2 for the first time all season. “Turnovers were the reason for it, so just make sure we clean that part up. Obviously starting [with] myself.”

The Maple Leafs will fly home Sunday and sharpen their details on Monday in preparation for next week’s three-game series versus their nearest pursuers in the North, the Winnipeg Jets.

“These are really close, very fragile games. You’ve got to be good every single shift and every puck,” Keefe said. “Vancouver plays four lines. They play extremely hard and very competitive. They don’t give you anything for free.

“It just goes to show that, first of all, anybody in our division can beat you on any given night. We’ve got to be good all the time and we’ve got to stay with the process that works for us. Go off script and get the results you get here.”

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Flames start hot, burn out vs. Oilers as new coach Sutter watches from afar – Sportsnet.ca

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The Jolly Rancher didn’t even have to be behind the bench to start Sutterizing his new team.

While Darryl Sutter watched from his farmhouse in Viking, Alta., as part of his COVID-19 protocol, the Calgary Flames responded to his hiring with a first period that exhibited the type of spirited start the veteran taskmaster will be pushing for.

Fully engaged from puck drop, the Flames took it to the Oilers in a rugged fashion befitting the Battle of Alberta and Sutter’s style.

Two first-period fights, 21 shots, a whopping 19 hits and a tenacious forecheck that led to a power play goal and a 1-0 lead.

Clearly they knew the boss was watching.

And then came the predictable drop-off that got Geoff Ward fired.

Failing to record a shot in the first seven minutes of the second, the Flames allowed the Oilers to push back and eventually even the game late in the frame.

From there the see-saw battle continued.

By night’s end it was the Oilers earning kudos for persevering through a tough spell that ended with Connor McDavid’s late goal, ending his club’s three-game losing skid.

While there’s little time in this shortened season to celebrate moral victories, no one could fault the Flames’ effort on this one.

“It’s obviously difficult to lose – I thought we had a really good start,” said Noah Hanifin, whose first goal of the year early in the third put the Flames up 2-1 following the type of grind-em-out shift from Elias Lindholm’s line Sutter would cherish.

“I think if we play that way and compete that way we’ll have success more often than not. The one thing we’re looking to improve on is our compete and work ethic and I think that was there tonight. It was a step in the right direction.”

Perhaps Sutter’s tack will include being furious with the mere suggestion progress was made.

However, it didn’t seem there was much Sutter could fault his new troops on early in the third when Lindholm, Dillon Dube and Matthew Tkachuk put their work boots on for a series of battles down low that led to Hanifin’s goal.

“When we have big, heavy shifts like that it’s going to help us wear down teams and have success,” the defenceman said.

“That’s the game we want to play.”

McDavid spoiled Ryan Huska’s coaching debut by setting up a Kailer Yamamoto goal five minutes later, before picking up his third point of the night with a snipe from the face-off dot that bounced in off the far post with four minutes left.

“I think we played the whole game — I thought we played great,” said Jacob Markstrom, who made 30 saves in his return from injury, yet still tried to fall on his sword post-game.

“The biggest difference tonight was goaltending. I think Smitty (Mike Smith) made a couple saves and I didn’t when I needed to. It sucks feeling like you didn’t bail out your teammates.

“I thought we played a great game over 60 minutes. There are obviously things to improve, but I think it’s a step in the right direction. It sucks getting the loss out of this game when the guys played so well in front of me.”

The highly entertaining display of big boy hockey saw the Oilers finish the night with two more hits than the Flames (42-40), and they deserve plenty of credit for the moxie they displayed throughout.

Darnell Nurse did his best to stop the Flames’ early momentum by dropping the gloves with his former teammate and pal Milan Lucic, earning the latter the distinction of being the only player ever to earn a fighting major while playing on either side of the provincial punch-up.

James Neal fought Tkachuk later in the period with what would have brought the house down had there been fans at Rogers Place.

“I think (the emotion) was where it needs to be and that’s the challenge moving forward,” said Huska, whose NHL head coaching experience now matches the number of games he played in the show – one.

“The effort in the first period was really good. There was an emotional attachment to the game, which was important for us. That’s something we have to work on maintaining for 60 minutes, not just the first period. I thought we gave up a little too much room as the game went on and we allowed them to get into our zone too easily, which is really how they got their three goals.”

Huska will be behind the bench again Sunday night when the Flames host Ottawa.

Sutter expects to complete his COVID-19 protocol before joining the team for practice Tuesday and will make his return to the Flames’ bench Thursday at home against Montreal.

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Four-goal explosion in second period powers Canadiens 7-1 over Jets – Montreal Gazette

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It was Montreal’s first win over Winnipeg in four games this season, moving them three points behind the second-place Jets in the Canadian division.

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Carey Price made 28 saves and all four lines contributed at least one goal as the Canadiens defeated the Winnipeg Jets 7-1 Saturday at the Bell Centre.

It was Montreal’s first win over Winnipeg in four games this season and the Canadiens moved three points behind the second-place Jets in the Canadian division. Montreal also enjoys a game in hand.

The Canadiens blew this game open with four goals in the second period.

After Tyler Toffoli scored his 15th goal of the season, Brendan Gallagher scored twice. Both of Gallagher’s goals — his eighth and ninth of the season — were scored from the slot after taking a couple of no-look passes from long-time linemate Phil Danault.

The Gallagher goals brought an end to Connor Hellebuyck’s evening. The 2020 Vézina Trophy winner gave up four goals on 19 shots.

Laurent Brossoit replaced Hellebuyck, but he received a rude welcome when he was beaten by Joel Armia on the first shot he faced.

The game got off to a slow start, but opened up after Mathieu Perreault was sent off for high-sticking Shea Weber midway through the first period. The much-improved Montreal power play didn’t look much-improved as it managed only one shot on goal, but it did provide the Canadiens with some momentum.

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Hellebuyck made a blocker save on Jonathan Drouin, who was sent off on a breakaway by Gallagher’s stretch pass, but Hellebuyck was out of the picture when Josh Anderson opened the scoring at 15:29.

Anderson, who returned to to the lineup after missing three games with a lower-body injury, took advantage of a lucky bounce to give Montreal the lead. Jesperi Kotkaniemi attempted to rim the puck and Hellebuyck went behind his net to cut off the pass. But the puck never got there because it hit a stanchion in the glass and came out to Anderson, who put the puck into an empty net for his 10th goal of the season.

Fourth-liner Paul Byron and defenceman Jeff Petry added goals for Montreal in the third period, while Perreault scored a power-play goal to spoil Price’ shutout bid.

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Dominique Ducharme did some line juggling and put his two top goal-scorers, Toffoli and Anderson on a line with Kotkaniemi. The young Finn responded with what might have been his best game of the season as he distributed the puck well and was a dominant player in the faceoff circle. He won 13 of 15 draws for an 87-per-cent success rate. Danault won seven of his 12 faceoffs and Jake Evans won four of six. The Canadiens as a team won 57 per cent.

The Canadiens flew Sunday to Vancouver, where they face the Canucks to open a six-game Western Canada trip. The schedule maker has done a favour for fans in Montreal because none of the games start later than 8 p.m. ET.

phickey@postmedia.com

twitter.com/zababes1

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