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Celtics laugh all the way to spoil Raptors' Christmas cheer – CBC.ca

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Kyle Lowry dressed for the special occasion in shoes with the names of his sons Karter and Kameron.

The 13-year NBA veteran and the Toronto Raptors played their much-anticipated first Christmas Day game at home on Wednesday — but the one major element missing was a victory.

Fred VanVleet scored 27 points while Chris Boucher added a career-high 24, but there was no late-game heroics from the Raptors in a 118-102 loss to the Boston Celtics.

“It was a special Christmas Day treat to have an opportunity to have my kids see me play on Christmas, enjoy the moment,” said Lowry, his sons roughhousing in the lockers behind him.

“It’s cool man, it’s something that took 14 years to get to. I got to it. Unsuccessful. But it was a fun, great time.”

WATCH | Raptors find coal in 1st home Christmas game ever:

Jaylen Brown had a game-high 30 points to help the Boston Celtics spoil the Toronto Raptors first Christmas home game 118-102. 1:50

Jaylen Brown scored 30 points to top the Celtics (21-7) in their fourth consecutive victory, and first win in Toronto in nine tries.

“It was good to get a win here on Christmas,” said Brown, who had five three-pointers. “I’ve never won here period, so it was great to just get one.”

Kemba Walker added 22 points, while Enes Kanter had 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds in his first game outside the United States in more than a year.

The Raptors (21-10), who sorely missed the service of injured teammates Pascal Siakam (groin), Marc Gasol (hamstring), and Norman Powell (shoulder), saw their 34-game winning streak against Atlantic Division opponents come to an end.

Ugly showing against festive backdrop

Played against a festive backdrop of fans dressed in Santa hats and ugly Christmas sweaters, the game itself was an eyesore. The Raptors botched easy layups and turned the ball over 17 times for 20 points, and were outscored 24-4 on second-chance points.

But playing three games in four nights — including a thrilling 30-point comeback victory Monday versus Dallas — the Raptors look spent.

“We’re pretty short on our roster,” said coach Nick Nurse. “We’ve played a lot minutes, these guys, a lot of games in a lot of days, the schedule hasn’t been very good to us. This is our third game in four days, one was an overtime game, one was a come-from-30-points-behind-game, where we used a lot of energy too. . . so I don’t know. Maybe we just need a little rest.”

After sprinting out to a 10-0 lead Wednesday, the Raptors played the gracious holiday host virtually the rest of the way.

The Celtics compiled an 11-point lead in the second quarter, and had stretched it to 19 points by the end of the third in a sloppy affair that saw 29 combined turnovers through the first three quarters.

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse reacts to a referee’s call. (Cole Burston/Canadian Press )

And three nights after their franchise-record comeback, there were no late-game heroics. Trailing 88-69 to start the fourth, the Raptors pulled to within 14 points in the first 35 seconds, injecting some life into Scotiabank Arena’s 19,800 fans.

But Patrick McCaw missed on a cutting layup on Toronto’s next possession, prompting groans from the crowd, and barely a minute later the Celtics were up by 20.

‘Obviously it’s not good’

A VanVleet layup pulled the Raptors to within 17 with 4:46 to play, but Toronto couldn’t sustain any energy. Nor could the fans, who began heading to the exits shortly after.

How tough is it to dig out of big deficits?

“Obviously it’s not good,” Boucher said. “You get down and have to find a way to get back. We have to find a way to get started and be able to get a lead or something like that. It’s hard to come back from 15 or 20 down. I know we did it once, but that’s not something we want to have to do every game.”

The afternoon marked the first NBA game played outside the U.S. on Christmas, and tipped off a schedule of five marquee matchups on the day. Teams consider it an honour to play on Christmas; the Raptors had done it only once previously, in New York in 2001, while the Celtics were playing for their fourth consecutive Christmas game.

“I know that I’ve got contacts from all over the world that have said they can’t wait to open their presents and then watch the game, so I think it’s really cool to be a part of it,” Nurse said before the game.

Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker drives past Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet. (Cole Burston/Canadian Press )

The Raptors are 2-2 since losing Gasol, Powell and Siakam, and while there was no update of the threesome’s status on Wednesday, their absence is clearly posing a problem for Toronto.

“Scoring is not very easy for us right now,” Nurse said. “It’s tough.”

Kanter hadn’t played a game in Toronto in over a year after Turkey, his home country, issued an international warrant for his arrest. He received the green light for Christmas with help from the Canadian government, and arrived at the game wearing a black T-shirt with the words “Freedom for All.”

Lowry’s three-pointer just 1:53 into the game gave the Raptors a 10-0 lead and forced the Celtics to call a timeout. Boston replied with a 9-0 run and then kept the pressure on, forcing seven Toronto turnovers. The Celtics led 28-19 to start the second.

A Kanter layup 44 seconds into the second quarter put Boston up by 11. The Raptors responded with an 11-3 run to pull to within three points but couldn’t sustain any momentum, and the Celtics went into the halftime break up 55-47.

Brown led the way with 16 Celtics points in the third and a Jayson Tatum finger roll had the visitors up by 19 with a minute to play in the frame.

These two teams meet again in Boston on Saturday. The Raptors are back home to host Oklahoma City on Sunday and the Cleveland Cavaliers on New Years Eve.

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Canada's Summer McIntosh, 15, wins 2nd gold medal at world aquatics – CBC Sports

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Summer McIntosh of Kelowna, B.C., capped a sensational week of swimming on Saturday, becoming the first Canadian with two victories and four medals at a single world championship.

The 15-year-old lowered her junior record time to four minutes 32.04 seconds in the women’s 400-metre individual medley on Saturday in Budapest, Hungary. Earlier this week, she also set world junior marks in the 200 butterfly (gold) and 400 freelstyle (silver) while earning freestyle relay bronze in the 200.

‘”This is a dream come true,” McIntosh gushed to the crowd in the post swim on-deck interview. At 15 years 311 days, she is the second-youngest winner of the women’s 400 IM behind Tracy Caulkins of the United States, who was 15 years 224 days in her 1978 win in West Berlin.

McIntosh took the lead early in Saturday’s race and waged a battle with American Katie Grimes, who touched the wall in 4:32.67 for her second silver of these worlds after placing second in the 1,500. Teammate Emma Weyant, the 2020 Olympic silver medallist, earned bronze in 4:36.00.

“It’s really cool to race someone like Katie as she is around my age and she’s a really tough competitor,” said McIntosh, who clocked 4:34.86 on April 9 at Canadian trials. “So I’m looking forward to racing her and keep pushing myself.”

WATCH | McIntosh holds off American Katie Grimes for 4th world medal:

Canadian Summer McIntosh wins 400m medley at swimming worlds

8 hours ago

Duration 7:29

The 15-year-old edged American Katie Grimes by 0.63 seconds at the FINA World Championships in Budapest.

Katinka Hosszu of Hungary had her streak of consecutive world titles in the 400 medley halted at four as she finished fourth in 4:37.89. The 33-year-old has won the race five times in her last seven appearances at worlds and still holds the world record of 4:26.36 and 4:29.33 championship mark from 2016 and 2017, respectively.

Canada’s women wrapped up the competition with bronze in the 100 medley relay, matching their result from 2019 worlds.

Kylie Masse, Rachel Nicol, Maggie Mac Neil and anchor Penny Oleksiak stopped the clock in 3:55.01, behind the Americans (3:53.78) and Australia (3:54.25). It was Nicol’s first world medal while Oleksiak broke a tie with Masse with her ninth career medal at the event, all in the relay.

“‘It’s obvious at this point I wouldn’t be here without the team, so it feels weird to claim that title on my own,” Oleksiak told Swimming Canada of her success. ”I feel really lucky to be part of Team Canada.”

WATCH | Oleksiak sets Canadian record for most medals at aquatics worlds:

Penny Oleksiak sets Canadian record for most medals at aquatics world championships

6 hours ago

Duration 0:42

The 22-year-old from Toronto, Ont., becomes the most decorated Canadian swimmer at the aquatics world championships after winning bronze in the 4x100m medley relay.

Three years ago, Sydney Pickrem, Masse, Mac Neil and Oleksiak posted a time of 3:53.58 in Gwangju, South Korea.

Saturday’s relay bronze was the national record-extending 11th medal — three gold, four silver, four bronze — for Canada at these worlds after it surpassed the mark of eight at a single world championships from 2019 on Friday.

McIntosh only led Grimes by 9-100ths of a second through 50 metres but was 62-100ths ahead midway through the backstroke leg and under world-record pace through 200 metres, in front by 1.33 seconds.

WATCH | McIntosh captures gold in 400m IM:

Summer McIntosh wins gold in 400m individual medley

6 hours ago

Duration 0:43

15-year-old Summer McIntosh set a new world junior record in the 400m individual medley to win gold at the 2022 FINA world championships in Budapest.

3 top-10 finishes in Olympic debut

Hosszu gained ground in the breaststroke and moved into third spot at the 250-metre mark, with McIntosh holding a 2.15-second advantage over Grimes. But Weyant overtook Hosszu for bronze position through 300 metres and stayed there while Grimes closed to within 98-100ths of McIntosh with 50 metres remaining.

Last summer, a 14-year-old McIntosh was the youngest member of the Canadian Olympic team in Tokyo but certainly didn’t show her age on the world’s grandest athletic stage.

WATCH | McIntosh swims to world silver in 400m freestyle:

Summer McIntosh earns silver in 400m freestyle at world aquatics championships

7 days ago

Duration 6:20

The Toronto native finished with a time of 3:59.39 for the 2nd-place finish at the FINA World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

She placed fourth in the 400 free, at that point lowering the Canadian record twice. She was ninth in the 200 free and 11th in the 800 free, setting a national age group record. McIntosh was also part of the 200 relay squad that finished fourth in national record time, while her opening-leg swim broke the Canadian age group record.

At national trials two months ago in Victoria, McIntosh turned heads by winning four events and swimming the 400 free in the third-fastest time this year.

WATCH | McIntosh wins world 200m butterfly semifinal in junior record time:

Toronto teen Summer McIntosh sets world jr. record to qualify for world 200m butterfly final

4 days ago

Duration 7:06

15-year-old Summer McIntosh swam the fastest qualifying time, and set a world junior record in the women’s 200 metre butterfly semifinals, to advance to the final at the 2022 FINA world championships in Budapest.

In the women’s medley relay, the Americans were favoured for gold while the Swedish foursome of Hanna Rosvall, Sophie Hansson, Louise Hansson and Sarah Sjoestroem were the fastest in qualifying in 3:56.77.

Masse, who fell short of the 200 backstroke podium on Friday in her bid for a third medal in Hungary, got the Canadians off to a quick start with the second-fastest reaction time at 0.54 and led Regan Smith of the U.S. for top spot through 50 metres and by 1-100th at the end of the leg.

Nichol took over in backstroke and fell off the pace, trailing the Americans 1.27 seconds. Mac Neil fell behind by 1.51 halfway through the butterfly and by 1.40 when anchor Penny Oleksiak entered the pool for the free.

Trademark finishing kick

Canada’s most decorated Olympian ever was unable to close the gap in the first half of her leg but managed to draw closer near the wall and finished 1.23 seconds off the winning time.

WATCH | Canada reaches podium in women’s medley relay:

Canadian women take bronze in 4x100m medley at swimming worlds

8 hours ago

Duration 6:57

Kylie Masse, Rachel Nichol, Maggie MacNeil and Penny Oleksiak claimed third place at the FINA World Championships in Budapest.

Masse, who won gold in the 50 backstroke and silver in the 100 earlier this week, is tied for second with Ryan Cochrane with eight career medals.

“It’s always special to be part of a relay team,” said Masse, based at HPC-Ontario. “It’s nice to be doing it more than just yourself and that always pushes me.”

The American quartet of Lilly King, Torri Huske, Claire Curzan and Smith proved too strong for the rest of the field.

“We take a lot of pride in that relay and really wanted to put in a good time and get that gold back from last summer [ at the Olympics]. We came out and did that, and it was a great race,” said Curzan, who anchored the U.S. home.

On Friday, the 22-year-old Oleksiak provided her trademark finishing kick in the mixed 100 relay, overtaking Curzan to push Canada to a silver medal with a national record time of 3:20.61. All eight of her medals (two silver, six bronze) have come in the relay.

WATCH | Oleksiak anchors Canada to mixed relay silver medal:

Silver in 4x100m freestyle gives Canada a national record 9th medal at swim worlds

1 day ago

Duration 8:53

Penny Oleksiak, Kayla Sanchez, Javier Acevedo and Josh Liendo swam to a silver medal in the 4×100-metre mixed freestyle relay, giving Canada its ninth medal (two gold, four silver, three bronze) at the 2022 FINA world championships in Budapest. Canada’s previous record of eight medals (two gold, six bronze) was set at the 2019 worlds.

Oleksiak was fourth in the women’s 100 freestyle on Thursday, reaching the finish an agonizing 6-100ths behind bronze medallist Huske. The Toronto native won gold in the event at the 2016 Rio Olympics and placed fourth last summer in Tokyo.

WATCH | Oleksiak narrowly misses bronze in 100m freestyle:

Penny Oleksiak misses the world championship podium by 0.06 seconds

2 days ago

Duration 5:21

Toronto’s Penny Oleksiak fell 0.06 seconds short of landing on the podium in the women’s 100 metre freestyle final, finishing in fourth place with a time of 52.98 seconds. Australian Mollie O’Callaghan won, ahead of Sarah Sjoestroem of Sweden and American Torri Huske. Toronto’s Kayla Sanchez finished in sixth place.

Mollie O’Callaghan won Thursday’s competition before anchoring the Australian medley relay team to silver two days later.

In the men’s 4×100 medley relay, Canada’s Javier Acevedo, James Dergousoff, Joshua Liendo and Ruslan Gaziev swam to 11th in the preliminaries in 3:35.62.

Liendo led all Canadian men this week with bronze in the 100 free and 100 fly and silver in the mixed 100 free relay.

WATCH | Liendo bursts to bronze in 100m butterfly:

Josh Liendo claims 100m bronze for his 2nd medal at FINA world championships

1 day ago

Duration 6:08

Josh Liendo of Markham, Ont., won bronze in the men’s 100-metre butterfly at the FINA world championships in Budapest on Friday, just two days after capturing his first career world championship medal by taking bronze in the 100-metre freestyle.

American Ress awarded backstroke gold after review

Justin Ress of the United States won gold in the 50 backstroke in dramatic circumstances after officials overturned his initial disqualification following a lengthy review.

Victory was earlier awarded to compatriot Hunter Armstrong after it was ruled that no part of Ress’s body was above the water as he reached first for the wall.

Ress, who had set the pace in the heats and the semifinals, was later reinstated as the winner and the medal ceremony held again, with Armstrong taking silver and Polish teenager Ksawery Masiuk having to settle for bronze.

In other action:

  • Gregorio Paltrinieri, gold medallist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, set a new championship record in the 1,500 freestyle, comfortably finishing ahead of Robert Finke and Florian Wellbrock in a time of 14:32.80. The Italian looked on course to break Sun Yang’s world record of 14:31.02 but faded in the last 100 metres.
  • Earlier, former Olympic champion Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania clinched gold in the women’s 50 breaststroke, beating Italian Benedetta Pilato by 0.10 seconds, with Lara van Niekerk of South Africa coming home in third.

Meilutyte was handed a 24-month suspension in 2019 for anti-doping violations and returned to competitive action only in December last year.

Action in Budapest continues Sunday for live action beginning at 7 a.m. ET with the open water swimming team relay, followed by Canada vs. Netherlands in the women’s water polo crossover game at 8 ET.

The first diving final, men’s 3-metre springboard synchro, is scheduled for 10 a.m.

Coverage continues every day through July 3. Click on the link below for a full schedule of events.

CBC Sports streaming & broadcast schedule

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Dufour nets four as Sea Dogs rally past Cataractes, advance to Memorial Cup final – TSN

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SAINT JOHN, N.B. — The Shawinigan Cataractes scored 49 seconds into Saturday’s final round robin game at the Memorial Cup and enjoyed a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes.

Then William Dufour of the Saint John Sea Dogs said “hold my (root) beer.”

Dufour, the 2020 fifth-round draft pick of the New York Islanders, rattled off three consecutive goals in the second period and added a fourth in the third as the tournament hosts scored five unanswered goals to defeat the Cataractes 5-3 to earn a berth in Wednesday’s Cup final.

The trip to the final erases a bit of the disappointment of the Sea Dogs’ first-round loss in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs.

The Cataractes, with two wins and a loss in the round robin, will have to beat the Hamilton Bulldogs in Monday’s semifinal game to get another shot at their QMJHL rival.

Jeremie Poirier scored Saint John’s other goal, while teammate Josh Lawrence added two assists. The Sea Dogs finished the round robin with two wins and an overtime loss.

Loris Rafanomezantsoa, Olivier Nadeau and William Veillette scored for Shawinigan, who outshot the Sea Dogs 15-10 in the first period but were outshot 21-5 in the second.

The six-foot-three Dufour, named MVP of the QMJHL this season, had 56 goals and 116 points during the QMJHL regular season.

“To finish my (junior) career like this is so great,” said the 20-year-old Dufour, calling the win one of his greatest moments in hockey. “We have one more game to win. We’re just going to go for it.”

POKE CHECKS: The Hamilton Bulldogs, who finished the round robin portion of the 102nd Memorial Cup championship with one regulation win for three points, lost to the Sea Dogs 5-4 on June 20, then dropped a 3-2 decision to the Cataractes on June 23, before beating the Edmonton Oil Kings 4-2 on Friday. The Oil Kings finished the tournament with one overtime win and two losses for two points and failed to make the playoffs. … Next year’s Memorial Cup will be held in Kamloops, B.C., home of the Western Hockey League Blazers who won the national tournament in 1992, 1994 and 1995.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 25, 2022

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