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Kyle Lowry staying with Raptors, who might've flipped trade deadline script and actually improved – CBS Sports

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It came down to the wire — in fact, past the 3 p.m. ET trade deadline with Twitter on the edge of its collective seat — but in the end, Kyle Lowry is staying with the Toronto Raptors, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski

Heading into Thursday, this seemed like an almost impossible outcome with the Raptors sitting eight games under .500 and Lowry, at 35 years old, on an expiring contract. The logical play seemed to be getting a strong return for Lowry now rather than potentially lose him for nothing in the offseason. Now we’ll wait to see what Toronto does this summer. It could work a sign-and-trade, or it could, believe it or not, re-sign Lowry again. 

Personally, I’m done trying to figure out what Masai Ujiri is going to do. Here I, like just about everyone else, figured the Raptors were finally ready to cash in at least this season and start truly looking ahead, and somehow they might’ve doubled down on getting back in the playoff race by trading Norman Powell to the Trail Blazers. At first, that seemed like a selloff, too, but when you look at the return of Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood, it begs the question: Did the Raptors actually get better?

Trent is a stud. Portland is really going to miss him. He makes huge shots and battles like heck defensively. Hood is better than his paltry stats this season indicate: Under five points per game, under 30 percent from 3. You can’t have enough wing depth in the playoffs, and again, Lowry remains. 

I still can’t fully believe Ujiri didn’t pull the trigger on a Lowry deal. Miami was reportedly offering a package around Duncan Robinson but wouldn’t include Tyler Herro. Robinson is a very valuable player as one of the best shooters in the world and his tiny $3.2 million cap hold is extremely valuable as it pertains to offseason flexibility. The Philadelphia 76ers, the Los Angeles Lakers, the big guns came for Lowry, who was the only player on the market that realistically would’ve altered the championship equation. 

Give the Raptors credit. We all gripe about teams not putting their best foot forward with the league making it too attractive to lose at the expense of future gain, but Toronto plays to win and it highly values Lowry, the most important player in franchise history. But this is a stunner. Lowry is staying. And the Raptors might be a handful in the playoffs … if they can get there. 

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Olympics-U.S. women to face Australia in women’s football at Tokyo Games

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(Reuters) – The U.S. women’s national team will face Australia, Sweden and New Zealand at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics, while in the men’s competition 2016 winners Brazil will take on Germany following the group stage draw on Wednesday.

The American women’s team are the reigning world champions and four-time winners of the Olympic tournament and will start as favourites in Tokyo, with Rio 2016 winners Germany failing to qualify.

Team GB women have drawn 2016 bronze medallists Canada, Chile and hosts Japan. Making only their second Olympic tournament appearance, Team GB will be led by England’s interim coach Hege Riise.

On the men’s side, Brazil will take on Germany, Ivory Coast and Saudi Arabia.

Mexico, the 2012 gold medallists, were pitted against hosts Japan, South Africa and France.

The men’s team are usually restricted to selecting players under the age of 23, with just three overage players allowed.

However, the age bracket has been raised for the Tokyo Games in line with the one-year postponement of the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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Rafael Nadal rallies from set down to advance in Barcelona

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Top seed Rafael Nadal rallied from a set back to beat Ilya Ivashka of Belarus 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 on Wednesday in the second round at the Barcelona Open in Spain.

Nadal lost serve in the opening game of the match and wasn’t able to break Ivashka’s serve throughout the first set. He won just 70.6 percent of points on his first serve, was broken twice and had two double faults in an uncharacteristically poor showing on service in the opening set.

By the second set, he had righted his serve, winning 86.7 percent of points on his first serve in the second set and 83.3 percent in the third. He didn’t face a break point in either set.

In other action, No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, No. 3 Andrey Rublev of Russia, No. 4 Diego Schwartzman of Argentina, No. 6 Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain and No. 10 Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada were among those advancing.

No. 9 Fabio Fognini of Italy defaulted for verbal abuse. He was losing 6-0, 4-4 to Zapata Miralles of Spain when the line judge reported him for swearing after a foot fault. He had been warned earlier in the match

Serbia Open

Top seed and home-country favorite Novak Djokovic needed just 68 minutes to top South Korean Soon-woo Kwon 6-1, 6-3 and advance to the quarterfinals in Belgrade, Serbia.

Djokovic capitalized on five of his eight service break opportunities in the win. In the next round, he’ll meet fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic, the eighth seed, who needed three sets to oust Arthur Rinderknech of France 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Also advancing was the No. 2 seed, Matteo Berrettini, who defeated fellow Italian Marco Cecchinato 6-4, 6-3. Fifth seed Filip Krajinovic beat Nikola Milojevic 6-1, 6-1 in an all-Serb match.

 

(Field Level Media)

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Ice hockey-Women’s world championships cancelled due to COVID-19

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(Reuters) -The women’s ice hockey world championships set to be played in Halifax and Truro, Nova Scotia have been cancelled because of a surge in COVID-19 cases in Canada, Hockey Canada said on Wednesday.

The announcement came one day before the 10 teams were to arrive to begin their quarantine ahead of the May 6-16 tournament.

“This is very disappointing news to receive with just a few weeks until the tournament was to begin,” said International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel in a statement.

“We strongly believe that we had the adequate safety measures in place. In the end, we must accept the decision of the government.”

The IIHF and Hockey Canada were informed by the Nova Scotia provincial government on Wednesday that the 10-country tournament could not go ahead due to safety concerns associated with COVID-19.

Still the news came as a shock after Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer had 24 hours earlier given the event the thumbs- up.

“At five o’clock this morning we were full go and at 7:30 am we were not,” explained Hockey Canada chief executive officer Tom Renney. “That is the way the world is right now and there is only so much we can control.

“At the end of the day there is a bigger game than the one we play here and quite honestly it is about the safety of the general public.”

The cancellation was another blow for the women’s game that has endured a number of recent setbacks, including the folding of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.

It was also the second consecutive year the Nova Scotia world championships have been stopped by COVID-19.

“Definitely, a little bit of disbelief, a little shock, a lot of emotion,” said Canadian coach Gina Kingsbury, who pulled some players off the ice to deliver the bad news. “This is a group that has been through a lot this past year and two years so they are definitely familiar with disappointing news.”

Both the IIHF and Hockey Canada indicated they plan to play the world championships this year, possibly this summer, in Canada.

“Our intention, and that of the IIHF, is to reconnect with this event as a world championship in 2021 in Canada,” said Renney. “That’s our number one objective. We have every desire to hold this event in Canada.”

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto, Editing by Ed Osmond)

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