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Lowry has triple double in Raptors' victory over Pistons – TSN

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DETROIT — The Toronto Raptors beat Detroit but lost two more players in the process.

“A win with a heavy price,” coach Nick Nurse said.

Kyle Lowry had 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for a triple-double and the Raptors had an 11-0 run in the third quarter on their way to a 112-99 victory over the Pistons on Wednesday night. By the time the game ended, however, Toronto was short a few key players after Marc Gasol and Norman Powell left with injuries.

The Raptors were without guard Fred VanVleet because of right knee injury. Then Gasol left in the first quarter with a left hamstring strain. With 3:17 left in the fourth, Powell departed holding onto his left shoulder.

“Don’t know much,” Nurse said. “We’ve got to check them both tomorrow.”

Toronto still had enough firepower to handle the Pistons. Detroit allowed 133 points in a loss to Washington on Monday night. The Pistons got frontcourt standouts Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond back from injuries for this game, but they still allowed 70 points in the first half and 40 in the second quarter.

“You never want to give up that many points, but I liked our start, I liked our effort and I like the competitive edge,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “If we can keep that up, we can build on that, but that’s still one of the best teams in our league.”

Lowry fed Serge Ibaka for a dunk with 37.4 seconds left for the assist he needed for a triple-double. That was a nice accomplishment, but now the defending champions will have to find out the extent of their latest injuries.

“We avoided the injury bug last year, and that really helped us throughout the whole year,” Lowry said. “It’s pretty tough for our team, but we’ve got a bunch of guys that have to step up now, and hopefully it’s nothing serious with those two guys.”

Lowry already missed time this season with a thumb injury, and Ibaka was sidelined with a sprained ankle.

Toronto led 81-76 before its 11-point run in the third. Pascal Siakam and Ibaka had back-to-back dunks that made it 90-76, and a layup by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson pushed the lead to 16.

Drummond had 22 points and 18 rebounds for Detroit.

TESTY

As is often the case so close to the Canadian border, there was a divided crowd of Pistons fans and Raptors supporters. The action on the court was contentious at times as well.

There were four technical fouls handed out: Lowry, Siakam and Drummond received theirs in the second quarter, and Griffin got one in the third.

DRY SPELL

Detroit came into the game shooting 38.5% from beyond the arc, but the Pistons went just 6 of 35 on Wednesday.

“They did a good job of contesting our shots, but so do other teams,” said Luke Kennard, who was the only Detroit player to make more than one 3-pointer. “We usually knock some of those down, but we’ve had other nights like this.”

TIP-INS

Raptors: Siakam scored 26 points and Ibaka added 25. Siakam was 6 of 11 from 3-point range.

Pistons: F/C Christian Wood left the game with a left knee strain. He scored six points. … Detroit was not called for a foul in the first quarter until Svi Mykhailiuk committed one with 4.5 seconds left.

UP NEXT

Raptors: Host Washington on Friday night.

Pistons: At Boston on Friday night.

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Follow Noah Trister at https://twitter.com/noahtrister

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More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Mixed Martial Arts-Door is open for YouTube’s Paul brothers in MMA

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Logan and Jake Paul would make great Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters, Bellator president Scott Coker has said as he targets exhibition matches featuring the YouTube personalities such as the former’s boxing bout against Floyd Mayweather.

Logan Paul went the distance, surviving eight rounds against unbeaten (50-0) five-division world boxing champion Mayweather in an exhibition on Sunday at Miami’s Hard Rock stadium.

USA Today reported the fight brought in one million pay per view buys with $50 million generated from sales in the United States.

It was only the second fight of Paul’s career, while his brother Jake has fought in three professional boxing matches, beating former MMA fighter Ben Askren in April.

Critics have labelled the bouts a sideshow due to the lack of sporting credibility of the duo, who made their names as social media personalities and have millions of subscribers on YouTube.

However, Coker told Reuters the brothers have impressive physiques and the door is open for them to move into MMA.

“I met with Logan Paul about two years ago and I’ve spoken to Jake Paul’s manager and Jake on a zoom call recently… The one thing I said was hey, if you want to do MMA we would love to promote you guys,” the 58-year-old said in a Zoom interview.

“These guys are young, athletic, strong and you saw the fight on Sunday night these guys they came and did their work.

“Mayweather couldn’t finish him and I know he tried, I heard he wanted to knock this kid out so bad,” he added.

“When I heard both had high school wrestling backgrounds in Ohio, which is a prominent wrestling state in the U.S., it really made me interested in pursuing them in some super fights in Mixed Martial Arts – and that door is continually open.”

HEADLINE FIGHT

Bellator, owned by Viacom, is gearing up for a busy month of events, starting with Bellator 260 on Friday with the headline fight between reigning welterweight world champion Douglas Lima and the undefeated Yaroslav Amosov.

However, super fights and exhibitions are where Coker is targeting a younger audience.

“My 14-year-old niece, I told her I was going to the Logan Paul fight and she thought that was the greatest thing,” he said.

“She asked me who he was fighting and I said Floyd Mayweather and she said ‘who’s that?’ – I thought wow, she doesn’t know boxing, she doesn’t know MMA, she’s just a 14-year-old girl on the internet doing what they do.”

As the sporting world gears up for the delayed Tokyo Olympics starting in July, Coker believes MMA will feature in future Games.

“When you think about mixed martial arts, what you’re talking about is boxing, wrestling, judo, taekwondo, karate – those are all Olympic sports,” he said.

“Why wouldn’t mixed martial arts eventually get into the Olympics because six out of the seven disciplines MMA is known to use really is already there.

“There’d be a lot of details to work out but to me I think it will happen, it’s just a matter of time.”

 

(Reporting by Christian Radnedge,; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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Montreal will host the 2024 world figure skating championships

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Montreal will host the 2024 world figure skating championships, the International Skating Union (ISU) said on Wednesday, after the 2020 event Canada was to host was cancelled due to COVID-19.

The championships will return to Montreal from March 18-24, marking the 11th time Canada has staged the event.

“Skate Canada has a proven track record of holding successful ISU events and we are looking forward to bringing the world’s best skaters to the fantastic Canadian city of Montreal,” said Debra Armstrong, CEO of Skate Canada, in a statement.

 

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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Andreescu splits with coach Bruneau after French Open exit

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World number seven Bianca Andreescu on Tuesday announced she has split with longtime coach Sylvain Bruneau, a week after falling in the first round of the French Open.

The pair had worked together for four years as Andreescu made her breakthrough with three titles in 2019, including the U.S. Open.

“It is with a heavy heart that I would like to inform my fans that my long time coach, mentor and friend, Sylvain and I, have mutually decided to end our incredible coaching relationship,” Canadian Andreescu wrote on Twitter

“Our friendship will live forever … I am very grateful for everything we accomplished together and all of our great memories.

“Sylvain was more than a coach… he is family.”

Andreescu, 20, returned to action at this year’s Australian Open, having missed 15 months due to a knee injury.

A positive COVID-19 test subsequently ruled Andreescu out of both Madrid and Rome before an abdominal injury forced her to pull out of Strasbourg at the quarter-final stage.

Her most recent appearance at Roland Garros ended with a 6-7(1) 7-6(2) 9-7 defeat by Slovenia’s Tamara Zidansek.

 

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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