Kyle Lowry had been keen to come out of the NBA all-star break at top speed.
On Sunday, Lowry set a breakneck pace in the Toronto Raptors’ most lopsided victory in franchise history.
Lowry, who’d made his sixth appearance at the all-star game last week in Chicago, had 16 points and 11 assists Sunday, and the Raptors throttled the Indiana Pacers 127-81.
“I’ve never coached or seen anybody play as hard as this guy does in basketball,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said afterward. “It’s the ultimate compliment and it rubs off on the other guys, and not only does he do it that way, he plays smart, he knows the coverages, he knows the opponents, he studies film, he gives his body up, right?
WATCH | Raptors dominate Pacers in historic win:
“All those things kind of transfer to the other guys . . . leadership, right?”
Lowry stretched his career-best streak of consecutive double-doubles to six games in the Raptors’ ninth straight victory at Scotiabank Arena. It was also the Raptors’ ninth win in their last 10 outings.
Pascal Siakam added 21 points while Serge Ibaka chipped in with 15 points and 15 rebounds. Matt Thomas finished with 17 points, Terence Davis had 13, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 12, and Chris Boucher hauled down 11 rebounds to go with nine points for Toronto (42-15).
Largest margin of victory in franchise history. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/WeTheNorth?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#WeTheNorth</a> <a href=”https://t.co/O3MzDYlWU5″>pic.twitter.com/O3MzDYlWU5</a>
Domantas Sabonis and Aaron Holiday had 14 points apiece to top the lacklustre Pacers (33-24), who were missing all-star guard Victor Oladipo (sore lower back).
In a game Nurse called the best start-to-finish performance in recent memory, the Raptors ran roughshod over the Pacers from the opening tip off, holding the Pacers to just four baskets on a woeful 17.4 per cent shooting in the first quarter. By the time Fred VanVleet launched a running three-pointer with four seconds left in the first half, the Raptors were up by 31 points.
“Flying and executing the coverages, ball was poppin’, and every single guy that went in there was on, ready to go,” Nurse said.
The Pacers’ 32 points at halftime were a season-low for a half by an opponent.
Toronto took an 85-55 lead into the fourth, and kept their foot on the Pacers’ figurative throat, and when Hollis-Jefferson connected on a bucket with 8:19 to play, the Raptors were up by 40.
“We set a tone earlier,” Ibaka said. “Normally when we start good like this we kind of relax, but tonight as a team we did a great job staying focused on us and kept working together.”
Nurse emptied his bench for the final five minutes and the game well in hand. Back-to-back three-pointers by seldom-used sharpshooter Thomas put the Raptors up by 46 points with 2:17 to play, and had the Raptors players on the bench up and dancing in celebration.
‘Wakeup call’ for Indiana
Thomas shot 5-for-7 from long distance in just 15 minutes of action.
Pacers coach Nate McMillan said the game was a “wakeup call.”
“That team is playing for something big and they showed us what February, March, April, if you can get into May and June, what it’s going to look like, and what you’ve got to play against,” he said. “They jumped on us, they came with the intensity, they play with a sense of urgency, that team is connected out there.”
The Raptors shot 51.1 per cent on the night, while holding Indiana to 32.6 per cent and 24.2 per cent from three-point range. Toronto outrebounded Indiana 57-39.
The win was Toronto’s 13th in a row at home versus Indiana.
Raptors still missing Gasol & Powell
“Feels good man, to be playing like that and just having fun,” Hollis-Jefferson said. “That’s what it’s about at the end of the day, competing and having fun.”
The Raptors’ easy victory came despite still missing Marc Gasol (hamstring strain) and Norman Powell (broken finger).
The Raptors raced out to a 12-point lead before Sunday’s game was barely two minutes old, and held Indiana without a field goal until Malcolm Brogdon’s layup five minutes into the game. Siakam’s three-pointer had Toronto up by 26 points with 1:15 left in the first, and Toronto took a 34-12 lead into the second quarter.
Indiana fared slightly better in the second, pulling to within 17 points a couple of times, but VanVleet’s running three with four seconds left in the half send the Raptors into the break with a 63-32 advantage.
The Raptors host the conference-leading Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday.
Jays (Finally) Win One – Bluebird Banter
Jays 6 Orioles 1
It is about time.
This is just a space holder for the recap, my tennis went long.
Ross Stripling was amazing. Just 1 hit allowed in 6.1. He threw 72 pitches and was in control.
And the offence finally broke through for 6 runs in the 8th (imagine the Hallaluah chorus playing here). And George Springer got his 1000th hit.
Life is good again.
Here are the Raptors games you don’t want to miss in the 2022-23 season – Sportsnet.ca
The Toronto Raptors will open their 2022-23 NBA season on Oct. 19 at Scotiabank Arena. Their regular season will conclude on April 9 at home against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Here are some things to highlight in the Raptors’ schedule this season.
Facing off against familiar foes
As has become customary, former beloved Raptors — especially those from the 2019 championship team — are likely to receive heroes’ welcomes upon their return to Toronto. If you’re looking to join in on the festivities, here’s a list of notable players and their arrivals back at Scotiabank Arena:
Demar DeRozan: In his second season with the Chicago Bulls, DeRozan is scheduled to pay two visits to Toronto: First on Nov. 6, and then on Feb. 28.
Serge Ibaka: Now with the Milwaukee Bucks, Ibaka is slated to return to Scotiabank Arena on Jan. 4 and the season finale on April 9.
Kawhi Leonard: The 2019 Finals MVP missed all of last season recovering from a partial tear in his right knee. He will, hopefully, be available when his Los Angeles Clippers come to town on Dec. 27.
Kyle Lowry: The return to Toronto for perhaps the most beloved Raptor of all time, and his Miami Heat, will be on Nov. 16 and March 28.
Norman Powell: Now a member of the Clippers, Powell will be accompanying Leonard when Los Angeles visits Toronto on Dec. 27.
Jonas Valanciunas: The well-liked New Orleans Pelicans centre and his team will be visiting on Feb. 23.
January could prove to be a pivotal month
Looking at each individual month of the schedule, January stands out since it features both the longest homestand the team will enjoy as well as the start of its longest road trip.
For six games and 11 days between Jan. 4 and Jan. 14, the Raptors will play in the friendly confines of Scotiabank Arena as they look to kick off the new year with some wind in their sails. The Raptors will face Milwaukee, New York, Portland, Charlotte twice (but not on a back-to-back) and then Atlanta during that period.
Beginning on Jan. 25 and then lasting seven games and 12 days until Feb. 5, the Raptors will be on their longest road swing of the season with stops in Sacramento, Golden State, Portland, Phoenix, Utah, Houston and Memphis.
The contests against Golden State and Portland will be back-to-backs and are one of 12 back-to-back sets the team will play this season (two fewer than last season).
Given the scheduling quirks in January, it could be important month as a means for the Raptors to rack up wins during the homestand and test themselves out on the road still with plenty of runway until the post-season.
Other games of note
Here’s a quick list of other notable games to keep an eye on:
Nov. 23/Dec. 16 — versus Brooklyn: It’s unclear if Kevin Durant will still be a member of the Brooklyn Nets when they make their trips up north, but if he is, that will surely be a scene at Scotiabank Arena.
Nov. 26 — versus Dallas: The NBA’s brightest young star, Luka Doncic, and his Dallas Mavericks are coming to town early in the season. As a bonus, Canadian national team stud Dwight Powell also plays for Dallas.
Dec. 5 — versus Boston: The eighth annual Giants of Africa Game celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela.
Dec. 7 — versus Los Angeles Lakers: LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers make their annual visit to Toronto.
Dec. 18 — versus Golden State: Canadian Andrew Wiggins and the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors make their only trip to the Six.
Dec. 29 — versus Memphis: Raptors fans will be in for a treat as high-flying point guard Ja Morant will make his only trip to Toronto, but more importantly, Canadians Dillon Brooks and Brandon Clarke will be playing on home soil once again.
Jan. 6/Jan. 22 — versus New York: R.J. Barrett and the New York Knicks will be in Toronto in January.
Jan. 8 — versus Portland: Dame time is well and good, but the real attraction with this match is the opportunity to see London, Ont., native Shaedon Sharpe live. The most mysterious pick in the 2022 draft, no one really knows what kind of player he may be.
Feb. 10 — versus Utah: Canada’s Nickeil Alexander-Walker and the Utah Jazz will take on the Raptors in Toronto.
March 14 — versus Denver: Two-time defending MVP Nikola Jokic and Canadian star guard Jamal Murray will be in town with the Denver Nuggets to take on the Raptors.
March 16 — versus Oklahoma City: A game after hosting Murray, the Raptors will invite in another of Canada’s best in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luguentz Dort when they face off against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
March 22 — versus Indiana: With three Canadians on the Indiana Pacers roster (Oshae Brissett and rookies Bennedict Mathurin and Andrew Nembhard), this Wednesday night in March should be a special one at Scotiabank Arena.
March 24 — versus Detroit: Canadian veterans Kelly Olynyk and Cory Joseph feature on this young, exciting Detroit Pistons team, but the storyline that will likely be on Raptors fans’ minds when the Pistons visit will be if Dwane Casey will, once again, get the best of his former team.
U.S. national television games
Lastly, for those who care about this kind of thing, the Raptors announced they will be on U.S. national television four times (twice on ESPN and twice on TNT). Additionally, Toronto will play on NBATV five times this season.
The Raptors will appear on two more U.S. national television games than last season.
Czechia pulls off major upset over U.S., advances to WJC semifinal vs. Canada – Sportsnet.ca
Czechia completed a 4-2 upset win over the previously unbeaten United States on Wednesday to punch its ticket to the semifinal of the 2022 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Edmonton.
After the United States’ Logan Cooley opened the scoring just over 12 minutes into the game, Czechia responded with three straight tallies to take control of the contest against the defending champs.
Jan Mysak, Petr Hauser, Matyas Sapovaliv and Jiri Kulich all scored for Czechia. Kulich also recorded two assists.
Matthew Berard of the U.S. was assessed a five-minute major and a match penalty for slew-footing early in the third period. Czechia was unable to capitalize on the man advantage.
Later in the third, Czechia’s Stanislav Svozil received a five-minute major and a match penalty of his own after initiating a knee-on-knee hit with Cooley. The third-overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft would remain in the game after the collision.
The U.S. capitalized on the man advantage courtesy of Carter Mazur to cut the deficit to 3-2. Kulich would later add an empty netter
Luke Hughes of the U.S. sustained an apparent lower-body injury early in the first period, he would exit the game and return for the start of the second frame.
Czechia is set to play Canada in Thursday’s semifinals. Sweden plays Finland in the other semi.
Czechia, which hasn’t won a medal at the event since 2005 when it captured bronze, went 1-0-1-2 in the round-robin stage.
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