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Raptors record biggest comeback in franchise history with victory over Mavs –



The Toronto Raptors were mired in a 30-point hole and looked headed for the team’s worst loss of the season. The mood in the huddle, said coach Nick Nurse, was “really bad.” His team had a flight to catch to Indiana later that night, and another game to play less than 24 hours later.

The Raptors could have called it a night early. Instead, led by a remarkable fourth-quarter performance by Kyle Lowry, the Raptors recorded the greatest comeback in franchise history Sunday in a 110-107 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

“We have always been a team that fights,” Nurse said. “In my time here, we hardly ever mail it in. It’s a good characteristic to have.”

Lowry scored 20 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter, and the Raptors roared back from a 30-point third-quarter deficit.

“I think that was a one-off game, but you could see how hard we played, and that’s something you take from and you continue to build on,” Lowry said.

“That’s the part of that game you take and say ‘Yeah, that’s a hard-playing team right there,’ no matter what, we were down whatever we were, it didn’t even feel like it, we just went out there and played.”

WATCH | Furious 4th quarter rally leads to historic comeback:

Kyle Lowry scored 20 in the 4th quarter and a game-high 32 to lead Toronto all the way back after being down to Dallas by as many as 30 points. 1:21

The all-star point guard added 10 assists and eight rebounds and, with a couple of minutes to play, the capacity crowd of 19,800 fans Scotiabank Arena broke into chants of “Low-ry! Low-ry!”

“He was unbelievable, right?” Nurse said. “And he really didn’t have that good a game going until that point, too. Then he started firing and making and driving and and-one-ing — he was doing it all. I’m not sure I’ve seen anything like it.”

Montreal’s Chris Boucher scored a career-high 21 points, including a huge dunk in the dying seconds. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 18 points for the undermanned Raptors (21-8), who were playing without Pascal Siakam (groin), Marc Gasol (hamstring) and Norman Powell (shoulder).

Jalen Brunson had 21 points for the Mavericks (19-10), who were missing star guard Luka Doncic for the fourth consecutive game (ankle). Toronto native Dwight Powell added 17 points.

Toronto’s largest comeback before Sunday came when the Raptors erased a 25-point deficit to beat the Detroit Pistons 120-116 on Dec. 11, 2010.

It’s also the first 30-point comeback in the league since Dec. 21, 2009, when the Sacramento Kings overcame a 35-point hole to beat the Chicago Bulls 102-98.

Dallas has been one of the best road teams this season, arriving in Toronto with an 11-2 away record. The Raptors played the gracious host for most of the afternoon. The Raptors had an early 12-point lead, but without any sustained energy on either side of the court, saw that quickly evaporate. When Powell slashed to the rim for a layup late in the third quarter, the Mavericks went ahead by 30.

Lowry plays hero for Toronto

Trailing 86-63 to start the fourth, the Raptors finally showed some life. The team chipped away at the deficit and when Lowry drilled a three-pointer with 8:05 to play, glancing over at the Dallas bench as the ball dropped, the Raptors were within 10 points.

“All [Lowry] said was ‘keep pushing,”‘ Boucher said. “He led us the right way, put us in great spots. Kyle does that every time. Even when people don’t see it. Kyle’s a great leader.”

Lowry’s heroics continued, and when he dropped a shoulder and drove to the hoop for a layup with 5:59 to play, it was a two-point game. Back-to-back Lowry three-pointers had the Raptors up by five with 3:05 to play. It was Lowry again with a layup with 1:18 to play to give Toronto a four-point cushion.

Dallas took a one-point lead on a pair of Kristaps Porzingis free throws, but Lowry handed off to Boucher for an emphatic dunk with 19 seconds to play to put the Raptors back on top.

“I’m surprised [Lowry] saw me,” Boucher said. “I was just running for the offensive rebound and he saw me coming through. I missed a couple of layups today so I made sure I was going to hit that one and finish strong.”

Bunson’s shot with two seconds left bounced off the rim, then Boucher headed to the line for a pair of free throws, the icing on the Raptors’ 47-point quarter.

‘Very disappointing loss’

Dallas coach Rick Carlisle took “full responsibility” for his team’s loss.

“Very disappointing loss,” he said. “We got to a point where we lost our aggression. When you get hit with that kind of force, you’ve got to respond with equal or greater force, and we just didn’t do it soon enough.”

Tim Hardaway Jr., who had 16 points on the night, said it was a great lesson for Dallas.

“They were just taking it to us. Before you knew it, they cut the lead to 10 and then cut the lead to five,” he said. “It shows that whenever you’re up that much, you can’t let up, you can’t back down from the competition, you can’t ease yourself into the win because the game isn’t even over yet.”

WATCH | Raptors’ Lowry, Thomas debut in The Nutcracker:

Toronto Raptors guards Kyle Lowry and Matt Thomas made their debut on centre stage as they appeared as Cannon Dolls in the National Ballet of Canada’s performance of The Nutcracker. 2:25

The Raptors, who lost 110-102 in Dallas on Nov. 16, raced out to an early 12-point lead, thanks largely to the Mavericks’ poor shooting in the quarter — 21.7 per cent. But the Mavs started to find their shooting groove toward the end of the frame, and pulled to within 20-17 heading into the second.

Toronto struggled mightily in the second quarter, connecting on just one of seven shots from behind the arc. Porzingis’s three with just under four minutes left in the half capped a 16-2 Mavericks run that put the visitors up by eight points.

The Mavs had possession for just 4.1 seconds to end the half, but Porzingis still managed to launch a 30-footer at the buzzer, and Dallas headed into halftime with a 51-42 lead.

The Raptors are in Indianapolis against the Pacers on Monday, then return home to host the Boston Celtics on Christmas day.

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Floyd Mayweather Issues Scathing Conor McGregor Critique – HotNewHipHop



Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor have had a rivalry for a very long time now. Ever since the two fought back in 2017, it’s clear that they don’t like each other very much and that fact isn’t going to change anytime soon. McGregor has been practically begging for rematches, all while Mayweather has sought opportunities elsewhere.

Last night, McGregor lost in stunning fashion to Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 and Mayweather was clearly waiting for a reason to comment on the match. Upon seeing a social media post that pondered why McGregor is praised for his confidence while Mayweather is criticized for it, Mayweather decided to let his feelings be known. Taking to Instagram, Mayweather offered a large paragraph explaining that he thinks there is a lot of racism at play here and that guys like McGregor need to be taught a lesson.

Per Mayweather:

“I seen this post and my take on it is that the world knows Con Artist McLoser can steal everything from me and be loved but I’m hated. That just lets you all know that racism still exist. Just know, that bum will never be me or be on my level. I’m just built different, my mindset is on another planet, my skills are second to none, I’m a natural born winner and yes I talk a lot of trash, but every time I back it up! This is what they hate. It’s sad that you can be a poor black kid from the ghetto that has dealt with racism your whole life and work extremely hard to put yourself and your family in a better position, and most of the hate come from my own people. Connor cannot even win in his own sport, but talking about coming back to boxing to fight Pacquiao. Nobody wants to see that, it’s like my leftovers eating leftovers.”

These biases have existed for quite a long time and it’s clear that Floyd is fed up with seeing them play out time and time again. Not to mention, Mayweather’s post hints at the fact that a McGregor rematch is no longer in the cards, which is unfortunate but not surprising.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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Corey Perry’s debut shows his acquisition is another win for Bergevin – Habs Eyes on the Prize



Corey Perry’s addition to the Montreal Canadiens was always going to be interesting. He clearly had some value left to share, but he didn’t really have a place in the lineup on opening night. However when Tyler Myers concussed Joel Armia at the end of Thursday’s game, it opened the door for the NHL vet to step into the lineup, and onto the team’s hottest line.

He went ahead and made the most of it, a great sign that even at 35 years old, Perry can still bring it on the ice in a decent-sized role.

In his 13:10 of five-on-five ice time (second on the team among forwards), Perry controlled just shy of 63% of the shots when he was on the ice. In his matchups, there were only two players he was below 50% against in terms of shot attempts: Nils Hoglander (42%) and Zack MacEwen (37%). Perhaps slightly more impressive is that against the big guns of J.T. Miller, Brock Boeser, and Elias Pettersson, Perry didn’t allow a single shot attempt against.

While he was on a line with Tyler Toffoli and Jesperi Kotkaniemi, who have been outstanding in the series against Vancouver, Perry was able hold his own even if he did spend time away from both during the game. To cap it all off, Perry even added his first goal in a Canadiens jersey, which, despite being ugly in nature, still counts all the same on the scoreboard.

It’s moments like this that you can see how well Perry still reads the game at the NHL level, his head is up the whole way, and he knows exactly where his linemate is. He had a handful of these moments as the game wore on, including a beautiful bit of dangling to create a scoring chance for himself.

Perry’s speed and elite goal-scoring ability are long gone, but he provides more than that on the ice due to his hockey IQ. With Joel Armia out long-term, Montreal needs exactly this type of veteran to step up and play while giving them the best possible chance to win.

Marc Bergevin being able to secure a piece like Perry for nearly league minimum just in case the team needed some reinforcements is looking like another great bit of foresight. It’s been just one game, but it’s far more comforting to be adding a guy with over 1000 NHL games, than hoping a fringe AHL player can make an impact. With a deep Calgary team looming on the horizon, Montreal will be counting on more games like this one from Perry, and it seems like he’s got plenty left in the tank to oblige.

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Nate Diaz reacts to Conor McGregor’s KO loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 – MMA Fighting



As expected, Nate Diaz didn’t stay silent for long in regards to how Saturday’s lightweight headliner went down in Abu Dhabi.

In the main event of UFC 257, Dustin Poirier avenged his UFC 178 knockout loss to Conor McGregor with a spectacular finish of his own to cap off the promotion’s third trip to Fight Island in 2021. “The Diamond” stopped McGregor in the second round to pick up the biggest win of his career and likely set himself up for a lightweight championship opportunity.

Diaz, who became the first to finish McGregor in the UFC at UFC 196, took to Twitter on Sunday to give his quick reaction to McGregor’s first KO loss in the promotion.

The Stockton native hasn’t competed since UFC 244, when he fought Jorge Masvidal for the “BMF” belt and lost via doctor’s stoppage in the main event. Diaz didn’t have much to say throughout the buildup to the fight, but he did chime in after the very respectful face-off between the main event participants on Friday.

Diaz has always been attached to McGregor as one half of one of the sport’s most important rivalries. In their first of two meetings, Diaz replaced an injured Rafael dos Anjos in the main event of UFC 196 and submitted the former dual champion in the second round to pick up his biggest career win. McGregor bounced back five months later at UFC 202 and earned a very close split decision in the rematch.

While a trilogy fight with McGregor seems like one of the more intriguing options after the second loss in three fights for “The Notorious,” Poirier also expressed interest in fighting Diaz at Saturday night’s post-fight press conference.

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