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22.08.2018 04:42
to them as I have been since I left.___AP Sports Writer Will Graves in Pittsburgh contributed to this report.___Online: AP NFL w Antworten

TORONTO - Once he got going, no one could calm Jonas Valanciunas down, despite Kyle Lowrys best efforts. Alphonse Areola Jersey . As Valanciunas was whistled for a rare technical toward the end of the third quarter - a result of waving his hand at an official after being called for a foul - Lowry pulled the Raptors sophomore aside, corralling him by his jersey and patting him on the back. "Youve got to be smart in certain situations," Lowry told the young centre. "I just tried to say look, you cant waste your money." "Yeah, he was trying to calm me down," Valanciunas said of the conversation with his point guard, speaking with a mischievous look on his face following the Raptors 98-91 win over the Cavaliers. "That technical foul cost me, so I feel bad now." He shouldnt. The tech will cost Valanciunas a small fraction of his next paycheque but the unbridled emotion he played with in the second half of Fridays game was the driving force of Torontos rapid turnaround. Valanciunas, like the rest of his team, got off to an ugly start. The Raptors were fortunate to be down by only five going into the break, scoring just 39 points in the first half and shooting 33 per cent from the field. For the third straight game coming out of the All-Star break, Valanciunas got a quick hook in the first quarter. The seven-footer has been strangely quiet of late, averaging under six points in four games entering Fridays contest. His minutes have been down, as hes battled growing pains on the defensive end. After being sent to the bench midway through the opening quarter, he sat for around 12 minutes of game time before re-entering. Somewhere, somehow, someone lit a fire under the sophomore and not only did it spark him, it ignited the whole team. Valanciunas was a possessed man coming out of the halftime break. He was aggressive on defence, manic on the boards and dominant down low. He ran the floor with a purpose, worked to establish position, then demanded the ball. As he turned to face up Clevelands Tyler Zeller midway through the third, he pump faked - not once, but twice - took the contact and drained the jumper. Before completing the three-point play, he pumped his fist in the air and yelled out to the crowd, or the Cavs, or his teammates, or whoever was listening. His face was as red as the logo at centre court. He meant business. "Hes going to have ups and downs but tonight he was intense," Lowry said of Valanciunas, who had 10 points and four rebounds in the third quarter, finishing the game with 18 points and eight boards. "He really kind of carried us with his intensity and his passion and fire tonight." The 21-year-olds inspired play lifted the Raptors in what turned out to be a game-deciding third quarter. Toronto scored 37 points in the frame - two fewer than its first-half total - and shot 70 per cent, turning a five-point deficit at intermission into an 11-point advantage going into the fourth. "Hes our enforcer in the paint," said Amir Johnson, who returned to the starting lineup Friday after coming off the bench in his two previous outings, nursing an ankle injury. "When he gets going, everybody else plays good and that just gets everybody open shots when hes scoring in the paint." Johnson also came to life in the second half, the two bigs even hooked up on an alley-oop lob - from Johnson to Valanciunas - late in game. "We had to give our bigs a wakeup call," Dwane Casey said. "They turned it around in the second half. We reminded them, theres more to the game than the offensive end." "You can do a lot of different things other than make shots," he continued, "and I thought the second half, Amir Johnson and JV worked at it and got it done." Although Valanciunas helped turn the game, the best Raptor on the night - from start to finish - was fellow sophomore Terrence Ross, hands down. Ross scored a team-high 20 points, shooting 9-for-18, but his most important contribution was on the defensive end, where he went toe-to-toe with All-Star Game MVP Kyrie Irving. When the game began, Ross was assigned to check former Raptor Jarrett Jack while Lowry defended Irving. Early in the first quarter, there was a switch and Ross ended up on the Cavs point guard and leading scorer. It stuck for the rest of the evening, and Ross did not disappoint. The Raptors forward used his length and athleticism to frustrate Irving, forcing him to launch tough perimeter jumpers, keeping him out of the paint and holding him to 3-of-16 shooting. "He can score in a lot of different ways [and] get his teammates involved," Ross said of Irving, who ended up with 17 points and nine assists for Cleveland. "So if you slow him down, you slow the team down." "He had to chase [Irving] everywhere," Johnson said of Ross. "He chased him off screens, he didnt quit on plays and thats how you have to play a guy like that. [Irvings] so crafty and hes always moving so you just have to keep a body on him and stay in front of him. [Ross] did a great job." It was Canada Basketball Night at the Air Canada Centre Friday, as local product and first overall pick Anthony Bennett made his NBA debut in Toronto. Bennett, who continues to improve after a slow start to the season, knocked down his first two shots and finished with nine points in 15 minute of action while fellow Canadian Tristan Thompson scored 13 to go along with nine boards. In snapping Clevelands six-game winning streak, the Raptors picked up their 30th win of the campaign, doing so in just 55 games. It took them 78 contests to reach the 30-win mark a year ago. Thiago Silva Jersey .S.-Cuba relations means baseball prospects get off the island and into the major leagues without payoffs to smugglers and threats from kidnappers, its hard to see the downside. Thomas Meunier Jersey . -- Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu will be the Dodgers starting pitchers in their two-game season-opening series in Australia against the Arizona Diamondbacks. . Bale has had a successful debut season in Spain, and Ancelotti appears ready to reward him with a starting role on Saturday. Ancelotti says "Gareth had some problems at the beginning (of the season) but when he found good physical condition he scored a lot of goals, he had a good impact on the team.CINCINNATI - Three consecutive road games, three wins.The Bengals pulled off a franchise first in November, putting some distance between themselves and the rest of the AFC North.Nows their chance to start picking them off one by one, starting with Pittsburgh.The Bengals can virtually eliminate the Steelers from the division title race on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium, where they havent played in nearly a month.Cincinnati (8-3-1) is up by a game and a half over the rest of the division — Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Baltimore all at 7-5 — with four games left.This is when teams create an opportunity to separate themselves and really have to come out and prove who they are, left tackle Andrew Whitworth said.For a long time, the Steelers and Ravens contended for the division title while the Bengals and Browns tried to catch up. From 2006 until the start of the 2012 season, the Steelers won 10 of their 12 games against the Bengals.Cincinnati got its breakthrough at Heinz Field on Dec. 23, 2012, knocking the Steelers out of playoff contention while advancing to a wild-card berth. Last year, the Bengals split their season series but won the division title.Since Ive been here the past five years, Cincinnati has steadily gotten better every year, Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds said. And now theyre on top. So while they were a challenge those first few years, theyre definitely more formidable the past couple years than theyve been.With a win on Sunday, the Bengals could knock the Steelers to 2 1/2 games back with three to play — a daunting gap. The Bengals go to Cleveland the following week with a chance to knock the Browns out of it as well.If the Steelers win, theyll have a chance to overtake the Bengals because the teams finish the season in Pittsburgh.I wish I could see the future, but Im not Miss Cleo, Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor said. So, time will tell whats going to happen there.It doesnt take a clairvoyant to see the importance of this one.Some things to watch on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium:LEVEONS LOAD: Pittsburgh running back LeVeon Bell has a message for coach Mike Tomlin: More please. Bell is third in the league with 216 carries, and his 65 receptions are tied for 15th. Bell was on the field for more than 80 snaps duriing a loss to New Orleans last Sunday. Layvin Kurzawa Paris Saint-Germain Jersey. At the end of the game I dont feel fatigued or tired, I still feel energetic, Bell said. I just want to get as many carries and touches as we need to win the game. If its eight, so be it. If its 25, so be it.HITTING THE WALL: Rookie wide receiver Martavis Bryants emergence keyed a midseason surge that put the Steelers back in the thick of the AFC North race. Opponents are adjusting. Bryant dropped a touchdown pass against Tennessee three weeks ago and had only one catch for 23 yards against the Saints.Theyre keeping an eye on him, Ben Roethlisberger said. He obviously came into the league into his first couple of games and made some pretty big splashes. The secret is not there anymore. Its good because now he works hard and its not just going to be easy for him.WHICH ANDY SHOWS UP? Andy Dalton was sick and threw three first-half interceptions during a 14-13 win at Tampa Bay that put the Bengals in control of the division on Sunday. Hes been highly erratic all season, leaving him one of Cincinnatis biggest questions heading into the biggest games. He came through each of the past two years, leading the Bengals on strong closing runs — 7-1 in 2012, 5-1 last season. Does he have another one in him?CHIN UP: Bengals punter Kevin Huber suffered a broken jaw and cracked vertebra at Pittsburgh last December when Terence Garvin decked him during Antonio Browns 67-yard punt return. Garvin wasnt penalized but later got fined $25,000. Huber has made a full recovery and ranks second in the NFL in gross average and net average. He holds no grudge over the hit.The biggest thing that changed with me is looking around more, being aware of people around me and not just running around aimlessly and trying to get in the way, Huber said.HARRISONS RETURN: Linebacker James Harrison spent an uneventful season in Cincinnati last year, and then returned home to Pittsburgh. He has kept in touch with several Bengals, though he wont say which ones.Theres guys that I talk to that play there now, he said. Ill talk to them as I have been since I left.___AP Sports Writer Will Graves in Pittsburgh contributed to this report.___Online: AP NFL website: and Cheap Heat Jerseys Cheap Bucks Jerseys Cheap Timberwolves Jerseys Cheap Pelicans Jerseys Cheap Knicks Jerseys Cheap Thunder Jerseys Cheap Magic Jerseys Cheap 76ers Jerseys Cheap Suns Jerseys Cheap Blazers Jerseys Cheap Sacramento Kings Jerseys Cheap Spurs Jerseys Cheap Raptors Jerseys Cheap Jazz Jerseys Cheap Wizards Jerseys ' ' '

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