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22.09.2018 08:10
TORONTO - Theyre riding a league-best six-game winning streak, a franchise-best record for this point in the season, and sit ato Antworten

TORONTO - Theyre riding a league-best six-game winning streak, a franchise-best record for this point in the season, and sit atop the Eastern Conference standings. Derek Rivers Jersey .The Toronto Raptors couldnt have done much more to cushion themselves for their first major test of the season — a gruelling trip west.The Raptors won their sixth game in a row Sunday afternoon, beating the struggling New York Knicks 118-108 behind Kyle Lowrys 22 points and nine assists.Then they rolled their suitcases out of the comfortable confines of the Air Canada Centre to board a flight to Chicago. Awaiting them: the Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns.Im ready for it, coach Dwane Casey said of the looming road games. Ive been preaching it, and we should be ready for it. Everyone is all excited. But again, reality is real, and we have to be ready for adversity whenever it hits. You go in with positive vibes and are ready to kick some behind, but when adversity hits thats when you find out how close we are and how we have to stick together.The Raptors (22-6), who reached 20 wins before Christmas for the first time in team history, have thrived on their togetherness. Toronto is also 16 games above .500 for the first time in club history. Sundays game followed a similar balanced storyline. Lou Williams and Greivis Vasquez came off the bench to contribute 22 and 21 points, respectively.Terrence Ross finished with 18 points, including a jaw-dropping dunk that saw him corral a long pass from Lowry and take flight near the free-throw line. James Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas finished with 10 points apiece.Lowry, who has built his game on hustle and hard work, was at his bulldog-best. On one memorable play, the point guard bolted to save a loose ball, and was running so hard he ran halfway up one of the exit tunnels. He needed to grab on to a railing to slow himself down.But the Raptors were blessed with a favourable early schedule. Theyve played more home games than any other team, and have capitalized on it, going 14-3 at the ACC this season. And their six-game winning streak came entirely against teams from the weaker Eastern Conference.Its going to be a challenge, Vasquez said on the trip west. Were looking forward to this challenge. Any time you go to the west, its not easy but I think were good enough to come out with a couple of wins and do our job. Weve got to remain humble and hungry and continue to work.Its important that we play good teams because its really going to test our character, he added. We havent really faced adversity and everything right now is great, but I think were ready for a couple of premium tests.We cant be satisfied because weve got a 22-6 record. We want more.The Raptors long trip coincides with the world junior hockey championships in Toronto. They dont return home until Jan. 8, when they host the Charlotte Hornets.Casey said his team is past the point of fearing trips to the west.If something happens where we dont come out (with wins) lets learn from it, continue to grow and move forward, he said. We are a growing team and we are going to hit rough spots in the road.It hasnt hit yet but it has in certain games and in certain areas. Like tonight our rebounding in the first half. Our defensive rotation and closeouts and getting stops in crucial situations came back and got us tonight. Carmelo Anthony scored 28 points Sunday to top the Knicks (5-25), losers of 15 of their last 16 games.Former Raptor Jose Calderon, who received a warm ovation during the Knicks introduction, finished with 15 points and 10 assists.The Raptors had needed overtime to beat the Knicks 95-90 a week earlier in new York, but Sunday was a far different story. Toronto never trailed and had cobbled together a 17-point lead by the third quarter.The Raptors led 91-75 going into the fourth, in front of a capacity crowd of 19,800 at the ACC. When Williams drained two free throws, it gave Toronto a 106-88 lead with six minutes to play, and prompted the crowds late-game chant of We want Bru-no! in reference to seldom-used fan favourite Brazilian rookie Bruno Caboclo.The Knicks would pull within 12 points a couple of times in the dying minutes, but that was as close as they would get until former Raptor Quincy Acy scored on a slam dunk with two seconds left to play.The raucous fans were rewarded in the final two minutes when Casey subbed in Caboclo and fellow Brazilian Lucas Nogueira.The Raptors played their 12th game without injured all-star DeMar DeRozan, but have fared well in his absence. Theyre 9-3 without DeRozan, whos sidelined with a torn groin tendon.Torontos Landry Fields was held out of the game after failing his second concussion test. Fields landed on his head in a frightening crash in Fridays 110-100 win in Detroit.Vasquez addressed the ACC crowd pre-game, thanking the fans who travelled to Detroit for Fridays 110-100 victory there on Friday, and wishing everyone happy holidays. Knicks forward and Montreal native Samuel Dalembert was ejected in the third quarter for a Flagrant 2 foul — a hard elbow to the face of Valanciunas.The Raptors shot 50 per cent in the first quarter to quickly open up a 10-point lead. They went into the second quarter ahead 33-25.Toronto continued to build its lead in the second, and a three from Williams put them up by 16 points with 5:21 to play in the first half. The Knicks ended the frame with a 15-6 run, and the Raptors took a 58-51 advantage into the dressing room at halftime.Rosss slam dunk put the Raptors up by 17 points with 7:09 left in a third quarter that saw Toronto outscore the Knicks 33-24 and put them up by 16 points going into the fourth. Stephen Gostkowski Jersey . The outdoor event will be played on Dec. 31 between alumni of the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers at Citizens Bank Park, the home of the Philadelphia Phillies. Duron Harmon Jersey . - Jayden Hart scored once and set up two more as the Prince Albert Raiders downed the host Red Deer Rebels 5-3 on Tuesday to clinch the final Western Hockey League playoff berth. . The Mariners ace allowed just one hit over eight innings while striking out nine, and Robinson Cano backed him with a two-run homer as Seattle earned a 3-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.MONTREAL - On a day when the elite of the hockey world and Canadian politics turned out to honour Jean Beliveau, it was another Montreal Canadiens star who summed it up best.O captain, my captain, bon voyage, said Yvan Cournoyer, borrowing from poet Walt Whitman in a tearful eulogy to one of the most beloved and respected captains in Canadiens history.Beliveau, who died Dec. 2 at 83, was more than an exceptional player who led Montreal to 10 Stanley Cups in a 20-year career from 1950 to 1971, and earned another seven as an administrator. No one has their name on the Cup more than Beliveau.Mostly, he is remembered as the ideal team captain and a man who carried himself with class and graciousness in everything he did.Cournoyer was among five speakers along with Dickie Moore, Serge Savard, Ken Dryden and team owner and president Geoff Molson at an emotional funeral Wednesday at Mary Queen of the World cathedral.The pews were packed with past and current players as well as other celebrities and a few hundred fans who braved a blizzard to pay their respects.NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was there, as was Pittsburgh Penguins owner and former star player Mario Lemieux. Other former stars attending included Luc Robitaille, Gilbert Perreault, Johnny Bower, Darryl Sittler and Brendan Shanahan, the current president of the Toronto Maple Leafs.Moore, Savard, Dryden, Cournoyer and Frank Mahovlich were among dozens of Canadiens alumni on hand, along with all of the current teams players and coaches. Cournoyer and Savard were pallbearers along with ex-Canadiens Phil Goyette, Guy Lafleur, Robert Rousseau and Jean-Guy Talbot.The sombre occasion also drew Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Gov. Gen. David Johnston, former prime ministers Jean Chretien and Brian Mulroney, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and ex-Quebec premiers Jean Charest, Bernard Landry and Lucien Bouchard. Montreal mayor Denis Coderre and federal opposition leaders Justin Trudeau of the Liberals and Thomas Mulcair of the NDP also attended.Harper described Beliveau as someone who transcended his sport.Weve obviously lost a great citizen, somebody who was admired and respected by everybody everywhere in the country, he said on his way into the service. I certainly have admired Mr. Beliveau since I was a young boy.He was an individual who was great in his sport but ultimately even greater than his sport.The pallbearers wheeled in the coffin draped in Canadiens red, white and blue ahead of Beliveaus widow Elise, his daughter Helene, granddaughters Magalie and Mylene and other family members.Then came a companys worth of alumni, followed by the current team, who are well aware of the Beliveau aura.Defenceman P.K. Subban said what was most impressive was seeing all the faces from the world of hockey, and from the world of politics.It shows you how big of a deal it is, he said. A lot of people on the current team, we werent able to watch Jean Beliveau play, but we definitely know about the legend and its our job to make sure that what hes accomplished and what hes built here in Montreal lives on.There has been talk of renamming the Conn Smythe Trophy after Beliveau, the first player to win the award for the most valuable player in the NHL playoffs. Isaiah Wynn Jersey. ettman said the league may eventually consider it or some other honour.Weve been focused more on his passing and that loss and celebrating his life and I know at the appropriate time well focus on what is a remembrance fitting for someone like Jean Beliveau, Bettman said. Hes going to be terribly missed.Cournoyer may have been the most emotional of the speakers at the service as he spoke of joining the Canadiens in the 1960s when Beliveau was in his 10-year run as captain. They had dressing room stalls next to each other, and were roommates on road trips.Given the age difference between us, we developed almost a father-son relationship, Cournoyer said.Moore remembered Beliveau as a great man.I was lucky to have been with Jean for many glorious years with the Canadiens, lucky to share amazing moments together, lucky to have him as a friend, said Moore.Would you rather be good or lucky? I was lucky. He was good, he said to laughs from the congregation.Dryden, a rookie in Beliveaus last season, said: He treated everyone with respect. He said the right things and in the right way, in French and in English, because thats what he believed and thats what he was.This is not the time to say goodbye. This is the time to say thank you.Savard recalled how happy he was to end up a teammate of his boyhood idol.Jean was a great leader, said Savard, who was general manager for two Stanley Cups after his playing days. We would look toward him when times were difficult.After just a few (NHL) seasons, his peers named him captain. Surprised and shaken up, he went to see Mr. (Frank) Selke to turn down the captaincy. Mr. Selke told him he was the choice of the players and to return to the dressing room to fulfil his role as leader.And he did that throughout his career, winning 10 Stanley Cups and helping us be better players and better people, on and off the ice. You couldnt disappoint such a role model.The giant Canadiens flag that draped Beliveaus coffin was folded carefully and given to Elise, who has become a celebrity herself as she dealt with the public with class and remarkable strength since her husbands death.In two days of public visitations at the Bell Centre this week, she greeted and accepted condolences from the thousands of fans who streamed in.Her delight at the Canadiens 3-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night seemed to break the tension for a while. She looked calm and at peace at the funeral mass.A few hundred seats were reserved for fans on a first come, first served basis. Those who couldnt get inside the church were able to watch the ceremony on giant screens outside.Montreal police, who have been wearing camouflage pants and red ballcaps in recent months to protest pension plan reforms, wore their regulation uniforms out of respect for Beliveau, who entered the Hockey Hall of Fame the year after his retirement in 1971.He was a special man, Molson said in his eulogy. A Jean Beliveau like no other. 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