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13.07.2018 03:53
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MEMPHIS - Rudy Gay has played 244 games in Memphiss FedExForum, perhaps none as vindicating as this one. Coming off the worst shooting night of his career - one of the worst in league history - in a devastating loss on Monday, the Raptors forward bounced back at an opportune time for both himself and his team. For the first time since the three-team trade that sent Gay from the Grizzlies, the only NBA team he had ever known, to Toronto last winter, the 27-year-old returned to Memphis on Wednesday and left with a convincing victory that the Raptors sorely needed. "I dont think it was for me as much as we needed it anyway," Gay said, deflecting attention off himself moments after he scored 23 points on 8-of-18 shooting in Torontos 103-87 upset win over the reigning Western Conference finalists in Memphis. "For me personally, it was a little emotional, but other than that, especially coming off the Houston loss, we needed this game." After shooting an abysmal 11-for-37 from the field in the double-overtime loss to the Rockets, Gay eased into his return. He began the game with a concerted effort to get his teammates involved, but when he failed to convert on any of his first four field goal attempts, the look on faces around the arena spoke louder than words. Here we go again, everyone thought. But then Gay did what he does best. He kept shooting. This time he got into a rhythm and when hes locked in, as Grizzlies fans remember, he becomes an exceptionally dangerous scorer. "After last game, I just wanted to get my teammates involved first, move the ball around, get the offence moving and I picked my spots where I wanted to be aggressive," he said. "I missed shots," he acknowledged of the slow start. "Ive missed shots before, last game I missed a lot of shots, so its nothing. Im one of those guys that, if I go out there and miss two, Im going to make sure I make the third." He missed fou,r but then he made the next one and then the shot after that. In fact, he hit four straight, three of them from beyond the arc and just like that, the Raptors were firing on all cylinders. They led by as many as 15 in the first half, 11 at the break. The Raptors offence that looked so terrible in Houston followed Gays lead, as you would imagine. As he looked to distribute, so did DeMar DeRozan. Both players had four assists and Kyle Lowry added six in his best game of the season. As a team, Toronto had 11 assists in 24 minutes, one more than they accumulated in 58 minutes two nights prior. "Its a lot easier because we drew so much attention," said DeRozan, who had 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting. It was the first of nine games this season where both he and Gay were effective at the same time. "One of us has to sacrifice. If we draw two or three guys, we have to kick it to the next man and hell create for the next player. Thats how we have to play. Once we play like that consistently, its definitely going to be hard to guard us." The start of the third quarter brought on another here we go again moment. The Grizzlies, as good teams do, made their run led by the explosive Mike Conley, who scored 12 of his game-high 29 points in the period. With 15 minutes left to play, the home team had tied it up at 70. We have seen this narrative before and we know how it plays out, generally. Perhaps the Raptors have learned something from heartbreaking collapses of the past. Perhaps it was an outlier. But they refused to back down from the Grizzlies, a quality and always-intimidating opponent. They ended the third quarter strong and, by the time the fourth rolled along, the game belonged to Gay. It was his night regardless of whether or not his humility would allow him to accept it. "Thats where you find that extra motivation," DeRozan said, mindful of what this game represented for his teammate. "Every game you look for it somewhere, somehow and tonight we played a lot for him. We knew how much he wanted to come back here and win." The reception Gay received as he was introduced to the fans before tip-off was primarily a positive one, but by the time the game was out of reach for the home team, they certainly made him feel like an opponent. As Gay drilled a 19-footer midway through the fourth, giving his team their largest lead of the evening at 19, boos rained down from the stands. "Thats when I realized I dont play here anymore," he joked. What does this game mean in the larger scheme of things? No one knows. The Raptors, at least for now, hope to be a winning team and to do that theyll need to steal games like this. Sure, you can excuse them for cowering to superior teams - Miami, Indiana, Houston - but at some point you need to win one youre not supposed to. They did that on Wednesday and theyll need to do more of it to reach their ultimate goal. "It was a great night for our team," said Lowry, who finished with 21 points. "The effort we showed tonight is how we should play every night." Getting to the line The Raptors set the tone early in the game, aggressively attacking the rim and earning the benefit of the doubt from the officials the rest of the night. "This is a very physical team and we had to be the aggressor," said Lowry, another former Grizzly. "Their physicality can take anybody out of the game, so our goal tonight was to be really aggressive and try to get to the basket and get to the free throw line as much as we could." Toronto outscored the Grizzlies 33-11 at the line, outshooting them 39-17 from the stripe. Quiet, consistent production from Ross Last season, very little of what rookie Terrence Ross did was quiet. He would exchange several ineffective minutes on the floor - on both ends - for one highlight-calibre dunk that would almost mask the inconsistency that held him back as a player. For the second straight game, Ross has been quietly useful. Hes been efficient offensively, shooting three-of-five, where he may be starting to understand that sometimes less is more and, most importantly, hes been a standout on defence. "Hes very poised out there," Dwane Casey said of Ross, who contributed eight points in 20 minutes off the bench. "Hes growing as a player and thats what this year is about for him." Up next After playing six of their first nine games on the road to begin the season, the Raptors happily return home for six of their next seven. Theyll host the Chicago Bulls at the Air Canada Centre Friday evening, a game you can catch live on TSN 1050 Radio beginning at 7:00 pm et. Layvin Kurzawa Paris Saint-Germain Jersey . - Mike Magee converted two penalty kicks in a 10-minute span of the first half and the Chicago Fire beat Sporting Kansas City 2-1 on Sunday. Marco Verratti Jersey . Louis and Ryan Kesler have demanded to be traded. http://www.parissaintgermainfcstore.com/...Germain-Jersey/. The four-time Grand Slam champion has beaten Hantuchova nine straight times, with the Slovaks only win coming when they first played 10 years ago. "I had a tough first opponent who can play extremely good tennis," Sharapova said. Angel Di Maria Jersey . Not to be outdone, Atletico Madrid bettered its title rivals by demolishing 10-man Getafe 7-0 with Diego Costa returning from injury to score with a brilliant bicycle kick. "It was an almost perfect night," Atletico coach Diego Simeone said. Giovani Lo Celso Jersey . He just didnt expect them to be this good. Darrun Hilliard scored 19 points to lead No. 6 Villanova to a dominating 77-59 victory over Georgetown on Saturday, preserving the Wildcats hopes of a No. NEW YORK -- Michael Vick has watched Geno Smith every day for nearly two weeks. Every snap and every throw. Sure, Vick would like to be the New York Jets starting quarterback. But, from what he has seen, theyre already in pretty good hands with Smith. "Hes going to be great," Vick declared. "Hes going to be 10 times better than where he was last year and Im looking forward to it." Thats quite an endorsement from a guy who still believes he can be a star in the NFL. As it stands, Vick is a big-name, veteran backup who can step in if needed and push Smith to be better in his second season. Some fans and media wonder when -- not if -- Vick will replace Smith under centre. The doubters arent sold on Smith being able to improve that dramatically from a rookie year in which he threw 21 interceptions and just 12 touchdowns. Smith gets a chance to show everyone where he stands Thursday when the Jets -- with newcomers Eric Decker and Chris Johnson -- play their preseason opener at home against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts. "Execution. Its always about execution," Smith said. "Its always about us doing the right things on the field. We want to execute to the best of our ability. Go out there and be sharp mentally, be sharp physically, be accurate, be sharp with the reads, and get good plays in." Sounds simple, huh? Smith found out last year that the leap from college to the pros isnt always without some stumbles. He has used the off-season and training camp to try to make the game slow down a bit. "I felt it coming at the end of last season," he said. "Its still a work in progress. Im still getting better. Im still fine-tuning a lot of things. Still need to focus on the mental aspect of it and all the small things that will make me better." As far as Rex Ryan is concerned, having Vick around can only help Smith -- which, in turn, will help the Jets determine if theeyve got their quarterback of the future.dddddddddddd. "I think that if you have Mike Vick come in here, you better be on top of your game, and obviously Geno is," Ryan said. "Whether he needed Mike Vick to be here or not, Im not sure. But probably not because I know Geno wants it in the worst way to be a great quarterback and the preparation that he did in the off-season, the things he did. "But certainly, with Mike Vick in there, that does push him." Ryan expects the starters to play into the second quarter Thursday night, with Smith opening the game and Vick perhaps getting the final series before backups come in. Chuck Pagano was unsure how much Luck and the Colts starters will play. Wide receiver Reggie Wayne, still recovering from a torn ACL in his right knee, will not suit up but is expected to be ready for the season opener at Denver. "Youd love to see in a perfect world, them go out there and have a six-, seven-, eight-play drive, score a touchdown, kick a PAT, and make a decision there, get them out of the game and whatnot," Pagano said. That wont be in the game plan for Ryans defence, which expects to be among the leagues best this season. "As luck would have it," a grinning Ryan said, with a pause punctuating his attempt at humour, "we play a heck of a quarterback. ... I think its going to be a good test for our defence and a good test for them, too." Whether its one series or a handful, Luck has a few goals of his own set for the preseason opener. "Take care of the football, convert third downs and score touchdowns," he said. "Positive, positive plays." Thats exactly what Ryan and Smith expect. "Im excited about it just like, shoot, no different than our fans," Ryan said. "Lets see where this team is at. Lets see how Decker fits in, lets see how this defence looks. So, Im excited to watch us play against somebody else." Cheap Jerseys Online Wholesale Black NFL Jerseys Youth NFL Jerseys Wholesale Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping ' ' '

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