er replaces Greg Walker, who was assisted b

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lw789
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Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:08 am

ORLANDO - Its been a rewarding season for Kyle Lowry, the Raptors most important player, but its also been a long one. The eighth-year point guard played in his 500th career game on Sunday, a 98-93 win over the Orlando Magic. Does he feel like hes played in that many games? "No," he said initially, before reconsidering. "I mean, this season, yeah." "This is a game I love to play," the 28-year-old continued. "Ive probably played 500 more in street ball games growing up. So this is a great accomplishment for me to say Ive made it that far." After missing 14 games last year, his first in Toronto, Lowry is the Raptors only starter to suit up in every game this season. Hes 10th in the NBA in minutes played and is fighting through a number of ailments, but with fewer than 10 contests remaining before he makes his first playoff appearance in five years, Lowrys still the engine that drives his team. Despite taking a 19-point lead into third quarter - their largest halftime advantage of the season - the Raptors began to come apart in the second half. The Magic, down by as many as 21 points, hit 22 of their final 33 shots and tied the game early in the fourth. With his team up by two, Lowry misfired on a long three-point shot, absorbing a fair amount of contact on the play, immediately turning to give official Eli Roe the trademark Lowry scowl. Scorned after the no-call, Lowry would get the ball back off of an Amir Johnson offensive rebound and drain the same shot he had just missed, shooting another look at Roe on the way down the court. Weve seen this before. Lowry was fired up. The Raptors point guard scored nine of his 16 points in the final quarter, holding off the Magic, who were coming hard. Dwane Casey continues to seek passable opportunities to manufacture rest for Lowry, but theyve proven few and far between. As he and DeMar DeRozan sat to end the third and begin the fourth, the lead dwindled down and in came Torontos star backcourt. Lowry logged 35 minutes while DeRozan - who scored 15 of his 28 points at the line - played 38. "Its tricky," Casey admitted. "Its tricky to make sure we cut their minutes and not give up leads. Its something we have to learn to do, but I thought the second unit did their job. They built a lead. Now its up to the starters coming back in. I wasnt going to play them a lot the second half, but they kept chipping away at it so I couldnt wholesale sub the second unit in." After a quiet first half, Lowry - to his own admission - began the second half lacking the "energy and effort" hes become synonymous with. The wear and tear of a long season has taken its toll and he, understandably, has to pick his spots, but there he was when his team needed him most. The Raptors needed this win with games against the Heat, Rockets and Pacers on deck. "Were happy about the win but we cannot be satisfied about the way we got it," Casey said. "“The hardest thing to do in this league is to play with a lead and thats something we have to learn to do." Big night for JV In a tough matchup against the Magics Nikola Vucevic, Jonas Valanciunas did not back down and more than held his own. The Raptors sophomore centre got off to a hot start, scoring 10 of his 20 points in the first quarter. "They are two good, young players that are coming up in this league," Casey said of Valanciunas and Vucevic, who led Orlando with 22 points and 10 rebounds. "So you will see them go at each other a lot in the future." Bench comes through in second quarter Without Patrick Patterson - who could return Monday in Miami, but missed his 13th straight with an elbow injury - the Raptors second unit has under-performed. Beginning the second quarter with an unconventional lineup that included Nando De Colo running the point and Landry Fields, who hasnt played much since a spot-start early in March, the reserves gave Toronto a lift that ballooned the lead going into intermission. "They really gave us a great boost," Lowry said of the bench. "They pretty much won the game in the second quarter." Vasquez gets stitched up After getting hit in the face early in the game, Greivis Vasquez required five stitches to close a gash below his left eye. He return late in the first half with a bandage covering the wound and finished the game with five points in 15 minutes of action. The stat Toronto matched a franchise record with its 20th road win of the season Friday, one shy of finishing the season above .500 away from home for the first time in team history. They have four road games to go, three against losing teams. The quote "I thought he did a heck of a job of initiating the offence, being in attack mode," said Casey on De Colo, who played the point for the first time as a Raptor in the second quarter. "We know he can pass the ball but what he did tonight was get to the rim. He grew on us as a coaching staff tonight... not that he wasnt there in the beginning." Jae Crowder Jazz Jersey . -- Jose Bautista never worries about hitting homers during the regular season. Pete Maravich Jazz Jersey . The club was unable to retain hitting coach Kevin Seitzer, who is bound for Atlanta. Seitzer replaces Greg Walker, who was assisted by Scott Fletcher this season as the Braves finished 79-83. http://www.authenticjazzproshop.com/Alec-Burks-Jersey/. This time, Tebow was in a groove the entire second half -- not just in the waning minutes -- and his teammates on defence were getting gobbled up. Ricky Rubio Jersey . With nothing tangible at stake, the Raptors turned in their most impressive outing of the fall in their seventh and second to last exhibition tilt against their stiffest competition yet, but they lost a couple starters in the process. Ricky Rubio Jazz Jersey .C. - NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick headlines this years electees into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.TORONTO - Toronto FC has rewarded reliable fullback Mark Bloom with a multi-year deal.No terms were released but a raise was expected. The 27-year-old right back was a bargain at US$48,825 in 2014 and $46,500 in 2013.We are excited for Mark, he has earned this contract through his performances for our club, Toronto general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a release Tuesday. Today markss another important step in our off-season plans and we are happy to have finalized this deal with Mark.ddddddddddddBloom joined Toronto in July 2013 on loan from the Atlanta Silverbacks of the North American Soccer League. 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