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27/07/2015

n he was playing quite a bit." --

TORONTO -- Days after folding down the stretch in a loss to division-rival Brooklyn, the Toronto Raptors made a statement on Friday night. Russell Martin Blue Jays Jersey . Toronto stood tall in final quarter this time around, scoring 12 straight points late to break open a tie game on the way to a 99-86 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies before a crowd of 18,465 at Air Canada Centre. "Thats a tough team to beat. We beat a playoff team," said Toronto guard Greivis Vasquez, who scored 17 points off the bench, including five straight in 20 seconds to break an 80-80 tie and put the Raptors ahead for good with just under six minutes to play. "That was a good win for us at home." Vasquez, who also had six assists, fired a cross-court pass to DeMar DeRozan who nailed a three-point jumper to widen the Raptors lead to 90-80 with 3:13 to go. The Raptors (37-27) outscored Memphis 19-6 down the stretch to win their second straight and eighth in 10. It was the first loss in five starts for the Grizzlies (38-27). The game had a playoff feel most of the night. The defences were stiff, play was physical, every shot was contested and momentum swung repeatedly. The lead changed eight times and there were 10 ties. "I think any game like that is enjoyable for everybody," said Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, who was three rebounds shy of a triple-double, scoring 22 points, adding 12 assists and seven boards. "For our team, it just builds a little more character. "The physicality that those Memphis guys bring in, our bigs matched it and did a good job." Lowry said Toronto centre Jonas Valanciunas "earned some respect" with his battle against Memphis big men Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. Valanciunas led all scorers with 23 points. Amir Johnson also had a great night, limiting Memphis centre Gasol to eight points and three rebounds while scoring 12 points and grabbing eight boards. Randolph led the Grizzlies with 16 points and eight rebounds. "It was not easy," said Valanciunas. "Theyre playing very good basketball, especially in the paint. We battled really hard and showed that we can win." The Raptors got out-muscled down low in the early going. Memphis had a 14-0 edge on second-chance points as they stretched their lead to nine in the second quarter. But Toronto battled back and won, though the Raptors ended the night down 21-14 on second-chance points and were outscored 50-34 in the paint. Toronto head coach Dwane Casey said he thought his team learned lessons from the loss in Brooklyn. "We didnt have to repeat it too much about the physicality, how much they were going to get into it," Casey said. "Dont look to the officials for help. Take care of your own business. Get guys off of you. "Its a mans game in the paint, in that red area." Casey also praised his team for finding the open guy as Memphis repeatedly double-teamed DeRozan. "Our guys did a good job finding (Valanciunas) rolling to the bucket and basically standing under the basket wide open," Casey said. The Raptors wrap up their three-game homestand on Sunday afternoon against the Phoenix Suns before visiting the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday and the Pelicans in New Orleans on Wednesday. Bryce Harper Nationals Jersey . A second comeback bid fell short. Miami relievers retired three batters with the potential tying run in scoring position in the eighth inning, and the Marlins beat Colorado for the second night in a row, 4-3. Gio Gonzalez Nationals Jersey . The team representing the Territories lost twice at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts on Monday -- both by a score of 9-3 after eight ends -- to Team Canadas Rachel Homan in the afternoon and Quebecs Allison Ross in the evening.TORONTO – The luster was considerably bright for Mike Komisarek at this point two years ago. But now on the eve of his third season in Toronto, the 29-year-old finds himself in a fight for a job on opening night. Battling for a spot on the Leafs blue-line with the newly-acquired Cody Franson and third-year pro Carl Gunnarsson, Komisarek is well aware of the challenge that lays ahead. "Youre coming into camp ready to fight for those minutes," said Komisarek, shortly after the first set of on-ice workouts at the Mastercard Centre on Saturday. "That ice-time has to be earned and thats the mindset that Im coming in [with]. Im trying to earn everything thats going to be given to me and work my way up. "At the end of the day, you come to camp and try to do your job the best you can." It wasnt supposed to be this way for Komisarek in Toronto. The long-time Montreal Canadien was expected to lug big minutes on the back-end when he signed a five-year, $22.5 million contract with the Leafs in the summer of 2009. But injuries, slipping confidence and the weight of a hefty contract quickly derailed the promise of what might have been. Last season may have been the low point. Declining minutes — 13:38 per game, his lowest since 2003-2004 — quickly eroded whatever confidence may have remained in the one-time defensive stalwarts game. The off-season, however, began on a hopeful note. Komisarek joined Team USA at the World Championship in Slovakia before returning home to prepare for the upcoming season. Free of rehab from shoulder surgery which dogged his summer months in 2010, Komisarek tweaked his off-season program, gearing his training more toward hockey-related functions (emphasizing explosiveness) rather than the standard weight room agenda. A crucial exhibition schedule lies ahead. The 24-year-old Franson offers greater mobility, keen puck-moving skills and a bomb from the point, while the 24-year-old Gunnarsson promises a simple defensive game, driven by intelligent positioning. "Thats going to be the toughest decision I have — if everybodys healthy — for opening night is whos in the lineup that night," said Ron Wilson of the bottom-pairing battle. "Well just wait. Im going to be patient and not pre-judge or hope that anything happens. Whoevers playing best at that moment will play." "You never take for granted being a hockey player," concluded Komisarek. "Its a privilege to play here. Its a privilege to play for the Leafs and for this organization. For myself personally, you come into camp (and) theres nothing going to be given." -- A trio of 35-minute scrimmages defined the first day of on-ice workouts for thhe Leafs, offering Wilson his first look at Tim Connolly on a line with Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul. Ryan Zimmerman Replica Jersey. . Kessel and Lupul played together extensively down the stretch last season, and now welcome the 30-year-old Connolly into the mix. "Hell be the one thats going to take the longest to catch up to the other two," said Wilson of Connolly. "Hes a smart player. Hes going to figure out what hes got to do, where he should be and understand as we go through the games in camp the tendencies of [Lupul] and Phil — the good and the bad or whatever you want to call it."   "Its not a day process," added Kessel. "Its going to take a couple weeks. I think its going to work out good." With his top two lines more or less decided — Mikhail Grabovski, Nikolai Kulemin and Clarke MacArthur forming the second trio — Wilson plans to tinker more with the groupings in the bottom six. Colby Armstrong and Tyler Bozak appear firm in a third-line role with Nazem Kadri tentatively slotted in alongside. "Ive got some decisions to make in splitting up some other people," said Wilson. "We have to give long looks obviously to [Matt] Frattin, to  [Joe] Colborne, to Nazem Kadri, so they may end up not always playing on a line that you see in a practice or a scrimmage as I mix things up and give them opportunities to show us what they can do and gather experience as well." The 20-year-old Kadri looked sharp on the first day of his third training camp, poised to cement his place in the lineup. "What is said about Nazem externally has nothing to do with how we view him as a hockey player," said Wilson. "Hes still very young, still has things to learn and hes showing improvement. Just what I saw today was better than anything that he brought to the table [last season], even at the end when he was playing quite a bit." -- Acquired in a trade from Colorado, John-Michael Liles saw his first action alongside his likely partner this season, the newly-signed Luke Schenn. "I think actually in every formal skate we were on the opposite team from each other," said Liles, with a chuckle. "I think we kind of saw how we both play, but I think playing together today we started to get a feel. "Without speculating too much, I could see that [combination] for sure. I think our games complement each other and obviously playing together more would help with that. First day, its tough to really go out on a limb and say, but I enjoyed playing with him today. Looking forward to getting back out on the ice [Sunday] and continuing what we started today." cheap jerseys wholesale jerseys cheap jerseys cheap nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys Cristian Higuita Jersey ' ' '