TORONTO -- Kyle Lowry sat at his locker nursing a headache in the moments after the Toronto Raptors loss on Sunday, the product of a misplaced knee. Bob Watson Jersey . The Raptors were thoroughly dismantled by a speedy Phoenix Suns team in a 121-113 loss, but Lowry and coach Dwane Casey insisted there would be no lingering pain after a rare defeat at home. "Its not a systemic problem, its one game, we knew we werent going to go undefeated the rest of the way," Casey said. "That team right there, theyre fighting for their playoff lives like we are, and theyre a quality team in the west. "Its not like its the end of the world." Lowry scored 19 of his 28 points in the third quarter against the run-and-gun Suns, but his standout effort wasnt enough as the Raptors (37-28) lost at the Air Canada Centre for just the fifth time in the last 16 games. There were some scary moments with about a minute-and-a-half to go when Lowry went down in a scramble for a loose ball, and was ploughed in the head by first one of PJ Tuckers knees and then the other. "Ive got a headache. . . These (TV camera) lights are killing me right now," Lowry said, shrugging off any suggestion of a concussion. "PJs not a dirty guy, Ive known him for a while. He even apologized after the game. . . . Hes a strong dude, so it hurt." Terrence Ross finished with 22 points while Amir Johnson had 20, DeMar DeRozan finished with 17, and Jonas Valanciunas chipped in with 15. Gerald Green scored 13 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter to top the Suns (38-27), while Goran Dragic added 19, and Markieff Morris had 16 point and grabbed 14 rebounds. The Raptors had been red-hot the past several weeks, positioning themselves for their first playoff appearance in six seasons. Theyd gone an Eastern Conference-best 11-3 since Feb. 10 heading into Sundays game and sat first place in the Atlantic Division. But the hungry Suns also have the playoffs in their sights. They went into Sunday trailing Memphis by a game-and-a-half for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. "Thats a helluva team right there," DeRozan said. "(We can) just learn from it. We battled, a lot of stuff didnt go our way. . . It was just a tough night overall. The Suns outran the Raptors all afternoon, and led by as much as 14 points before taking a 96-90 advantage into the fourth in front of a crowd of 18,717 energetic fans at the Air Canada Centre. The visitors pulled ahead by 15 a couple of times in the final 12 minutes before a basket and free throw by Lowry made it a seven-point deficit with 4:08 to play. But on the Suns next trip down the floor, Morris grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to put the game virtually out of reach. "Theyre up and down," Lowry said. "They got out. . . 121 (points), thats their type of game. We dont want to have a type of game like that, we want to hold teams under 100, under 90 preferably." Rebounding proved problematic for the Raptors all afternoon, with Suns owning a whopping 45-26 advantage on the boards. "Again, no time to panic," Casey said. "I dont think were going to see that type of speed and quickness -- at least I hope not -- the rest of the way." The Raptors frustration showed at times. Casey was slapped with a technical for arguing a call, then DeRozan collected a tech when he kicked the ball in anger. "It was just tough when youre going out there playing hard and sometimes you dont get a call that youre fighting or dying for and that we may need at a critical time," DeRozan said. Both teams shot well, the Suns going 50.7 per cent from the field to Torontos 49.4. There was plenty of energy from both teams in a first-quarter shootout. The Raptors and Suns combined for 10-for-14 from three-point range. The Raptors led by as much as nine, but Marcus Morris drained two consecutive threes to put the Suns up 37-35 going into the second. "The guys seemed really focused tonight," said Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek. "They came out right from the start, they had the energy. Maybe it was the one oclock game that were not used to playing; they thought it was a great opportunity. I thought were on ESPN or something." The Raptors went 0-for-8 to open the second quarter until a John Salmons pull-up jumper more than five minutes in. The Raptors ended the quarter with a 10-2 run and when Ross drained a three, and pumped one fist in the air, it pulled Toronto to within two points. The Suns led 61-59 at halftime. The Raptors fell behind by 14 points with just under six minutes to play in the third, when Lowry almost single-handedly got them back in the game. He scored 10 points in the final 3:38 of the quarter and the Raptors went into the fourth trailing 96-90. NOTES: Raptors forward Patrick Patterson missed his fifth game with an elbow injury. Casey said he will be evaluated again Monday. . . The Raptors are on the road for two games -- Tuesday at Atlanta and Wednesday at New Orleans -- before returning home to host Oklahoma City next Friday . . . The Raptors had won three in a row against the Suns before a 106-97 loss in Phoenix on Dec. 6. Jack Mayfield Jersey . "Im proud, obviously. Its been a long day, but now Im a Crystal Palace player, Im very happy," Bannan said. "The seasons been started now for a couple of weeks and Ive not featured at Villa. Roger Clemens Jersey . The 24-year-old Raley was 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA for Chicago in his first two career starts after being called up from Iowa on Aug. 7. He was optioned to Iowa on Monday after losing 3-0 to Cincinnati in Chicago on Sunday.ATLANTA -- Ervin Santana almost was knocked out by a rain delay. It was a bigger scare than he ever faced from the Cubs. Santana pitched five-hit ball for seven innings to remain unbeaten, Ryan Doumit snapped a scoreless tie with a pinch-hit double in the seventh and the Atlanta Braves beat Chicago 2-0 on Saturday night. Santana (4-0) overcame that delay of 1 hour, 7 minutes in the third inning and outlasted Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija, who had his long winless streak continue. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said he would have pulled Santana if the delay lasted only a few minutes longer. "We were about five to 10 minutes from shutting him down," Gonzalez said. "It was that long. "You dont want guys sitting around for an hour and a half, an hour and 20 minutes. We were that close, really." Santana walked one and struck out seven. "Santana was terrific -- better than terrific, really," Gonzalez said. Samardzija was just as strong. He allowed only two hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in six innings. He lowered his ERA to 1.45, second in the NL, but he is still without a win this season. Samardzijas winless streak was extended to 14 starts. His last victory came on Aug. 24, 2013, at San Diego. He said the long drought wasnt wearing on him. "No. I understand the situation, I understand how things go," he said. "Baseball is a funny sport. Its just one of those things where you learn from it. It usually comes around in the end and it all evens out." Braves left fielder Justin Upton left the game in the sixth with a lower back muscle bruise after being hit by a pitch from Samardzija. He is day to day. Braves closer Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 10th save. Kimbrel, who blew a 2-1 lead in the ninth in the Braves 3-2 win in 10 innings on Friday night, was back in form. He walked Starlin Castro with two outs before striking out Luis Valbuena to end the game. The Braves scored two runs in the seventh off right--hander Brian Schlitter (2-1). Cesar Geronimo Jersey. Following singles by Chris Johnson and Andrelton Simmons, Doumit pinch hit for Santana and drove in Johnson with his double. Simmons scored on Tyler Pastornickys suicide squeeze bunt. The NL East-leading Braves have won three of four after losing seven straight. "I dont think weve clicked on all cylinders yet from an offensive standpoint, from a defensive standpoint, a pitching standpoint," Doumit said. "I think were starting to show we can and once we do its really going to be scary." Upton ran to first base after being hit by the pitch from Samardzija. After being checked by Braves trainer Jeff Lovell, he walked slowly off the field in apparent pain. Upton had another injury scare in the fourth inning. He appeared to hurt his lower back when he tagged Anthony Rizzo at the end of a long run-down between first and second. Upton ran in from the outfield to help on the play. Rizzo collided with Upton, who then bent over and reached for his lower back but remained in the game. Upton said the pitch from Samardzija hit him in about the same spot as where he felt the pain in the fourth inning. He said he felt a spasm in the back muscle in the sixth. Gonzalez said he likely would give Upton a day off on Sunday. NOTES: The Braves placed RHP Jordan Walden on the 15-day DL, retroactive to May 5, with a strained left hamstring. LHP Ian Thomas was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett. Walden has one save and a 2.92 ERA in 14 games. Thomas was sent to Gwinnett on Sunday with instructions to work on his slider. ... The Cubs have lost six of seven. ... The Braves are 12-0 when scoring the first run in a game. ... Gonzalez said LHP Jonny Venters, recovering from his second Tommy John surgery, will report to the teams minor league complex in Orlando and will begin throwing batting practice on Friday. ... The series ends on Sunday with Atlantas Aaron Harang facing Chicagos Edwin Jackson in a matchup of right-handers. ' ' '
Jan 2, 2020
pping 45-26 advantage on the boards
pping 45-26 advantage on the boards