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31.05.2019 03:02
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NEW ORLEANS -- Greivis Vasquez drew a round of applause when he first checked in against the team for which he played the past two seasons. Later, he all but silenced the New Orleans crowd with five straight points that gave his new team the lead for good inside the final two minutes. DeMar DeRozan scored 31 points, Vasquez finished with 14, and the Toronto Raptors snapped a two-game skid with a resilient 107-100 victory over the Pelicans on Wednesday night. "I was blessed enough to be out there at the end of the game," said Vasquez, who was traded by New Orleans after last season in a deal that brought Tyreke Evans to the Pelicans. "I had a really rough first half and then the second half I was just on a mission," Vasquez said. "I like close games, man. Im not afraid. I would never be afraid. Im the type of player that would risk everything. Thats how I got (the starting point guard) job here in New Orleans." Kyle Lowry scored 23, Amir Johnson added 17 and Vasquez finished with 14 to help Toronto overcome a 14-point first-half deficit and snap a two-game skid. Tyler Hansbrough, playing additional minutes with starting centre Jonas Valanciunas sidelined by a sore back, grabbed 13 rebounds, seven on the offensive end. "Thats psycho-T at his finest," DeRozan said of Hansbrough. "He went out there, played extremely hard, got rebounds and came up with some big rebounds late in the game. Thats just him." The game was tied at 94 when Vasquez scored five straight points in a 36-second span on a running floater and a driving layup as he was fouled -- the latter coming after Vasquez rebounded his missed jumper for one of Torontos 22 offensive rebounds. "Its cool to have a teammate like that because you see how much he wanted it," DeRozan said of Vasquez. "Thats why we call him Spicy. You never know what youre going to get until you eat it." Al-Farouq Aminu had 19 points and 10 rebounds for New Orleans, which was without All-Star Anthony Davis because of an illness. The Pelicans could not deny that Davis absence, one game after his career-high 40 points and 21 rebounds in Sundays overtime win over Boston, was a factor. "Obviously, with a guy that can rebound like Anthony, its hard to make up for that," rookie centre Jeff Withey said. Evans had 18 points for the Pelicans. Eric Gordon added 15, but was shut out in the second half, when his playing time was limited after he was called for his fourth foul in the middle of the third quarter. "Once he got in foul trouble ... I think that probably broke his rhythm," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said. Brian Roberts scored 11 points, while Alexis Ajinca and Austin Rivers each had 10 to keep New Orleans in front for most of the game. New Orleans led 94-90 on Witheys free throw with 4:26 left. But during the next 50 seconds, Johnson slammed home a putback dunk and followed that with a driving layup as the shot clock expired to tie it at 94. Next came Vasquezs five straight points, followed by Lowrys free throw and Johnsons tip shot to cap a 12-1 run from which New Orleans never recovered. "We played decent defence, forced them to miss and they got rebound after rebound," Williams said. "We missed a lot of shots, layups in the paint, but the rebounding tonight was not good at all." Gordon, Aminu (12 points) and Evans (10 points) all reached double figures in the first half, much of which was controlled by New Orleans. The Pelicans seemed to surprise the Atlantic Division-leading Raptors by racing to an early double-digit lead. Rivers driving layup gave New Orleans a 31-18 lead late in the first quarter. In the second quarter, the lead reached 14 points several times, the last on Aminus layup that made it 50-36. At that point, there was 5:20 left in the second quarter, which was about all the time Toronto needed to nearly pull even. The Raptors outscored the Pelicans 20-7 to close the half. DeRozan scored nine during the stint, including a three-point play on a driving layup and a 12-foot fade at the halftime horn that made it 57-56. NOTES: The Pelicans went 3-3 on their six-game home stand. New Orleans next plays at Atlanta on Friday, then hosts Miami on Saturday to open a four-game home stand. ... The Raptors have not lost three straight since making a seven-player trade with Sacramento on Dec. 9. Zach Werenski Jersey . The Thornhill, Ont., native, who is ranked 11th in the world, said hed hoped he would be ready when Canada begins its World Group first-round tie against Japan in Tokyo on Friday. Seth Jones Jersey . -- The Grand Rapids Griffins scored three goals in 33 seconds of the second period en route to defeating the Hamilton Bulldogs 6-1 in American Hockey League action on Friday. http://www.authenticbluejacketspro.com/Ryan-murray-blue-jackets-jersey/ . In the days leading up to the draft, TSN.ca and TSN Radio basketball analyst Duane Watson looks at some of the names that will be headlining the event. Tonight, Michigans Nik Stauskas of Mississauga, Ontario. Cam Atkinson Jersey . With the team he supported as a child on the verge of reaching the Champions League semifinals for the first time in 19 years, Ba instead scored the goal that knocked them out. Alexander Wennberg Jersey . Spieth again showed game well beyond his 20 years with a 9-under 63 on the North Course, giving him a one-shot lead over Stewart Cink going into the weekend at the Farmers Insurance Open.MINNEAPOLIS -- The Carolina Panthers were sympathetic to Adrian Petersons grief. They werent going to take it easy on him, though. Petersons tumultuous week ended with a quiet Sunday because the Panthers made all the noise. Cam Newton threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score, and the Panthers romped past the mourning running back and the Minnesota Vikings 35-10. Peterson finished with 62 yards on 10 carries and 21 yards on three receptions, but the Vikings (1-4) didnt have much use after halftime for him. Peterson learned Friday a 2-year-old son of his died in South Dakota of injuries from alleged abuse. "Its tough. Its a crazy situation," Peterson said. "Anytime you lose a child, no matter the circumstances, it hurts. I cant describe it. But Ive got a good supporting cast." Said Vikings coach Leslie Frazier: "I thought he handled it as well as you can." Matt Cassel threw two interceptions, both to Mike Mitchell, and the Panthers (2-3) responded each time with a touchdown. Distracted or not, the Vikings were embarrassed on both sides of the ball by a team that had 11 penalties, seven sacks allowed and only six points in defeat the week before. "When one guy has a tragedy like that, we all kind of feel it in a way," Mitchell said, adding: "We still have our goals that we have to get accomplished. So thats not in any way disrespectful to Adrian." Newton was at his best since he was a rookie two years ago, going 20 for 26 for 242 yards without a turnover. He threw for scores to Steve Smith and Mike Tolbert in the first half to cap long, commanding drives, and found Brandon LaFell for a 79-yard touchdown to start the third quarter. "His focus and attention to detail on things all week, I think its all part of the process of him developing. He understands it, and hes going to continue to work at it," coach Ron Rivera said. Tolbert scored on a short run in the fourth, and many of the fans who spent the afterrnoon booing quickly bolted from their seats to try to beat traffic.dddddddddddd Peterson rarely found room against a defence that has not allowed a 100-yard rusher for nine straight games. He said he never had second thoughts about playing, declining again to speak specifically about his dead son. "I just prayed and asked God to give me the strength to get through the game and remain focused and, for the most part, I did," Peterson said. "Its a terrible way to lose, but we can learn from this." Cassel kept the job over Christian Ponder and went 32 for 44 for 241 yards and a late score, but the two interceptions were costly. Josh Freeman could be the next quarterback soon. "The guys in that locker room wont throw in the towel. Weve just got to find some momentum," Cassel said. The Panthers were aided by a dropped interception attempt by Jamarca Sanford and a third-down holding penalty by Chris Cook that wiped out a sack for their first touchdown. Newtons 2-yard toss to Smith came on the second fourth-down conversion of the 9 1/2-minute drive, a sign of trust from Rivera. "Hes a defensive coach by nature so he always has that conservative mentality, but I think hes kind of breaking his mould to a degree and giving the whole team confidence with that," Newton said. Newton then used a shovel pass to feed fullback Tolbert, who barged through the middle of Minnesotas defence for a 10-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead. Any hope the Vikings had of a comeback crumbled in the opening minute of the second half. LaFell was wide open as he sprinted untouched along the sideline when struggling cornerback Josh Robinson left him to play zone, and nobody came to help. "He went straight to the flat, and I went straight up the field," LaFell said. Newton found the end zone again on the next drive, a 9-yard scramble after eluding the rush. "I think that showing a little confidence and faith in them has really helped," Rivera said. 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