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first leg defeat in their Europa League semifinal.

    • 90 posts
    February 21, 2019 11:42 AM HKT
    TORONTO - The Raptors learned a little bit about themselves in a narrow defeat to the Chicago Bulls Wednesday, a game with playoff-type intensity and their third consecutive against an opponent directly behind them in the standings. [b]Bill Russell Jersey[/b] . On Thursday theyll learn even more. Despite the cloud of uncertainty that has followed them around from the moment general manager Masai Ujiri was brought in to put his stamp on the franchise, the Raptors have surpassed all pre-season expectations. They have navigated through early-season tank speculation, theyve come together after a momentum shifting seven-player deal and they continue to block out the noise emitting from the incessant batch of rumours surrounding their starting point guard. At 3:00 PM et Thursday afternoon all that noise will be muzzled until the offseason, all the uncertainty finally put to bed. Finally, they will all know where they stand, at least for the next couple months. So, with the big day rapidly approaching, will Kyle Lowry - the primary subject of trade speculation - be losing any sleep on the eve of the deadline? "Nope," scoffed the Raptors point guard, as that question was posed following his teams 94-92 loss to the Bulls. "Not at all." "Any other questions about that," he asked, daring the hoard of local media to try their luck again. There were no more questions. It was worth a try, after all, its the question thats on everyones mind. Will Lowry be wearing a Raptors jersey when the team hosts the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday? Still, it was a futile attempt to get a rise out of a player who has been relatively unshakable all season. Lowry, like the rest of his teammates, is fully aware of whats at stake as he waits to learn his fate. The upcoming deadline has been on the their minds, whether they care to admit it or not, but its not a subject thats welcome for discussion in the locker room. "Thankfully on this team, no, no ones talked about it, no ones mentioned it," said Patrick Patterson, ahead of the teams win in Washington Tuesday. "The only thing Ive seen is just stuff on Twitter, the internet, Bleacher Report, whatever, yada, yada, yada, rumours but as far as this group of guys from the coaching staff on down to each player on the roster, no one has mentioned anything." Patterson arrived in the trade from Sacramento on Dec. 9, along with Kings teammates Greivis Vasquez, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes. Since then, this team has gelled in a way that no one could have possibly imagined, going 22-12 with the new additions in uniform. Chemistry is a word thats been used to describe this group both on and off the floor and, as Ujiri has insisted, its something the Raptors general manager values above all else. Ujiri, in conversation with TSN.ca over the weekend, expressed a reluctance to disrupt that newfound chemistry unless the right deal comes along. Hes not alone. Dwane Casey wouldnt mind seeing 15 familiar faces in the locker room when he comes into work on Friday. "I like our guys," Casey said. "I know Masai is working 24/7 on the phones and looking at different scenarios. We talked a long time today. But I like our guys. If we (bring) our team back Im happy." "I always said since I came (here), the players will dictate where we go and the team will dictate where we go," Ujiri told TSN.ca on Sunday. "Thats kind of how its been." The players have spoken. The Raptors hold third place in the Eastern Conference, a 1/2 game in front of the fourth-seeded Bulls after Wednesdays loss. They were outplayed on both ends of the floor in the second night of a back-to-back. It was a brutally physical and fiercely competitive game in which seven technical fouls were handed out. The Raptors were down and out early but they fought back, as they have done time and time again, showing mental and physical toughness. Theyre a resilient bunch, theyve proven that, and they believe theyve earned the right to see this thing out. "I believe that nothing will (happen Thursday)," Patterson predicted. "No trades will be made due to the success that weve had since the (Sacramento deal)." "Why break up something thats been going so well," he asked, rhetorically. "None of us are talking about trades, none of us are talking about wanting to leave and everyone is happy with the current situation." [b]John Havlicek Jersey[/b] . Andrews, Scotland - Oliver Wilson fired a final- round, 2-under 70 on Sunday and he held on to win the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship by one shot. [b]Reggie Lewis Jersey[/b] .com) - Damian Lillard poured in 40 points on 11-of-21 shooting to go along with 11 assists, and the Portland Trail Blazers stunned the Oklahoma City Thunder, 115-111, in overtime on Tuesday.SASSUOLO, Italy -- Juventus all but clinched its third successive Serie A title by coming from behind to win 3-1 Monday at relegation-threatened Sassuolo in heavy rain. Antonio Contes side moved eight points ahead of Roma with three rounds remaining. The two sides face each other in the penultimate match of the season, but Juventus is expected to seal the title next week when it plays Atalanta at home, where it has won all 17 of its league matches this season. Juventus also remained on course to become the first Serie A club to reach the 100-point barrier. "We have taken a very important step toward a historic third title," Conte said. "We are having a super season. I hear talk about an out of this world Roma side but we are eight points ahead of them and in the Europa League semifinals. So find adjectives for us." Juventus hosts Benfica on Thursday looking to overturn a 2-1 first leg defeat in their Europa League semifinal. Simone Zaza -- who is co-owned by Juventus -- gave Sassuolo a surprise lead in ninth-minute when he finished off an electric counterattack. Nicola Sansone raced downfield before setting up Zaza, whose efforrt took a slight deflection off Angelo Ogbonna to beat Gianluigi Buffon at the near post. [b]Larry Bird Jersey[/b]. Juventus levelled in the 35th when Carlos Tevez collected the ball from Claudio Marchisio just outside the area and unleashed a fierce shot, which took a decisive deflection off Alessandro Longhi. It was Tevezs 19th of the season and leaves him two behind Torinos Ciro Immobile, the top scorer in Serie A. Claudio Marchisio fired Juventus ahead in front shortly before the hour mark after a chipped pass from Andrea Pirlo over the Sassuolo defence. And Fernando Llorente sealed the result when he finished off Stephan Lichtsteiners cross with a delightful backheel from close range 14 minutes from time. Contes jubilation after that goal and the whole teams reaction after the match expressed how close they are to the crown. "It wasnt a title celebration at the end because there is still a chance for our pursuers," Conte said. "We have to seal it in the next match, I dont like anticipating things but we took a huge step forward." Sassuolo is only above the relegation zone thanks to its head-to-head record with Bologna. Cheap Hoodies From China Discount NFL Shirts Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Cheap NFL Jerseys China Wholesale China Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys From China Cheap Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Fast Shipping China Jerseys Stitched Jerseys ' ' '