#1 with 20 points and nine assists von lebaobei123 28.02.2019 02:11

TORONTO -- Jonas Valanciunas was five years old when Kevin Garnett earned his first of 15 NBA all-star selections. He was 11 when Garnett was named the league MVP. Valanciunas -- now 21 -- went toe to toe with the 37-year-old Garnett in Torontos loss to the Brooklyn Nets in Game 1 of their playoff series last Saturday. And if there was any sense of awe in the name on the back of the Brooklyn jersey he was guarding, the young Valanciunas didnt show it, laying down a monster game in his post-season debut. "He was not intimidated, he wasnt fazed by the physicality or guarding a legend like KG. Youre talking about a guy who is going to be in the Hall of Fame," said Raptors coach Dwane Casey. "I told our guys, Youve got to respect them because those guys have accomplished a lot in this league. But you cant fear them. KG would think less of him, knowing him, if it was anything less. Respect him, but you cant fear him. (Valanciunas) did that." The Raptors host Game 2 of the series on Tuesday, then it shifts to Brooklyn for Game 3 on Friday and Game 4 on Sunday. Valanciunas had 17 points and 18 rebounds in the opener of the seven-game series, while holding Garnett to five points. While many of the Raptors appeared overwhelmed by the enormity of their first playoff appearance in six seasons -- for some players, it was their first playoff appearance, period -- Valanciunas looked especially fired up from the opening tipoff. When asked Monday about guarding Garnett, Valanciunas merely shrugged. "Hes the same Garnett in regular season, so Im playing him the same way. Just maybe adding 10 per cent more effort," Valanciunas said, laughing. On Garnetts infamous trash talking: "I dont understand English. So Im OK." More laughter. On whether Garnett was a player he looked up to growing up in Utena, Lithuania: "His last name is really famous, so I heard about him when I was a kid." Respect, but no fear. What helped Valanciunas keep the nerves at bay, Casey believes, is thats hes accustomed to playing in front of noisy, passionate crowds. "Thats one thing with the Euroleague, hes played in some big games over there for his country," Casey said. "He was not fazed by the crowd, by the moment, by it being the playoffs. I thought he did a good job of fighting the physicality, getting inside, rebounding, using his length against KG and (Nets centre Mason) Plumlee." As the Raptors season continues, so does Valanciunass development. His rebounds Saturday were a Raptors post-season record. His double-double was only the second by a Raptor in their playoff debut (Tracy McGrady recorded the other in 2000). He scored a career-high 26 points earlier this month, less than three days after he was charged with drunk driving. "Its a positive. Him growing over the last month or so has really been a positive for our season," Casey said. "Hes our future. Hes our starting centre for a while to come so its great to see. Plus, hes a great kid. He works at it." Raptors guard Greivis Vasquez, meanwhile, grew up watching the Nets other NBA legend Paul Pierce. He even attended Pierces basketball camp when he was a kid. The 36-year-old Pierce was huge down the stretch in Game 1, scoring nine of his 15 points in the final three minutes. Asked if there was one thing he learned from Pierces camp, Vasquez replied, with a wide grin: "I did. How to be clutch." Vasquez played like he was similarly unfazed by the big names on the opposing team. Vasquez, one of four Raptors acquired in December in the trade that sent Rudy Gay to Sacramento, scored 18 points off the bench and doled out eight assists. "You know what, to me, its fun," Vasquez said. "Im an underdog guy, so Ive got to prove myself every day. I wake up with 220,000 pounds on my shoulder, so Ive got to be able to find a way to walk and get to my job. "Its fun when you face Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, KG. I mean, I grew up watching those guys, especially Paul Pierce. Now I got a chance to beat em? To me, I cant ask for anything better than that. Its fun. Its a basketball game, man, at the end of the day weve all got two hands. We all can shoot. Weve got one of the best point guards, too (in Kyle Lowry). Ill take our chances, man." For the players who did look affected by the nerves in Game 1 -- all-star DeMar DeRozan and Terrence Ross, to name two -- Casey and his players believe Game 2 will be an entirely different story. "Were disappointed but were anxious to get a second chance at it. I think the second time around well get the first game jitters away, out of us," Casey said. Game 2 could be a repeat of Game 1 when it comes to officiating. The Raptors werent on the favourable end of any calls in the fourth quarter on Saturday. They sounded resigned to the fact after Mondays practice. "Weve accepted that all year long as far as not getting recognition or getting respect or even getting calls we think we should get," said Raptors forward Patrick Patterson. "Thats happened all year long, so for us to think its going to change in the playoffs, were fooling ourselves. We have to go out there and not worry about the referees, not worry about the calls and just play basketball." The Raptors are hoping for a repeat performance by the Air Canada Centre crowd. A sellout crowd of 19,800 took in Game 1, clad in white T-shirts and waving white towels, thanks to a pre-game giveaway. Hundreds more fans watched the game on the big screen in Maple Leaf Square outside the arena. "Unbelievable. Unbelievable," Casey marvelled. "We were in Dallas for the (NBA) championship ... but this arena Saturday was unbelievable. I was proud of our fans. They showed the NBA what were about. The white-out, it was unbelievable. The enthusiasm. They not only cheered when we were up, they cheered when we were behind. It was constant. It was like a soccer crowd. "Our players appreciated it. We appreciate it now weve got to go out and reciprocate with our effort." Saturdays game was also a ratings hit for TSN. Overnight data from BBM Canada indicated an average audience of 539,000 viewers watched Game 1. It was the most-watched Raptors game on English television in Canada since 2002, the network said in a release. Authentic Shoes Cheap . Mueller is the grandson of the late Ron Lancaster, the Hall-of-Fame quarterback and longtime head coach in the CFL. Last season, Mueller was quarterbacks coach of the University of Regina Rams, his alma mater. Cheap Nike Shoes From China . Alfredo Simon lowered his ERA to 0.86, and the Reds beat the Chicago Cubs 4-1 Friday for their 16th win in their last 17 games at the Friendly Confines. http://www.cheapshoesfromchina.us/. Chan captured two silver medals at last months Sochi Winter Games — mens singles and the inaugural team event. But he doesnt have the urge to resume training to defend his world title when the event is held in Saitama, Japan, later this month. Shoes From China Online .com) - Stephen Currys jumper with 3. Wholesale Shoes China . The goals took Liverpools tally in the Premier League this season to 70, overtaking Manchester City as the top scorers, and left the fourth-place team just four points behind league leader Chelsea.ATLANTA -- Paul Millsap knows the Atlanta Hawks wont have an easy time replacing Al Horford. Even so, Millsap was proud that the Hawks held together despite the absence of their leading scorer and rebounder. "Everybodys still a little shocked about the situation," Millsap said. "You could tell. Als a big part of what we do, but once we shook it off, guys just got out there and played ball." Millsap scored a season-high 33 points, Lou Williams scored 10 of his season-best 28 points in overtime and the Hawks rallied to beat the Charlotte Bobcats 118-116 on Saturday night. Al Jefferson had 24 points and a season-high 23 rebounds, and Gerald Henderson added 22 points for Charlotte. Playing their first game since Horford suffered a torn pectoral muscle, the Hawks trailed by 14 after Henderson hit a 20-foot fadeaway jumper with 4:19 left in the third quarter. But Atlanta, which has won two straight and five of six, rallied to force overtime when backup centre Pero Antic made a one-legged 3-pointer from the right wing with 3.1 seconds left in regulation. "Its going to take some time to learn to play without Al," Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. "We have to get everybody comfortable, to keep the ball moving, to know where the spots are. I thought our start was OK, actually." Jeff Teague finished with 20 points and nine assists for the Hawks. Mike Scott added 18 points, and Millsap pulled down 13 rebounds. The Bobcats, who have lost two straight and three of four, didnt trail again in regulation after Ben Gordons 3 from the left corner made it 86-84. Antics shot while moving away from the basket made it 101-all and the game went to overtime when Hendersons fadeaway jumper bounced off the rim at the buzzer. Jefferson bemoaned that Antic was able to get the ball in a scramble and score his only points of the game. "My guy hit a shot fake, going left, off one leg, a 3-point shot to tie the game," Jefferson said. "I mean, what can you say? Its part of the game, I guess. It hurts, though." In the final minute of OT, Millsap hit a pair of free throws to make it 108-all, Kemba Walker missed a wild shot for Charlotte and Williams hit two foul shots to give Atlanta the lead for good at 110-108.dddddddddddd Williams made all 10 foul shots in overtime. There were five lead changes in the first half and five in the second half. Charlottes biggest advantage before intermission was 10 on Hendersons 4-foot turnaround jumper with 4:22 left in the second quarter. Walker, who scored at least 20 in six straight games before finishing with 18 in Fridays home loss to Oklahoma City, missed his first six shots before hitting a 3-pointer that put Charlotte up 55-47 early in the third. Walker finished 4 for 20 from the field and scored 16 points. "I just told them, we have to get past the point where everybodys happy that the Bobcats arent getting beat every night," Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said. "Because were better than that, OK? We can play better than this." It took until the final seconds of the third for Atlanta to cut the lead to six when Antic blocked three shots by Cody Zeller on the same possession and Williams followed with a 3 from the left sideline to make it 77-71. "We did a great job of getting stops there at the end," Williams said. "We made timely baskets. We made big shots in situations where we needed them. In overtime, we just battled." Notes: Atlanta G Kyle Korver hit a 3 early in the fourth to extend his NBA career record to a 99th consecutive game. ... With Horford sidelined, Millsap and G DeMarre Carroll are the only Hawks to start and play in all 30 games. Budenholzer said before the game that the team doesnt know much time Horford will miss. He tore his right pectoral muscle in Fridays OT win at Cleveland. Two years ago, Horford played in just 11 regular-season games after tearing his left pectoral muscle. ... Carroll was a game-time decision with a sprained right thumb and was scoreless after going 0 for 4 from the field. ... Charlotte dropped to 6-4 on the road against Eastern Conference opponents. ... The Bobcats dropped to 5-14 at Philips Arena. ... Horfords replacements at centre -- Elton Brand, Antic and Gustavo Ayon -- were a combined 2 for 13 from the field for six points. ' ' '

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