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o ahead 69-59 late in the quarter. Bareas two free throws put the Raptors advantage t
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ATLANTA - Coming off an opening night win at home, the Raptors take to the road, visiting the Atlanta Hawks in the first half of a weekend back-to-back set on Friday. Wholesale Nike Air Max 720 . The Raptors, who went 13-28 on the road a year ago, will play their first game away from the Air Canada Centre this season. Theyll play six of their next eight contests, and 19 of 33 outside of Toronto. "When you play on the road [for] so many games, you have a lot of adversity you have to fight through," said guard DeMar DeRozan, who struggled in the teams 93-87 win over Boston on Wednesday, scoring 13 points on 6-of-19 shooting. "That cant do anything but be beneficial for us, especially early on," he continued. "If we get through this little tough stretch, well be fine. Me personally, I think its a great test for us. Itll help us find our character early on." Toronto hopes to start the campaign on a winning streak, picking up where they left off when they closed last season with five consecutive victories. The Hawks return to Atlanta for their home opener after allowing the Mavericks to shoot 57 per cent in a 118-109 loss on Wednesday. "I think this team is a very offensive-minded team, a very good offensive team," Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said of the Hawks, who shot 49 per cent in Dallas opening night. "The biggest change is now you have [Paul] Millsap, whos a very consistent pick and pop guy. Youve got two bigs (Millsap and Al Horford) who are not youre traditional low-post guys. Its a very versatile offensive team from that perspective." "Theyre one of the teams thats going to be knocking on that door for those last couple spots in the playoffs." After losing Josh Smith to free agency during the summer, Atlanta is turning the page with Millsap - the former Jazz forward, signed to a two-year $19 million deal in the offseason - and new head coach Mike Budenholzer. A first-year head coach, Budenholzer comes to Atlanta after 19 seasons as an assistant under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio. "Hes running the same things they ran in San Antonio," Casey said of the Hawks new coach. "Hes going to do a good job because hes taken a lot of San Antonios system there to Atlanta." Trends and Tidbits Last season, the Raptors were one of four teams in the NBA - along with the Bulls, Grizzlies and Suns - to average more points and shoot a higher field goal percentage on the road than at home. However, they gave up 102.4 points per game as a visiting team, 7.4 points more than they allowed at home. Fridays game is the first half of a weekend back-to-back which concludes in Milwaukee on Saturday, the teams first of 18 back-to-backs this season. Last year, Toronto had a 6-12 record in the first game of a back-to-back and 8-10 in the second game. Kyle Korvers current streak of 74 consecutive games with at least one made three-pointer is the fourth longest in NBA history behind only Dana Barros (89), Michael Adams (79) and Dennis Scott (78). Korver is shooting 46 per cent from long distance during that run and ranks sixth among active players in career three-point field goal percentage (.419). Raptors forward Steve Novak ranks second (.433). What to Watch For Battle on the boards Finishing strong defensive possessions off with a rebound was a focus for Caseys club throughout camp. Not only did they control the defensive boards in Wednesdays home opener but they dominated the offensive glass, creating extra possessions that became crucial in grinding out an ugly win. Toronto outrebounded Boston 48-33, including a 19-7 advantage on the offensive boards. Although the Celtics were more efficient, shooting 49 per cent (another area of emphasis for Casey), the Raptors attempted 20 more shots and scored 28 second-chance points. Atlantas front line is a small one, with the undersized Millsap and Horford in the middle. The Hawks were bested on the boards 42-33 on Wednesday, grabbing just five offensive rebounds. Moving the ball The Raptors managed just 15 assists to 18 turnovers on 38 field goals on Wednesday, registering just two dimes in the final quarter when the team relied heavily on isolation sets. Casey said DeRozan, and the team in general, have to do a better job of adjusting to regular season defences and passing out of double teams. "I think a lot of it is getting used to the regular season basketball," Casey said. "I think everybody has to get used to that. Its a different mentality, a different toughness. We have to adapt to it." "Teams are more aggressive, theyre more fired up." Who to Watch For Kyle Lowry Lowry, playing with a splint on his injured left ring finger, struggled with his shot in the first game, shooting just 2-of-8 from the field and 7-for-12 at the line. The Raptors point guard chalked it up to an off-night and refused to blame the injury. Although he had eight assists in the opener, hell have to be more efficient offensively and will also be tasked with slowing down Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, one of the quicker players in the NBA. Paul Millsap Coming over from Utah, Millsap scored 20 points in his Hawks debut. As Casey alluded to, Millsap is a versatile big man who can play either forward position and stretch the floor with his mid-range shooting. "Hes a silent killer," Casey said of Millsap. "Hes just a solid, old-school, hardworking guy that were really going to have to be concerned about." Amir Johnson and Tyler Hansbrough will share the responsibility of keeping Millsap contained on the pick and pop. "Hes a hell of a player," Lowry said of Millsap, both members of the 2006 draft class. "Hes an all-star calibre player. Hes tough, Im a big fan of his, Ive always been a big fan of his since his rookie year. Hes going to be a beast in the East." Injury Report Guard Lou Williams (right knee) and centre Gustavo Ayon (right shoulder) are both out for the Hawks. Air Max 720 Sale Ireland .C. -- Tony Stewart will not race Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, the third Sprint Cup race hes skipped since his car struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. Air Max 720 Discount Ireland . Neither player was available Saturday for the Knicks 107-98 loss in Atlanta. "Were going in a different direction and weve got to figure out another spot or two for our ballclub," coach Mike Woodson said before the game. http://www.airmax720ireland.com/ . - The Baltimore Ravens have hired Steve Spagnuolo to be their secondary coach and assistant head coach.TORONTO -- Kyle Lowry and the Toronto Raptors made up for a sub-par road performance by continuing their mastery of the Minnnesota Timberwolves. Lowry had 24 points to lead Toronto to a 94-89 victory before an Air Canada Centre sellout crowd of 19,800, the Raptors 10th straight home win over Minnesota and 17th in 18 head-to-head meetings. More importantly, it came just two nights after a disappointing 88-83 road loss to the Boston Celtics. "It was a bounce-back game for us and we needed it," Lowry said. "We did a good job in executiing our gameplan. "They made it close but we pulled it out." The Raptors captured a season-high sixth straight home victory. The last time they did that was Jan. 17-Feb. 10, 2010 when they won eight in a row. On Friday, Toronto wore its special Canadian Forces fourth jersey -- camo green with black-- as part of Armed Forces Night to improve to 10-8 at home. Amir Johnson added 19 points for Toronto while Terrence Ross had 16 points and DeMar DeRozan scored 15 points. Kevin Martin had 18 points for Minnesota (18-21), which has lost three straight and four of its last five to drop to 7-13 on the road. Kevin Love added 16 points. A big key for Toronto was its long-range shooting. The Raptors hit on 11-of-24 attempts from beyond the arc -- Lowry was 6-of-9 alone -- while Minnesota was just 3-of-18. However, it was Martins three-pointer -- his second of the game -- that helped the pesky Timberwolves pull to within 85-83 with just over a minute remaining. But DeRozans basket gave the Raptors a 87-83 advantage. Then, after Minnesota failed to convert on offence, Lowry cemented the win with a three-pointer with 14.6 seconds remaining for a 90-83 advantage. "It was a big shot," Lowry said. "It was one of those shots where we could finally kind of relax a little bit. "Everyone is just trusting each other, everyone has confidence in each other and if you miss (a three-pointer) you know youll probably get another one." Toronto averaged 108 points and made 43 per cent of its three-pointers in sweeping a three-game homestand before heading to Boston. But the Raptors were also solid defensively against a Minnesota team that was averaging 107.1 points per game. "I thought they bounced back as a team from the other night," Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. "I think we were disappointed that we got ambushed in Boston, they attacked us. "They (Timberwolves) are a very good team, very explosive offensive team. Coach (Rick) Adelman, a lot of coaches in this league steal from him . . . Im still stealing from him. Hes an offensive mind, he doesnt get enough credit for it." Adelman, who coached Lowry for three seasons in Houston, had nothing but praise for his former player. "Hes always played at a high level but hes shootingg the ball really well," Adelman said. Nike Air Max 720 Ireland. "A lot better than anytime from the three-point line, the floor and the free-throw line. "Thats a big difference but hes always been a solid player." As for Lowry, he said Adelman is by far his favourite NBA coach. "Nothing against coach Casey but Rick is my favourite coach because he gave me my opportunity to show my skills.," Lowry said. "He really is my favourite coach of all time." Toronto finds itself on a nice roll, having won 13 of its last 18 games. But thats of little solace to Casey. "Im not satisfied and I dont think the players are," he said. "Were not the hunted, weve got to be the hunter. "If we dont play (as) the hungry, desperate team, more nights like Boston are going to happen. I thought we played like an underdog tonight and we didnt play that way against Boston." Johnson had nine third-quarter points to help give Toronto a 69-61 advantage but it was Lowrys two three-pointers that put the Raptors ahead 67-53. They came after DeRozan converted a technical foul on Minnesotas Corey Brewer after he received his fourth personal foul. But Jose Barea hit three straight field goals before Ross countered to put Toronto ahead 69-59 late in the quarter. Bareas two free throws put the Raptors advantage to eight points heading into the fourth. Minnesota ended the second quarter on a 9-0 run to cut Torontos half-time advantage to 44-40. Nikola Pekovic anchored the late run with two field goals and a free throw en route to 11 first-half points while DeRozan and Lowry both added 10 points for the Raptors. Toronto shot 44 per cent from the field (16-of-41) and held Minnesota to 39 per cent shooting (16-of-41). But the Raptors dominated from three-point range, hitting on 5-of-12 shots while Minnesota missed on all six of its attempts beyond the arc. Toronto led 22-15 at the end of the first, hitting on 10-of-21 shots (47.6 per cent) from the field while Minnesota shot just 2-of-23 (26.1 per cent). The 15 first-quarter points was a season-low for a Raptors opponent this season. Toronto surged into a 12-2 lead with a 10-0 run early in the first before Minnesota pulled to within 17-15. But Rosss three-pointer and a field goal from Johnson late in the quarter gave the Raptors their seven-point advantage. NOTES -- Former Raptor Rudy Gay had a season-high 33 points in leading Sacramento past Minnesota on Wednesday night . . . The Timberwolves came into Fridays game with a dismal 3-15 road record against Toronto all-time . . . Torontos next game is Sunday afternoon hosting the Los Angeles Lakers. Minnesota returns home to host the Utah Jazz on Saturday night, a squad theve lost five straight games to . . . Minnesota went 0-2 against Toronto last year, with Love missing both games due to injury. Cheap Jerseys China NFL Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Wholesale Discount Basketball Jerseys Cheap NHL Jerseys Authentic Cheap Baseball Jerseys Free Shipping Cheapest College Jerseys Sale Cheap Football Jerseys China Nike NFL Jerseys Canada Wholesale NHL Jerseys From China MLB Jerseys Outlet Canada Wholesale NBA Jerseys Canada Store Cheap Soccer Jerseys China Cheap Authentic Jerseys Canada ' ' '
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