Backcourt guides Raptors to 3-2 series lead

admin   •   May 12, 2016   •   1915

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 May 11, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry (7) drives to the basket past Miami Heat point guard Goran Dragic (7) in game five of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Heat 99-91. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday, May 11, 2016
May 11, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry (7) drives to the basket past Miami Heat point guard Goran Dragic (7) in game five of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Heat 99-91. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

(The Sports Xchange) – DeMar DeRozan scored 34 points and the Toronto Raptors defeated the Miami Heat 99-91 on Wednesday to take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference semi-final series.

Toronto guard Kyle Lowry added 25 points, including five in the final minute as the Raptors held off a late Heat rally.

The Raptors surged at the start and led by as many as 16 points in the first quarter and were ahead by 20 in the second quarter before the Heat began chipping away.

The Raptors took a 13-point lead into the fourth quarter, and Miami reduced it to five with just under five minutes to play.

The margin was down to one after Dwyane Wade, who had a team-high 20 points for Miami, converted two free throws with 1:54 to play.

DeRozan made two free throws with 1:33 left, and Toronto led by three points.

Miami turned the ball over on its next possession, and Lowry, who added 10 rebounds and six assists, hit a 3-pointer with 52.5 seconds to play to give Toronto a 93-87 edge.

Wade’s shot cut the lead to four before Lowry answered with a jumper to restore the six-point lead with 23.7 seconds remaining.

A goaltending call on Wade’s shot with 21.7 seconds to go moved Miami within four points.

DeRozan made two free throws with 21.3 seconds left and made two more with nine seconds remaining to increase the lead to eight points and clinch the win.

Bismack Biyombo added 10 points and six rebounds for Toronto.

Goran Dragic and Josh Richardson each scored 13 points for the Heat, and Joe Johnson added 11 points and eight rebounds.

The Raptors stormed out to a 16-point lead during the first quarter. With DeRozan scoring 10 points and Lowry adding nine, Toronto led 28-18 after the opening quarter. The Heat shot 27 percent from the field in the period, and Toronto shot 40 percent.

The Heat crept to within eight of the Raptors early in the second quarter, but when Lowry made a driving reverse layup with 3:39 to play in the half, Toronto led by 20 points. The Heat then reeled off 10 straight points, six by Dragic. Toronto led 55-45 at the half.

Lowry scored 16 first-half points, and DeRozan and Biyombo added 10 each. Dragic led Miami with 10 first-half points.

Wade started the second half with a 3-pointer to reduce the Miami deficit to seven points.

DeRozan then scored six consecutive points to give Toronto a 13-point lead during a stretch in which Miami was twice called for 24-second violations.

Raptors forward DeMarre Carroll was helped off the court with an injury with 1:16 to play in the third quarter after crashing to the floor beneath Toronto’s offensive basket. He walked past the bench to the dressing room.

Carroll, who had six points, six rebounds and four personal fouls in 26 minutes, did not return.

The Raptors led 75-62 after the third quarter.

The Heat whittled the lead to eight points before DeRozan’s jumper and free throw restored the 13-point lead with 8:33 to play in the fourth quarter.

DeRozan picked up his fifth personal foul with 8:19 to play.

Richardson hit a pair of 3-pointers to trim the lead to seven.

Justise Winslow cut the lead to five points with a jumper with 4:44 left.

After a Lowry miss with just under three minutes to play, Wade cut the lead to three points with a step-back jumper.

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Vince Carter retires after NBA record 22-season career

UNTV News   •   June 26, 2020

Atlanta Hawks guard Vince Carter officially announced his retirement from professional basketball on Thursday (June 25) after an NBA record 22-season career during which his high-flying dunks made him one of the game’s top players in his prime.

Carter, widely regarded as one of the greatest dunkers of all time, had previously said the 2019-20 NBA campaign would be his last but had not addressed his playing status since the NBA suspended its season in mid-March due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“I am officially done playing basketball professionally,” Carter, 43, told the “Winging It” podcast.

Carter, the first NBA player to feature in four different decades, signed a one-year deal with the Hawks last August.

However, their season is over as they did not qualify for the NBA’s 22-team format for restarting action in late July at Disney World amid the novel coronavirus.

Carter played for eight teams during his career but will be most remembered for his time with the Toronto Raptors, where he put the Canadian city on the basketball map and earned the nickname “Air Canada” for his feats above the rim.

After his first season in Toronto, Carter was named the NBA’s rookie of the year in 1999. He was then named an All-Star for each of the following eight seasons.

In his second season, Carter won the Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend with a dazzling display that further increased his stardom and helped ignite basketball’s popularity in what had otherwise been an ice hockey-mad country.

Carter, who ranks 22nd on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, averaged 16.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game during a career that also included stops in New Jersey, Orlando, Phoenix, Dallas, Memphis, Sacramento and Atlanta.

He also helped USA Basketball win gold medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2003 FIBA Americas tournament. (Reuters)

(Production; David Grip)

League approves plan to resume NBA season in July at Disney World

UNTV News   •   June 5, 2020

REUTERS – The National Basketball Association (NBA) Board of Governors have approved a plan to restart the suspended season with a tentative July 31 start at Disney World, Florida amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the league said on Thursday (June 4).

The plan would see 22 of the NBA’s 30 teams play eight games to determine a 16-team playoff field that would follow the traditional post-season format with four best-of-seven series that would crown a champion no later than October 12.

The league said approval from its Board of Governors, which came on the day originally scheduled for the start of the NBA Finals, is the first formal step among the many required to resume the season.

According to ESPN, the vote on the format was 29-1, with the Portland Trail Blazes voting against the proposal.

All games, practices and housing would be at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex which is inside the Orlando resort and has multiple hotels and arenas, and would allow the league to limit outside exposure.

The NBA was the first North American sports league to suspend its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic after one of its players tested positive for the new coronavirus in mid-March.

The 22 returning teams would be comprised of the eight teams from each of the two conferences currently in playoff positions plus the six clubs that are six games or fewer behind the eighth seed in their respective conferences.

If everything goes according to plan, the NBA said the 2020-21 season would begin on Dec. 1.

The league also said it plans to hold its 2020 NBA Draft Lottery to determine the order of the first 14 selections on Aug. 25. Lottery teams would be comprised of the eight clubs that do not participate in the restart and the six that go to Florida but do not qualify for the playoffs.

The actual NBA Draft, typically held in June, is now scheduled for Oct. 15.

(Production: Kurt Michael Hall)

Jordan’s autographed game-worn sneakers from his rookie season sold for record $560,000

UNTV News   •   May 18, 2020

NBA great Michael Jordan’s autographed game-worn sneakers from his rookie season fetched a record $560,000 (463,380 pounds) in an online auction, Sotheby’s said on Sunday (May 17).

The Air Jordan 1s, designed for Jordan in 1985 and the first ever signature sneakers, were expected to sell for between $100,000 and $150,000 in the auction.

Known for selling multimillion-dollar art, Sotheby’s held its first auction dedicated entirely to sneakers last year and had then set a world record of $437,500 for a pair of 1972 Nike running shoes known as the “Moon Shoe.”

“We saw tremendous bidding up until the moment the sale closed, with the value more than doubling in the final hour alone,” said Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s director of eCommerce development.

“That coupled with strong international bidding from six countries on four continents shows not only the incredible appeal of Michael Jordan… but also that sneaker collecting is truly a global and growing market.”

Like most of Jordan’s basketball shoes, they are a mismatched pair in a size 13 (left) and size 13.5 (right).

The auction coincided with the 35th anniversary of the Air Jordan brand and the screening of the 10-part ESPN documentary “The Last Dance” about the Chicago Bulls and Jordan. The final two episodes of the show are set to air later on Sunday.

The shoes were sold by collector Jordan Geller, the founder of the sneaker museum Shoezeum in Las Vegas. (Reuters)

(Production: David Grip)

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