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one behind Houstons Jose Altuve
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TORONTO - As Dwane Casey called a timeout late in Fridays victory, one of his teams most impressive of the campaign, an honorary addition to the Raptors coaching body was the first to race out and rally the troops. Dovydas Neverauskas Jersey . Donning a charcoal blazer on top of his white t-shirt, Kyle Lowry immediately pulled aside his replacement, Greivis Vasquez, as the two point guards calibrated by the bench with less than a minute remaining. A reluctant spectator for the second straight contest, nursing his bruised knee, Lowry refused to take the night off. Not that anyone truly expected him to. "He was like our second or third coach," said Jonas Valanciunas. "He was kind of doing the same thing he does when hes in the game," added Terrence Ross. "Helping us with plays, drawing things up for us, being vocal." The Raptors would rather have him in uniform, dressed in red and white while leading his team in the trenches instead of on the sidelines, but they have more than held their own in his absence. For the second time in three days, Toronto - missing both Lowry and forward Amir Johnson - was able to knock off a top-six team, as the teams confidence continues to grow heading into the playoffs. "With us we feel like we can beat anybody when we step out there on the court, honestly," said DeMar DeRozan, who tallied 20 points and nine assists in his teams inspiring 102-94 win over the Indiana Pacers. "Theyre [a] top team in the East. We understand tonight was a big win at this time of the season." The Pacers - a team the Raptors could see in the second round of the playoffs, should they advance - are backing into the postseason. Frank Vogels club, losers of six straight games on the road and six of eight overall, had occupied the Easts top seed for most of the season before surrendering it to Miami last week. Vulnerable as Indiana may be, the Raptors have split the season series and given that they were without two starters on Friday, their latest victory was of the statement variety. "If theyre looking for themselves, whatever it is, its a win," Casey said. "Whatever their deal is, theyve won 53 games. Thats the way I look at it. Its a quality win." Fresh off a similarly opportunistic win over a Rockets team missing Dwight Howard and Patrick Beverley, the Raptors displayed characteristics you wouldnt expect from a young, undermanned group. They were resilient, hitting back after the Pacers cut into their 11-point cushion and took a lead of their own late in the game. They were tough, winning the battle on the boards and refusing to back down from Indys intimidation tactics. They embodied the seemingly irreplaceable qualities of their fallen comrades, Lowry and Johnson. Lowry - for better or for worse, in uniform or not - is the engine that drives this ship and even from the bench he couldnt help but to take control. "Its a little bit worse than what he does when hes in the game with you," DeRozan joked. "He just wont stop talking but hey, we deal with it, its cool. He shut up a little bit more once we were winning." "Id rather have him in uniform than in street clothes and coaching," Casey said, also having some fun at the expense of the vocal Lowry. "I tell Kyle this all the time, that when he becomes a coach I cannot wait to come watch his teams play." "Ill tell you what, Imma be that heckler in that stands. Boooo, coach." The relationship between Casey and Lowry has grown exponentially over the past 18 months. Theyre both strong-willed, passionate competitors. Whatever rift they may or may not have had last season - when the team was losing and Lowrys minutes were sporadic - appears to be a thing of the past. They understand and respect each other. Winning will do that. "I mean we have the same goals and thats to win as many games as we can win, make noise in the playoffs and compete our butts off," Casey said before the game. "Were tied together from that standpoint." The Raptors have navigated through the toughest stretch of their late-season schedule without Lowry and Johnson - out with a lingering ankle ailment - and can now afford to be more cautious with the health of their stars. Torontos final six regular season games come against sub-.500 competition, beginning with Saturdays contest against the lowly Bucks in Milwaukee. "The big picture is the most important thing," Casey acknowledged, "keeping guys healthy going forward." Sophomores stepping up Facing elite defenders at their positions, the Raptors duo of second-year starters came up big in the absence of Lowry and Johnson. Valanciunas, who scored 22 points on 14 shots, anchored Torontos defence and pulled down crucial rebounds in crunch time while vastly outplaying Pacers all-star centre Roy Hibbert. Meanwhile, Ross picked up the slack on offence, leading the team with 24 points - including five made threes - against a couple of tough wing defenders in Paul George and Lance Stephenson. "They came in and played with a lot of confidence, a lot of energy," Casey said of his sophomores. "They continue to get better and work hard at it every single day," DeRozan added. "They understand they play a key role on this team and us being successful. I credit tonights game to them because they came up big." De Colo making an impact With Vasquez stepping into Lowrys slot as the teams starting point guard, Casey has looked to trade deadline acquisition Nando De Colo off the bench. Even without scoring, the former Spurs guard has been making an impact with his energy and basketball intellect. He logged 23 minutes on Friday - most hes played with the Raptors - and with the increased role came a greater comfort level offensively. "He knows that hes going to get extended minutes with Kyle out," Casey said of De Colo, who scored 10 points and dished out five assists. "When youre in that situation you play a little more free and a little looser. Hes [being] himself and hes done an excellent job." The stat DeRozan, who had a team-high nine assists Friday, has now recorded five or more dimes in 24 games this year after doing so 18 times in his first four seasons combined. The quote "It should help their confidence," said Casey on the win. "To go against a team like Indiana without our two starters helps us but its not worth a darn if we dont come out [Saturday] night and have the same focus and energy and effort. Were happy, were excited about the win. I dont want to poo poo on it but weve got to turn it up and crank it up again tomorrow night. Kevin Newman Jersey . Pikul Khueanpet scored early in the second half and Kanjana Sungngoen made it 2-0 in the 65th minute of the playoff. Tuyet Dong narrowed the margin with goal four minutes from time. The win gave Thailand fifth place at the Asian Cup and the last of the continents qualifying spots for the 2015 Womens World Cup in Canada. Bill Mazeroski Jersey . He could have transferred when academic sanctions barred the Huskies from the NCAA tournament his junior season. https://www.cheappiratesjerseys.us/ .twitter.com/TeZD3KOvlA — Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) September 24, 2014 Sorry for the delay, we just got back from lunch at Papa Vons #NBAFastFood pic.ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rick Porcello went to his normal spot on the Detroit Tigers bench after the eighth inning. He had every intention to finish what he started. With a few pitches to spare, Porcello got his first career shutout, a 6-0 three-hitter over the sinking Texas Rangers on Thursday night for Detroits seventh consecutive victory. "This is extremely special to me," Porcello said. Porcello (10-4) threw 105 pitches through eight innings. With relievers moving around in the bullpen, manager Brad Ausmus and pitching coach Jeff Jones discussed what to do with the right-hander, who did his best to avoid eye contact and then needed only 10 pitches in the ninth to get three groundball outs. "You just worry about the pitch count. We dont want him going much above 115, maybe top out at 120," Ausmus said. "A 15-pitch inning is a good inning, so its kind of a tall task to ask him to get through the inning, but he was able to do it." Porcello limited the Rangers to three singles and benefited from three 4-6-3 double plays (second baseman Ian Kinsler to shortstop Eugenio Sanchez to first baseman Miguel Cabrera), including one after Texas had consecutive hits in the sixth. "The ability to get two outs with one pitch is huge. I was able to execute those sinkers," Porcello said. "Without those guys, I dont know that I would have been able to go nine." The right-hander struck out six and walked three, throwing 72 of his season-high 115 pitches for strikes. It was only the second complete game for Porcello in 164 major league starts -- all for the Tigers since 2009, and he has won at least 10 games in each of his six seasons. Miguel Cabrera had four hits and Austin Jackson hit a two-run single for the AL Central leaders, who completed a three-game sweep. While the Tigers have the longest winning streak in the majors, Texas has the longest losing streak at eight in a row. The Rangers, who last lost eight in a row in August 2005, are 1-6-1 their last eight series overall and 16-22 at home. "We know were a way better team than the way were playing right now," said shortstop Elvis&nnbsp;Andrus, who grounded into that double play in the sixth. Pittsburgh Pirates Pro Shop. . "Hes got a pretty good sinker. We all knew that. He made the right pitch at the right moment." Rangers rookie Nick Martinez (1-5) allowed six hits and walked five of the 18 batters he faced in 2 1-3 innings. Detroit went ahead to stay in the second when Torii Hunter drew a bases-loaded walk before Cabreras deep inning-ending flyout with the bases loaded. Victor Martinez drew a walk to start the third before a double by Nick Castellanos set up Jacksons two-run single. After two more walks, Nick Martinez was pulled and Kinsler greeted reliever Scott Baker with an RBI single that made it 4-0. Kinsler, the three-time All-Star for the Rangers who was traded to Detroit for Prince Fielder last off-season, homered in his first at-bat Tuesday in his return to Texas as an opponent. Kinsler went 6 for 14 in the series with four runs and four RBIs. With two hits in all three games, Kinsler extended his streak of multihit games to five and is hitting .302 on the season. He has 31 multihit games, one behind Houstons Jose Altuve for the most in the majors. J.D. Martinez had a sacrifice fly for the Tigers, but went 0 for 4 to snap his 14-game hitting streak that was the longest active run in the majors. Cabrera had three singles before his AL-high 28th double in the eighth drove home Kinsler. "Were playing good baseball as a team, and were confident as a group right now," Kinsler said. "Its just a lot of fun playing ball that way." NOTES: It was the fourth shutout for the Tigers this season. Texas was held scoreless for the fourth time. ... Rangers LHP Derek Holland, on the DL since off-season left knee surgery, took fielding practice off the mound. He is scheduled to throw a simulated game Saturday in Arlington. Holland said he feels great, "like I can do everything." ... Texas GM Jon Daniels said his team cant focus on all the injuries -- a major league-high 14 players on the disabled list. He said a big thing right now is player development at the big league level with the youngsters having to play. ' ' '
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