Lowry close to a Raptors return and Nurse NBA coach of the month again — Toronto Sun

Kyle Lowry is closing in on a return to action, but don’t circle Tuesday’s game against the Miami Heat as a certainty. Read More

Lowry close to a Raptors return and Nurse NBA coach of the month again — Toronto Sun



The National Basketball Association announced Monday that Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for games played in October and November. This marks the second time Nurse has earned the honour after he won for games played in October and November in 2018.

Nurse coached the reigning NBA champions to a 14-4 record (second in the east) to start the season while facing several roster challenges along the way. The Raptors had eight different players miss games due to injury, including Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka, yet finished the month on a six-game winning streak and a perfect 8-0 record at Scotiabank Arena. The team ranked first defensively, holding opponents to an NBA-best .408 field goal shooting percentage and fourth in points allowed (103.8). Offensively, Toronto ranked first among east teams averaging 14.3 three-pointers made and a .395 three-point shooting percentage.  

Highlighting the month was a key 101-96 victory Nov. 25 vs. Philadelphia in a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series. The Raptors held the Sixers’ all-star duo of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons to a combined 10 points on 4-of-19 shooting from the field. Toronto has so far faced 12 all-stars from last season and held eight players under 15 points.

Toronto followed up the next game by tying a franchise-record with 21 three-pointers made Nov. 27 vs. New York. It was the Raptors’ 33rd consecutive home victory against Atlantic Division opponents, setting a new NBA record for home wins against division opponents.       

A native of Carroll, Iowa, Nurse became the first coach to win both an NBA and NBA G League championship, after guiding Toronto to its first title last spring.  He recently coached his 100th game for the Raptors and holds a career record of 73 wins and 28 losses.




The TORONTO BLUE JAYS have agreed to terms with the following free agents on Minor League contracts with invites to 2020 Major League Spring Training:


AUMONT, 30, spent last season with the Ottawa Champions of the independent Can-Am League. There the native of Gatineau, QC, made 18 starts and finished with an 8-4 record and a 2.65 ERA, while also recording six complete games and 145 strikeouts over 118.2 innings of work. Aumont played for the Philadelphia Phillies from 2012-15 and compiled a 1-6 record and a 6.80 ERA over 46 Major League appearances. The 6-7, 240 lb. righty has also played in the minors for the Blue Jays, White Sox and Tigers organizations. He most recently pitched in the WBSC Premier 12 Tournament in November and helped Canada’s Senior National Team to a 3-0 win over Cuba with eight shutout innings.  

BURNS, 29, slashed .275/.364/.470 with 17 doubles, three triples, 19 home runs, and 63 RBI across 118 games for Triple-A Buffalo last season. He was selected by Toronto in the 11th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft and played 10 games for the Blue Jays in 2016. The right-handed hitter has played seven seasons in the Minor Leagues and two in the Korean Baseball Organization, combining for a .777 OPS across 1,022 total games. 

COLE, 27, posted a 3.81 ERA while making 25 appearances for the Cleveland Indians last season. The 6-5, 238 lb. right-handed pitcher struck out 30 batters and issued eight walks in 26.0 innings of work before being placed on the injured list with a right shoulder impingement from August 10 through the end of the season. The Winter Springs, FL, native has also played for the Washington Nationals and the New York Yankees over the course of his five-year career, going 11-10 with a 4.86 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP along the way. 

KIVLEHAN, 29, played 90 games for the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons last season, slashing .247/.336/.534 with 13 doubles, three triples, and 25 home runs. The Nyack, NY, native also played for the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians and the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats in 2019 and finished the year with an .871 OPS across 125 games. The 6-2, 223 lb. right-handed batter has played in eight Minor League seasons, accumulating a .280 average, 169 doubles, 26 triples, 134 home runs, and 522 RBI over 799 contests. The fourth-round pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft has played three seasons in the Major Leagues for the San Diego Padres, Cincinnati Reds, and Arizona Diamondbacks, and has combined to hit .208 with five doubles, three triples, and 10 home runs in 132 games. 

MILLER, 32, posted a 4.02 ERA across 15.2 innings pitched for the Washington Nationals last season. He also landed on the injured list twice and made 19 Minor League appearances. The 6-3, 215lb. righty has spent five seasons in the Major Leagues, having also pitched for the Detroit Tigers and Colorado Rockies compiling a 4.43 ERA, a 1.26 WHIP, 54 walks and 159 strikeouts over 156.1 innings.  

Player Profile:

Phillipe Aumont


Andy Burns


A.J. Cole


Patrick Kivlehan


Justin Miller


Minimum-wage Marlies help new Leafs coach Keefe — Toronto Sun

When Sheldon Keefe checks his new scoring forward assets, it starts with six first-round picks, four of them high on the NHL salary grid at between $6.9 to $11.6 million US, two of them No. 1 overall draft selections. Yet the coach of the Maple Leafs has a place in the lineup — and his […]

Minimum-wage Marlies help new Leafs coach Keefe — Toronto Sun

Wood scores career-high 28 as Pistons blow out Spurs — New Delhi Times

Pistons coach Dwane Casey has believed since training camp that he was the right person to unlock Christian Wood’s potential. On Sunday, he got another sign he might be right. Wood came off the bench to score a career-high 28 points in 22 minutes as Detroit routed the San Antonio Spurs 132-98. “Christian is a […]

Wood scores career-high 28 as Pistons blow out Spurs — New Delhi Times

Celtics Wrap: Jayson Tatum Drops 30 Points In 113-104 Win Over Knicks — NESN.com

Considering the Boston Celtics faced an injury-riddled Brooklyn Nets team and simply disastrous Knicks squad in their weekend trip to New York, it would have been problematic if they returned to Boston winless. Crisis averted. Behind a game-high 30 points from Jayson Tatum, which tied his season high, the Celtics earned a 113-104 win over…

Celtics Wrap: Jayson Tatum Drops 30 Points In 113-104 Win Over Knicks — NESN.com

Lakers fade down the stretch in loss to Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks — Press Telegram

Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) dunks against the Dallas Mavericks during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis, top, scores over Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic (77) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Dec. …

Lakers fade down the stretch in loss to Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks — Press Telegram

Celtics Notes: Brad Stevens Gives Marcus Smart Update After Guard Leaves Vs. Knicks — NESN.com

[nesn_embed service=dailymotion src=”https://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/x7ooeem” width=”480″ height=”270″] Marcus Smart just can’t catch a break. The Boston Celtics guard has dealt with a myriad of minor injuries over the last few months dating back to the summer, and now you can add a “direct blow to the abdomen” to the list of ailments. [nesn_embed_the_score team=”celtics”] That’s precisely how […]

Celtics Notes: Brad Stevens Gives Marcus Smart Update After Guard Leaves Vs. Knicks — NESN.com

RAPTORS 130, JAZZ 110 QUOTES FROM BOTH TEAMS: “I think (the first half) was a lack of focus, which we shouldn’t have any lack of focus coming into a place like this. This is a team that we know is playing at a championship level, obviously, coming off of last season. We didn’t match their energy at all.” –MIKE CONLEY (20 pts.)




On the first half… We really did want to get out there and play with some pace. It is a good half court defensive team, we didn’t want to have to face (Rudy) Gobert at the rim as much as we could. We obviously wanted to get out and play with some pace but creating all those turnovers and getting out and running anytime is going to be good offence.

Was that the best half you have seen from that group? Yes, for sure. Shots were going in, defence was tough each possession, just about every possession. Those things feed each other, the defence feeds the offence.

On the third quarter… I think it was 40 at the half and down inside 20 pretty quickly. The history of it being 40, there is plenty of game left when it’s down to 19 with six to go in the third. That is manageable. We were trying to change some coverages and get a little more active and we just weren’t. They did a good job of getting downhill and firing it out and made all those shots. We just weren’t coming up with any stops – but I don’t really want to talk about that third quarter, if that’s all right. I am happy that we get a 20 point win against a quality team like that, you take that every day of the week.

On Serge Ibaka’s return to the lineup… He has a lot of experience in a lot of big games. He was a little rusty as you could see, but you know I think again, I always say what makes Serge special is when he really gets his motor cooking and he is blocking shots, he is a really intimidating factor in a game. We don’t lose those games very often. We he is cooking and going, he becomes a great presence on defence and his offence has been really solid this year.

On Fred VanVleet having zero turnovers… He handles it low to the ground, right? Uses his body to protect it, he’s got it on a string. I wouldn’t call him super quick but his movements are so deceptive that he will head fake one way and he is by a guy into the open. He just really knows how to play. He has a good knack of again, getting himself in and out of trouble. If he’s getting in trouble, he can escape dribble out of a double team a lot. He has an incredible knack for taking on bigger people at the rim, getting his body into them and somehow getting a pretty good layup up there. I think that is good, then they throw some size at him or they make a switch or whatever, he can score over people and if he can he will keep his dribble alive and squirt out the other side and try and find somebody.

MARC GASOL (11 points, five rebounds, six assists)

How important is it to make shots early with a shot blocker like Rudy Gobert out there? It’s just not the shot, it’s just having the ball out there, post him away from the basket because they want him to pressure me and make those passes at the elbow harder to see. There are different ways to get him away from the basket. Once he goes and collapses, spacing and moving without the ball is kind of important.

Is it strange to see Mike Conley in another jersey? Yeah, but we are so fortunate and it’s just great seeing him happy, healthy and that is all I can ask for. We had a great time last night, a great dinner and catching up, and now I can’t wait to go see his family when we go to Utah.

FRED VANVLEET (21 points, 11 assists, five rebounds)

How tough is it to play with a lead like that at the half? Yeah, it’s tough. It’s probably one of the harder things to do in the league is to play with a lead, especially a big lead like that, against a good team. I don’t think any of us expected to be up by 40 against that team. That’s the way the game goes sometimes and, as poorly as they played in the first half they, played just as good in the third quarter and they were able to shrink the lead a little bit. That’s the point of getting up big is to give yourself a cushion to finish out the game. I thought we did a good job in the fourth.

Are you surprised by the team’s play with guys out? Not really, I think the biggest thing for us was that road trip, just guys that haven’t played and throw them in there and have them fit in seamlessly and play as well as they’ve been playing. So I knew that we had enough talent, the resolve and coaching that we needed to win games. It’s just a matter of plugging guys in that haven’t played and those guys have been playing unbelievable. Not really surprised, more so just pleased with how we’ve been playing and something we need to continue to do and we are about a quarter of the way in, so we’ve got to continue to keep building and getting better. Once everybody gets back, that will probably be our real challenge, to start back over and try to find chemistry and minutes and figuring everything out from there.

PASCAL SIAKAM (35 points, five assists, five rebounds) On bouncing back after a tough shooting game in Orlando… You’re just mad. I’m mad at myself, as a competitor, I’ve always been that way. You understand that there are bad games and you are going to have games where shots are not going to fall, but at the same time, coming in the next game as a competitor, you have that mentality to get back to it and you want to get on the floor. For me, I wanted to play yesterday, that’s how bad I wanted it, so it’s part of the game, you continue to learn, continue to grow. In games where you are not going to score, you’ve got to find a way to help your team in other ways and as long as we are winning, we are good.

On seeing extra bodies defending you … We kind of knew Gobert was going to help a lot. Just having Marc there, stretching the floor, making sure early we give him the ball, and he has to shoot them to make them think a little bit. Once they give me a little space, I’m definitely more comfortable that way and I can attack, so that’s what I did.



How would you sum up what happened in the first half?

Well, obviously, we were awful. I think the important thing for us is to understand, there were a lot of reasons, but I think our urgency to make certain things important defensively, whether that be an assignment or sprinting back, not running back, not jogging back, against a team like Toronto that runs the way they do. There were too many breakdowns in too many possessions where we lacked the urgency we needed, and then obviously the offensive end puts you in positions where sometimes it’s next to impossible to do that. So to me fundamentally on the offensive end, moving the ball, spacing correctly, all the things you have to do collectively when you play against an excellent defensive team, that it requires you to connect and not just play together, but really commit to one another to doing all the little things you have to do to be successful. You can be successful on a possession or two, but those are the habits and the details when a team is as aggressive and as committed as they were to guarding us that you need in order to execute all the little details.

Do you respond differently because it’s the second game in a row you didn’t come out well to begin the game?

That’s a question that I want to watch the game, but as far as our response you can see that a couple of ways. You can see how we responded in the second half the other night and won the game. We were so far down in the first half that it was difficult no matter how well we played to come back and win tonight’s game. Obviously, our focus to begin the game has to be better. When I say better, I think it has to be more directed to the things we need to do to be successful and sometimes those aren’t sweeping things. Sometimes it’s not making a shot, that can always happen but that doesn’t need to be your focus because that is something you can’t control. So far us to be able to control the things that we can, in order to do that we have to feel on a deep level that they are important.

MIKE CONLEY (20 points, three rebounds, two assists)

What happened in the first half?

It was disappointing. I think it was a lack of focus, which we shouldn’t have any lack of focus coming into a place like this. This is a team that we know is playing at a championship level, obviously, coming off of last season. We didn’t match their energy at all. We knew it was going to be physical. We didn’t handle the ball well, we didn’t get back on defense, we didn’t do the little things that the good teams do. We have control over that and that’s the most disappointing part of this. We just didn’t come to play in that first half.

What leads to that lack of focus coming into a game?

It’s tough. Every game is different. Tonight, I think it was just we got into a game where we were giving them too many fast-break opportunities because we were turning over the ball all over and making mental errors defensively. It was a snowball effect. Everybody kind of got down and we knew playing against a team like we (were) tonight you cannot have five minute spans where you don’t score or you don’t even get shot attempts up because you’re turning the ball over, or just not doing the small things that leads to wins. We’ve got to be better.

What went well in the third quarter?

Honestly, I thought it started defensively. We just started to pick it up, started being more physical, not worrying about foul calls, not worrying about contact, playing through things, not being so cool, just kind of getting into our uncomfortable zone. That’s something I talked to the guys with – be okay with being uncomfortable, try to work in that zone and I think that will help us. That’s something we were doing in that third quarter, we were playing hard and playing for each other, making extra passes and that’s Jazz basketball.

RUDY GOBERT (12 points, 11 rebounds)

On the first half

They outplayed us on both ends. I think we, against the most physical team, turned the ball over a lot. They are also the best transition team in the NBA so they punished us on the other end. It went pretty quick, they just overpowered us in the first half, made some big stops and then we got down by, I don’t know, 37? 39? 40. Our offense really hurt us, our defense really hurt us, the turnovers really hurt us and then they got going.

Are the back-to-back slow starts a concern moving forward?

I don’t think it’s a concern. It’s something that we can look at and be better at it. Other great teams, they start the game well and they finish the game well. You can’t just start a game like we did and think that we are going to just come out in the third and the win the game like we did in Memphis. We have got to have a chip on our shoulder and it’s got to start at the first minute and every time we punch first we are going to be in a good position to win the game.

RAPTORS 130, JAZZ 110 POSTGAME NOTES: “The Raptors led 77-37 at the half … It was Toronto’s largest halftime lead (+40) in team history and Utah’s biggest deficit at the half in franchise history … It also tied for the eighth largest halftime lead in NBA history.”


DATE: December 1, 2019 ATTENDANCE: 18,132


Utah 110 12-8 Conley – 20 Gobert – 11 O’Neale – 5

Toronto 130 15-4 Siakam – 35 Hollis-Jefferson – 6 VanVleet – 11

KEY RUN Trailing 9-5 early in the first quarter, the Raptors went on 23-2 run to lead by 17 points with 3:24 left … Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol scored 19 and 11 points, respectively, as Toronto led 37-20 after one quarter.

KEY STAT The Raptors led 77-37 at the half … It was Toronto’s largest halftime lead (+40) in team history and Utah’s biggest deficit at the half in franchise history … It also tied for the eighth largest halftime lead in NBA history … The Raptors shot .604 (29-for-48) in the first half, including .684 (13-for-19) from three-point range.


• With the victory, Toronto improves to 15-4 this season and a perfect 9-0 at home … The Raptors have now won a season-high seven in a row.

• Toronto is one of just four teams in the NBA still without a loss at home … The Raptors’ nine straight victories at Scotiabank Arena to open the season is a franchise record.

• The Raptors have won 11 of their last 13 meetings with the Jazz.

• Utah scored 49 points in the third quarter – tying the franchise record for points allowed in a quarter … Chicago scored 49 points in the fourth frame Dec. 22, 2014

. • Pascal Siakam led the Raptors with 35 points in 35 minutes of action – his eighth 30-point performance of the season and third in the last five games (Nov. 23 – Dec. 1)

. • Fred VanVleet recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 21 points and a season high-tying 11 assists in 32 minutes … VanVleet scored 20 or more for the ninth time.

• Toronto’s starting lineup combined for 92 points, including 61 in the first half. • The Raptors had eight players score double figures – Siakam (35), VanVleet (21), Norman Powell (15), Terence Davis ll (13), Serge Ibaka (13), Marc Gasol (11), OG Anunoby (10) and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (10) … Ibaka returned to the lineup after missing the previous 10 games (Nov. 10-29) with a right ankle sprain … The Raptors improved to 10-0 when Anunoby scores in double digits.


• With the loss, Utah falls to 12-8 on the season and 4-7 on the road … The Jazz are now 1-3 on their current five-game road trip (Nov. 25 – Dec. 2) … Utah plays at Philadelphia tomorrow night.

• Utah outrebounded Toronto 51-43, including 15-7 advantage on the offensive glass … The Jazz had a 21-7 advantage in second chance points.

• Mike Conley led the Jazz in scoring for the second time with 20 points in 25 minutes of play – it was his fifth 20-point effort … Conley reached 12,000 career points in the first quarter.

• Rudy Gobert recorded his 12th double-double with 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

• The Jazz had five players score in double digits – Conley (20), Jeff Green (19), Donovan Mitchell (16), Gobert (12) and Bojan Bogdanovic (11).

MARLIES 5, UTICA 3: “The guys just stuck with it. That’s what we asked of them in between periods, said stick with it. Asked them to get a little more traffic on the net, they did exactly that and pucks went in for us.” –A.J. MacLEAN (asst. coach).

TORONTO MARLIES (15-3-2-1 – 33 Points) vs. UTICA COMETS (13-8-1-0 – 27 Points)

1 2 3 OT FINAL

UTICA 2 1 0 – 3

TORONTO 1 0 4 – 5



Utica: J. Gadjovich (4) (J. Bailey, L. Jasek), L. Jasek (4) SH (C. Bancks, B. Rafferty), J. Bailey (6) PP (R. Boucher, B. Rafferty) Goaltender: M. DiPietro (17/22)

Toronto: A. Brooks (3) PP (J. Bracco, P. Aberg), H. Elynuik (1) (J. Schmaltz, T. MacMaster), A. Brooks (4) (E. Korshkov, M. Marincin), J. Lindgren (1) (A. Brooks, J. Bracco), A. Brooks (5) (J. Bracco, D. Archibald) Goaltender: K. Kaskisuo (17/20)

Adam Brooks opened the scoring on the power play at 4:55 of the first period, scored his second goal at 10:48 of the third period and scored his third goal to complete the hat trick at 17:39 of the third period. He also added the primary assist on Lindgren’s third period goal. This was Brooks’ first four-point game of his AHL career. This was his first hat trick of the season and second of his career.

Hudson Elynuik scored Toronto’s second goal at 9:19 of the third period. This was his first goal of the season. Elynuik has three points (1 goal, 2 assists) through 19 games this season.

Jesper Lindgren scored Toronto’s fourth goal and the game-winner at 14:45 of the third period. This was his first career AHL goal. Lindgren has five points (1 goal, 4 assists) in 15 games this season.

• Jeremy Bracco assisted on all three of Brooks’ goals. This was his 100th career AHL assist. This was his third threepoint game of the season.

• Pontus Aberg recorded the secondary assist on Brooks’ first period goal. Aberg has points (3-9-12) through nine games.

• Jordan Schmaltz registered the primary assist on Elynuik’s third period goal. • Tanner MacMaster picked up the secondary assist on Elynuik’s third period goal. MacMaster has picked up a point (4-5-9) in each of his last nine games. Egor Korshkov registered the primary assist on Brooks’ first third period goal. Korshkov has 15 points (8 goals, 7 assists) through 21 games.

• Martin Marincin recorded the secondary assist on Brook’s first third period goal. • Darren Archibald picked up the secondary assist on Brook’s second third period goal. Archibald has five points (3 goals, 2 assists) in five consecutive games.

• Kasimir Kaskisuo stopped 17 of the 20 shots he faced. Kaskisuo is now 8-1-1-0 on the season with a .924 Save Percentage and a 2.20 Goals Against Average.

• The Toronto Maple Leafs announced that Greg Moore was named head coach of the Toronto Marlies. • Assistant coaches Rob Davison and A.J. MacLean assumed duties behind the bench for today’s game against Utica. Toronto is 5-1-0-0 under Davison and MacLean.
• Toronto last recorded a hat trick on November 16, 2019 against Texas. Kenny Agostino scored three goals in the 8-4 win. • Two Marlies (Kenny Agostino and Nic Petan) last recorded four-points in Toronto’s matchup against Belleville on November 1, 2019. • Toronto was 5-for-6 on the penalty kill and was 1-for-5 on the power play. Toronto has scored a goal on the power play in their last four games (5/17). • Toronto had a 22-20 edge in shots in all situations. Adam Brooks led the Marlies with six shots on goal. • The Marlies are 7-1-2-1 against North Division opponents and are 1-1-0-0 against the Utica Comets.
• Goals: K. Agostino (11) • Assists: J. Bracco (17) • Points: P. Aberg (24) • PPG: E. Korshkov (4) • Shots: P. Aberg (66) • +/-: P. Aberg, B. Harpur, T. Kivihalme (+11) • PIMS: G. Wilson (45)
• Toronto is 11-3-1-1 when scoring first. • The Marlies are 5-0-1-0 when trailing after the first period and 3-1-2-0 when trailing after the second period. • Toronto is 7-1-1-0 when outshooting their opponent. • The Marlies are 4-0-1-0 in Sunday games and are 1-0-0-0 in December.

• Pontus Aberg has points (2-6-8) in five consecutive games. • Darren Archibald has points (3-2-5) five consecutive games. • Jeremy Bracco has assists (4) in consecutive games. • Egor Korshkov has assists (3) in three consecutive games. • Tanner MacMaster has points (4-5-9) in nine consecutive games. • Jordan Schmaltz has assists (2) in consecutive games.

• Kevin Gravel (illness) did not dress for today’s game against Utica.
• November 30: Recalled forward Justin Brazeau from loan to Newfoundland (ECHL). • November 29: Loaned defenceman Martin Marincin from Toronto (NHL).
On Toronto’s comeback in the third period: The guys just stuck with it. That’s what we asked of them in between periods, said stick with it. Asked them to get a little more traffic on the net, they did exactly that and pucks went in for us. I couldn’t be more proud of our guys, they really dug in at the end of a long week.
On the team’s two wins in their first three-in-three: It’s good character from the guys. Good leadership all the way right through. They didn’t give up. It would have been an easy game to kind of pack your hat and say we’ll live to fight another day but they dug in. They stuck with it. As a coaching staff, we’re extremely proud of them.
On Adam Brooks’ four-point performance: It was really nice to see him get rewarded. I think since he’s been back since his injury awhile ago he’s been really skating well. He plays well, he plays hard, he’s competitive, and it was really nice to see him get rewarded


December 4 at Rochester – 7:05 p.m. ET December 7 vs San Antonio – 4:00 p.m. ET December 8 vs San Antonio – 4:00 p.m. ET December 11 at Utica – 7:00 p.m. ET December 14 vs Belleville – 4:00 p.m. ET