Thornton both pumped and pumped up to build on rookie season with Blue Jays — Toronto Sun

TAMPA – The intensity level pitcher Trent Thornton brings to the mound last season established him as one of the most competitive Blue Jays rookies in a clubhouse full of them. Read More

Thornton both pumped and pumped up to build on rookie season with Blue Jays — Toronto Sun

Alex Ovechkin Scores 700th Goal Of NHL Career; Watch Historic Shot — NESN.com

Alex Ovechkin finally has done it. The Washington Capitals left wing scored the 700th goal of his NHL career Saturday at Prudential Center during his team’s game against the New Jersey Devils. The Capitals were trailing 2-1 in the third period when Ovechkin rifled a one-timer into the Devils’ net, sparking a jubilant reaction from…

Alex Ovechkin Scores 700th Goal Of NHL Career; Watch Historic Shot — NESN.com

Heisler: Unexpectedly, the NBA finds itself in a golden age — Press Telegram

Welcome to the NBA’s Golden Age. No, really. Unimaginable as it seemed during last fall’s standoff with China, the NBA is in the midst of its greatest boom with Forbes projecting it will set an all-time record of $9.5 billion in revenue this season … up from last season’s record $8.8 billion. Since its international…

Heisler: Unexpectedly, the NBA finds itself in a golden age — Press Telegram

HURRICANES AT MAPLE LEAFS PREGAME NOTES: Pierre Engvall has played 32.4 percent of Toronto’s shorthanded ice time since joining the team, the second-highest shorthanded time on ice percentage among the NHL rookie forwards who have appeared in at least 30 games.- Has an on-ice goals-for percentage of 54.8 percent at 5-on-5, which is the third-highest among rookie forwards who have appeared in 30 games.

CAROLINA HURRICANES (34-22-4 – 72 Points) vs.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (32-22-8 – 72 Points)

FEBRUARY 22, 2020 ▪ 7:00 PM EST

SCOTIABANK ARENA (TORONTO, ON) ▪
TV: SPORTSNET/HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA ▪

RADIO: SPORTSNET 590 THE FAN

MAPLE LEAFS HISTORY versus CAROLINA

ALL-TIME RECORD:47-58-11-7 (123 Games)
ALL-TIME AT HOME:24-31-5-2 (62 Games)
2019-20:1-0-0
LAST FIVE:3-2-0
LAST 10:6-4-0

MAPLE LEAFS CAREER LEADERS versus CAROLINA

GAMES PLAYED:Jason Spezza (43), John Tavares (38), Morgan Rielly (19)
GOALS:John Tavares (26), Jason Spezza (20), Tyson Barrie (4), Mitch Marner (4)
ASSISTS:Jason Spezza (22), John Tavares (21), Mitch Marner (7)
POINTS:John Tavares (47), Jason Spezza (42), Mitch Marner (11)
PENALTY MINUTES:John Tavares (26), Kyle Clifford (24), Jason Spezza (20)

MAPLE LEAFS – HURRICANES TEAM STATS

 TORONTOCAROLINA
GOALS FOR (Rank):216 (t-1st)193 (t-8th)
GOALS AGAINST (Rank):       200 (27th)169 (9th)
POWER PLAY [%] (Rank):41/168 [24.4%] (3rd)39/180 [21.7%] (10th)
PENALTY KILL [%] (Rank):132/172 [76.7%] (25th)176/213 [82.6%] (t-7th)
SHOTS (Rank):2064 (3rd)1967 (11th)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPTS FOR (Rank):3122 (2nd)2849 (7th)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT % (Rank):52.4% (6th)54.3% (1st)
FACEOFF % (Rank):52.8% (3rd)48.4% (t-27th)

MAPLE LEAFS – HURRICANES NOTES

First Matchup between Clubs:October 31, 1979 vs. Hartford (Hartford 4, Toronto 2)
All-Time Record:47-58-11-7 (123 Games)
All-Time Record at Home:24-31-5-2 (62 Games)
All-Time Record on the Road:23-27-6-5 (61 Games)
Last Win vs. Opponent at Home:December 23, 2019 (Toronto 8, Carolina 6)
  

MAPLE LEAFS MILESTONES vs. HURRICANES

Frederik AndersenOriginally selected by Carolina in the seventh round (187th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft.
200th NHL game (October 26, 2017 vs. Carolina)
Travis Dermott100th NHL game (April 2, 2019 vs. Carolina)
John Tavares700th NHL game (December 11, 2018 at Carolina)
  

MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS

CATEGORYLEADER
GOALS43 (Matthews)
ASSISTS46 (Marner)
POINTS73 (Matthews)
POWER PLAY POINTS23 (Matthews)
SHORTHANDED POINTS(Engvall, Kapanen)
PIMs40 (Muzzin)
SHOTS250 (Matthews)
FACEOFF WIN%57.0% (Gauthier)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT %55.3% (Nylander)
BLOCKED SHOTS104 (Muzzin)
TAKEAWAYS66 (Matthews)
HITS106 (Muzzin)
TOI PER GAME24:15 (Rielly)
PP TOI PER GAME3:05 (Marner)
SH TOI PER GAME2:50 (Ceci)

MAPLE LEAFS SNAPSHOTS

Faceoffs– The Maple Leafs rank third among NHL teams in faceoff win percentage (52.9%) and are tied for third among NHL teams in offensive zone faceoff win percentage (53.9%).
Goals by Period– Toronto ranks third in the NHL in goals scored in the second period (80) and tied for fourth in the NHL in goals scored in the third period (73).
When Leading– The Maple Leafs are 15-2-1 when leading after a period, which is tied for the fifth-highest win percentage (.833) when leading through 20 minutes.
Power Play– The Maple Leafs are the lone NHL to score at least 40 power play goals (41) with fewer than 170 power play opportunities.
Penalty Kill– Toronto has been shorthanded 172 times this season, which is tied the eighth-fewest times shorthanded in the NHL.
Scoring First– Toronto has a .786 win percentage when scoring first, which is tied for the third highest in the NHL.

MAPLE LEAFS PLAYER NOTES

Frederik Andersen– Tied for fourth among NHL goaltenders in wins (25).- Ranks sixth in the NHL in saves (1,256).- Has a save percentage of .919 in 18 games played on one day rest.
Tyson Barrie– Has five multi-assist games, which is tied for 14th-most among NHL defencemen.- Tied for 12th among NHL defencemen in multi-point games (9).
– Averages 14.64 shot attempts per game at 5-on-5, which is the fourth-highest average among NHL defencemen who have played in at least 50 games.
Jack Campbell– Has a 3-0-1 record with a .919 save percentage and a 2.40 goals-against average since being acquired by the Maple Leafs.
Kyle Clifford– Tied for sixth among NHL left wingers who have appeared in 50 games in 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage (54.6%).
– Averages 15.08 shot attempts per 60 minutes of ice time, which ranks 17th among NHL forwards.
Pierre Engvall– Has played 32.4 percent of Toronto’s shorthanded ice time since joining the team, which is the second-highest shorthanded time on ice percentage among the League’s rookie forwards who have appeared in at least 30 games.- Has an on-ice goals-for percentage of 54.8 percent at 5-on-5, which is the third-highest among NHL rookie forwards who have appeared in 30 games.
Justin Holl– Ranks second in 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage (52.3%) among NHL defencemen who have started less than 45 percent of their 5-on-5 shifts in the offensive zone (43.3%).- Has the highest unblocked shot attempt percentage at 5-on-5 (53.0%) among NHL defencemen to have started fewer than 45 percent (43.3%) of their shifts in the offensive zone.- Has recorded seven (1-6-7) of his 16 points in 18 games against Metropolitan Division teams.
Zach Hyman– Third among Toronto skaters and tied for 30th among NHLers in points since January 1 (10-9-19; 21 GP).- Ranks fifth among Maple Leafs skaters in points per game (0.79).- Fourth among Toronto skaters in even-strength time on ice per game (15:58).
Kasperi Kapanen– Has drawn 15 penalties this season and taken six, which gives him the highest net penalties among Toronto skaters (+9) and ranks tied for 28th among NHL forwards.- Ranks third among Maple Leafs and 15th among NHL right wingers who have appeared in 50 games in assists per 60 minutes of ice time (1.18) at 5-on-5.
Alex Kerfoot– Ranks second among Toronto skaters who have appeared in 40 games in assists per 60 minutes of ice time (1.29) at 5-on-5.- Tied for seventh among Maple Leafs in even-strength points (7-16-23).- Seventh among Maple Leafs in primary assists (11).
Mitch Marner– Ninth among NHL skaters in assists (46).- Has 12 multi-assist games, which is tied for the fourth-most among NHL skaters.- Averaging 1.20 points per game, which is the 15th-highest average in the NHL.- Averaging 1.87 assists per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5, which is tied for fourth among NHLers who have appeared in at least 40 games.- Tied for ninth in the NHL in primary assists (29).
Auston Matthews– Tied for first among NHL skaters in goals (43).- Leads the NHL with 32 even-strength goals.- Leads the NHL in goals scored at 5-on-5 (27).- Leads the NHL in wrist shot goals (26).- Second in the NHL in multi-goal games (10).- Ranks 11th among NHL skaters in points (43-30-73).- Fourth in the NHL with 250 shots on goal.
William Nylander– Leads the Maple Leafs in game-winning goals (5).- One of nine NHLers to average at least 14:00 minutes per game at 5-on-5 (14:34) while maintaining a goal per 60-minute rate of at least 1.20 (1.24).- Tied for eighth in the NHL in goals scored at 5-on-5 (18).- Averaging 13.11 shot attempts per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5, which ranks ninth among NHL right wingers who average 14:00 per game at 5-on-5 (14:34).
Rasmus Sandin– Ranks sixth among rookie defencemen who have appeared in at least 10 games in points per 60 minutes of ice time (1.06) at 5-on-5. – Has a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 54.9 percent, which ranks third among rookie defencemen who have skated in at least 10 games.
Jason Spezza– Averaging 2.01 points per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5 this season, which is the fourth-highest average among Toronto skaters who have appeared in at least 40 games.- Averaging 0.88 goals per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5 this season, which ranks fourth among Maple Leafs who have appeared in at least 40 games.- Averaging 1.13 assists per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5, which is the sixth-highest average among Toronto skaters.
John Tavares– Tied for 20th among NHL skaters in multi-point games (16).- Has 12 points (5-7-12) in 11 games during the month of February.- Ranks 13th in the NHL in faceoff wins (544)- Has drawn a team-high 15 penalties this season. – Has 19 points (6-13-19) in 15 games against Metropolitan Division teams this season.
  

CURRENT POINT STREAKS

Auston MatthewsHas points (1-1-2) in two consecutive games.
Jake MuzzinHas assists (4) in three consecutive games and points (2-4-6) in four consecutive games.
William NylanderHas points (1-1-2) in two consecutive games.
  

UPCOMING MILESTONES

William NylanderOne game from 300 games.
Jason SpezzaThree assists from 600 assists
  

RECENT MILESTONES

Kyle CliffordFirst goal as a Maple Leaf (February 18 at Pittsburgh)
Egor KorshkovFirst NHL game (February 16 at Buffalo)
First NHL goal (February 16 at Buffalo)
First NHL point (Goal) (February 16 at Buffalo)
Denis MalginFirst game as a Maple Leaf (February 20 vs. Pittsburgh)
  

INJURY REPORT

Cody Ceci (Ankle)On injured reserve.
Andreas Johnsson (Knee)On injured reserve.
Ilya Mikheyev (Wrist Laceration)On injured reserve.
Morgan Rielly (Foot)On injured reserve.
 Man Games Lost: 164

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

February 21Loaned forward Egor Korshkov to the Toronto Marlies (AHL).
February 19Acquired forward Max Veronneau from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for forward Aaron Luchuk and a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.
February 19Acquired forward Denis Malgin from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forward Mason Marchment.
February 18Loaned forward Mason Marchment to the Toronto Marlies (AHL).
February 16Recalled forwards Egor Korshkov and Mason Marchment from the Toronto Marlies (AHL).
Placed forward Andreas Johnsson on injured reserve.
  

NEW YORK RANGERS 5, CAROLINA HURRICANES 2 Postgame Notes – February 21, 2020 Attendance: 18,680 (Sellout)

CAROLINA HURRICANES SCORING NOTES Per Time Goal Scorer Assists STR Score 2 3:25 Brock McGinn (7) Jordan Staal (14), Jaccob Slavin (26) EV 1-1 3 5:12 Sebastian Aho (35) Andrei Svechnikov (32), Jaccob Slavin (27) PP NYR 4-2 — Jordan Staal posted an assist tonight and has now registered three points in his last four games (2/14-2/21: 1g, 2a). — Jaccob Slavin tallied two assists for his fourth multi-point game of the season and the 16th of his career.

NEW YORK RANGERS SCORING NOTES Per Time Goal Scorer Assists STR Score 1 16:41 Mika Zibanejad (27) Unassisted EV NYR 1-0 2 9:48 Jesper Fast (9) Artemi Panarin (50), Jacob Trouba (18) EV NYR 2-1 2 16:09 Brady Skjei (8) Ryan Strome (37), Mika Zibanejad (31) EV NYR 3-1 3 1:10 Artemi Panarin (31) Mika Zibanejad (32), Filip Chytil (9) PP NYR 4-1 3 18:12 Ryan Strome (16) Jacob Trouba (19) EV-EN NYR 5-2

GO FISH Sebastian Aho scored a goal tonight to extend his point streak to 11 games (1/21-2/21: 11g, 6a), marking his longest point streak of the season and the second-longest of his career. He is currently on his longest point streak since opening last season with a 12-game point/assist streak from 10/4/18-10/30/18 (4g, 13a). Aho’s active streak is the longest point streak by a Hurricanes skater this season. In team history (since relocation) he is one of two players to record multiple 10-game point streaks, joining Eric Staal, who accomplished the feat four times.

SEABASS FINDS THE NET Sebastian Aho’s goal tonight marked his 10th goal in nine games this month, which leads all NHL skaters in February 2020. He has now recorded the third 10-goal month of his NHL career, having previously accomplished the feat earlier this season in both November and December.

YEAH SVECH Andrei Svechnikov posted an assist tonight to extend his point streak to nine games (2/2-2/21: 5g, 6a). This ties the longest point streak of his career, matching his nine-game point streak earlier this season from 11/9-11/27 (5g, 8a). Svechnikov currently ranks second on the team in goals (24) and assists (32), and he is tied with Teuvo Teravainen for second on the team in points (56).

BROCK ON Brock McGinn scored a goal in his 300th career NHL/Hurricanes game tonight. He is Carolina’s fifth skater to play their 300th career NHL game this season, joining Sebastian Aho, Ryan Dzingel, Joel Edmundson and Brett Pesce. McGinn is also the fourth player on the team to play their 300th career Hurricanes game in 2019-20, joining Aho, Pesce and Teuvo Teravainen.

SLAVIN AWAY Jaccob Slavin posted two assists tonight and has now recorded 10 points in the 13 games that Dougie Hamilton has missed due to injury (1/17-2/21: 1g, 9a). Slavin has now tallied 32 points (5g, 27a) through 60 games this season, surpassing the 31 points (8g, 23a) he registered in 82 games during the 201819 season. His career-high for points in a season is 34, set during the 2016-17 season (5g, 29a).

FULL HOUSE Tonight’s attendance was a sellout figure of 18,680, marking Carolina’s third consecutive sellout and 11th of the season. The Hurricanes are averaging 16,690 fans per game through 31 games at PNC Arena in 2019-20, for an increase of 20.1% over their average through 31 home games last season (13,902).

GOING BACK-TO-BACK Carolina opened their 10th of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season tonight. After tonight, the Hurricanes are 6-4-0 in the first game and 5-4-0 in the second game of back-to-backs in 2019-20.

BACK IN BLACK Carolina wore their black alternate uniforms for the 12th of 15 times in 2019-20, and they now own a 7-4-1 record so far this season in those games. Since debuting their current third jerseys in the 2018-19 season, the Hurricanes have posted a 23-8-3 record (including regular season and playoffs) when wearing their black uniforms.

FULL SIXTY The Hurricanes played their 60th game of the season tonight and have posted a 34-22-4 record for 72 points in 2019-20. Carolina has posted their secondmost wins and points through 60 games in franchise history, trailing only the 2005-06 season when the Hurricanes posted a 42-14-4 record for 88 points through their first 60 games.

SPECIAL TEAMS – Carolina went 1-for-4 on the power play tonight and is now 39-for-180 (21.7%) on the man-advantage this season. The Hurricanes went 3-for-4 on the penalty kill and are now 176-for-213 (82.6%) on the kill this season. – New York went 1-for-4 on the power play tonight and is now 45-for-193 (23.3%) on the man-advantage this season. The Rangers went 3-for-4 on the penalty kill and are now 159-for-200 (79.5%) on the kill this season.

SHOTS BY PERIOD TEAMS

1st 2nd 3rd OT Total

New York 10 19 7 – 36

Carolina 11 8 10 – 29

Williamson’s streak brings the Pelicans to the doors of the playoffs — archyde

Rookie power forward Zion Williamson contributed 25 points as the leader of the New Orleans Pelicans attack, who won at home 115-128 at the Portland Trail Blazers. The Pelicans, who led by up to 22 points, have won four of their last five games and enter the fight for eighth place in the Western Conference. […]

Williamson’s streak brings the Pelicans to the doors of the playoffs — archyde

RAPTORS 118, SUNS 101–WHAT THE TEAMS SAID: “I told the guys there were some great, great stretches of play out there. We really came out with a pace and aggressiveness, flying around and into the ball, challenging shots. Then the game lost its rhythm – and every ounce of enjoyability – there in the third quarter, so we just had to hang on. Nobody was having any fun out there and with about five minutes to go I said I am having about as much fun as you guys, probably less the way I feel right now, but we have to dig in together and go play.” –NICK NURSE.

(22-34) PHOENIX SUNS, 101 VS. (41-15) TORONTO RAPTORS, 118 SCOTIABANK ARENA FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2020

TORONTO RAPTORS QUOTES

NICK NURSE (HEAD COACH)

On deciding when to bring Serge Ibaka back into the game … I was leaning on doing it earlier than I did, then Rondae (Hollis-Jefferson) had kind of a nice stretch going there, so that enabled us to grab a few more minutes and then you get down to six or five you might as well do it and see what happens. Change the matchups and stuff and try and get him off (Deandre) Ayton so they can’t just throw it in the post and go right at him. It’s good though, he had a good impact there late.

On Serge changing the tempo of the game when he came back in … You just have to get your best guys out there and as well as Rondae played, Serge was a little bit of a bigger presence on the shot blocking, rebounding and spacing on the perimeter. He hit a big three there, he called bank on that.

On the defensive energy … I don’t know, we were really good tonight, I thought. I told the guys there were some great, great stretches of play out there. We really came out with a pace and aggressiveness, flying around and into the ball, challenging shots. Then the game lost its rhythm – and every ounce of enjoyability – there in the third quarter, so we just had to hang on. Nobody was having any fun out there and with about five minutes to go I said I am having about as much fun as you guys, probably less the way I feel right now, but we have to dig in together and go play. Then we got a couple of stops and Pascal (Siakam) makes roll, Kyle (Lowry) makes the three. There was some really nice execution down the stretch. On Rondae’s ability to guard bigger guys … He is strong, he has big base and he is not afraid. He is a strong dude but he has the lower half and gets down and holds his ground and not let them move him too much and he is kind of quick too, he will jump from side to side. You couple that with some pretty quick hands, if they do bring it down he will take a swat at it. Not afraid down there that’s for sure.

PASCAL SIAKAM (37 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, three blocks)

On the return from All-Star Weekend… I had a good time. Just hanging out with family (and) kind of getting away from after the All-Star Game … and getting ready for the second part of the season. So I just feel energized and obviously tonight, coming in with more energy and just playing with more passion.

Did it feel like you had some fresh legs in the first quarter? Yeah, I mean, you could say that. But at the same time when you’re making shots everything feels good and everything looks good. But I think I just liked the fact that I was more engaged and kind of showed some passion. I think that’s important and that’s something that I kind of try to make sure that I get engaged and find a way to get engaged and find a way to not just be out there. I think it’s easy to just relax and I think when you play with more energy and you’re more engaged, everything else kind of falls into place.

On expanding his offensive role… It’s a combination. I think everyone knows what’s the deal. We played (together) for a long time and the guys on the floor are the generals – the Kyles (Lowry) and the Freds (VanVleet) – they know how to put us in a position to win and obviously for me, just being aggressive, being assertive, and making sure I just go out there and show that type of energy every single night and make sure that I don’t get – I don’t want to say complacent because I never do – but just like knowing that you’ve got to at the other player that’s guarding your neck every single time that you get out of the cage or something. Having that mentality I think that’s something I have to work on and coming into the second half of the season that’s something I want to put more emphasis on.

KYLE LOWRY (13 points, 10 assists, five rebounds)

On expanding Pascal’s offensive role… I think it means more so letting him bring the ball down, playing a point guard a little bit more, kind of dictating offence from the top, making passes to other players and I think just getting more of a role of sometimes being the initiator of offence.

When the game loses its rhythm, how to you make sure that you power through? Well, we’re a good team, so we just continue to pick each other up, stay in the moment and understand that emotions are going to be high, but we’re still going to find a way to win the game. That’s all that really matters.

PHOENIX SUNS QUOTES

MONTY WILLIAMS (HEAD COACH)

What keyed the comeback in the fourth quarter? Just the aggression that we should have started the game with. Willie (Green) said it best in the back, it was just a tale of two halves. I think we were plus-seven in the second half – the first half I don’t know what it was, but it wasn’t great. I’m sure they expected us to make a run, and then when we had it to six we just couldn’t knock down the open three or execute a certain play, and they got us in transition. I said it before the game started that was going to be the game; we just did not have the urgency in transition for the duration of the game to beat like that. I thought their physicality in the first half got us out of rhythm, and then in the second half we played our style of basketball and made it a game.

On the three-point shooting… We missed, I mean six for 34, they shot 14-37, and we’re both playing the first game out of all-star break, so we just got to knock down shots. We had a ton of open looks, like wide open shots tonight, we just missed those. We know if we hit six more, it’s a different game. We’re not even talking about 50 percent, we’re talking in the thirties, NBA average, it’s a different game. So that happens, I’m proud of the way we fought, the resiliency that we showed. Devin (Booker) and Ricky (Rubio) set the tone in the third quarter, just getting up and getting deflections and steals that helped us get back into it.

RICKY RUBIO (13 points, nine assists)

What got you guys going in the second half? They set the tone early, that’s why they are a championship team. Even when they’re missing a lot of guys, when a guy comes in (he is) really ready to play. We’ve got to learn from that. We did a better job of matching their physicality. I will say that we didn’t do anything wrong except not playing with physicality in the first half. They weren’t running crazy plays, they just outplayed us. We tried to come back. I think Book got a wide open three that put us at, I think, a four-point game. Then they made a bank shot on a three and that was the game. We were close to coming back, but we’ve got to learn to play 48 minutes right from the beginning.

How does the Raptors length challenge you as a playmaker? They’re athletic. They block a lot of three-point shots, too. We have to be a little smarter on how they close out and just pump fake and getting to the lanes. You have to give them credit. They are long and they are big and they play with a lot of energy.

What lessons can you take moving into tomorrow’s game? One, the way we responded going down by 24 at the half and not giving up and giving us a chance to put it to a seven-point game or something like that with five minutes left. Second, learning how they play hard from the beginning. So, setting the tone really won the game for them in the first half.

DEVIN BOOKER (21 points, eight assists, five rebounds)

On tonight’s game… Obviously it was a game two halves. I call it a set-up game, straight out of the break, all the way in Toronto for an away game so we knew we would have to overcome some challenges. Finding our energy and getting our legs underneath us to start the game was one of them. We picked it up in the second half. Hopefully we can gain from that and see what worked for us and implement it into the game tomorrow.

On the near comeback… We got it down a couple of times – that shows the fight. It shows that we are able to get there. I think I missed an open three from Ricky and then they came back. Serge banked one in and then two threes after that. It could’ve been a three-point game but went to 12 or 14. We had a chance tonight and gave ourselves a chance, which was an uphill battle after the position we put ourselves in in the first half.

What’s one of the biggest things you can take from playing a championship team? They’re all on the same page. They play on a string on both ends of the ball. There’s no confusion. Their timing is hitting on all cylinders. That’s what happens when you play deep in the playoffs with teams and you fight together. That’s a high-caliber team over there. It shows why they’re successful.

What was the biggest factor in the team’s struggles from three-point range? They’re long and athletic. They tipped a lot of shots and got their hands on a lot of balls. Like, I said, with the pace of the game it took us a while to catch up and just get our legs under us. I think we shot six-for-33 from three. We’ll definitely improve on that tomorrow. That’s not the team we are. We’ll build from this.

Lakers squander big lead before putting away Grizzlies in return from break — Daily News

The Lakers’ Avery Bradley dribbles in front of Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant during the first quarter of Friday’s game at Staples Center. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) The Lakers’ LeBron James reacts as he splits the defense of Memphis’ Dillon Brooks, left, and Jaren Jackson Jr., during Friday’s game at Staples Center. (Photo by Harry…

Lakers squander big lead before putting away Grizzlies in return from break — Daily News

Gordon Hayward Leads Celtics’ Scoring in 127-117 Win Over Timberwolves — NESN.com

Gordon Hayward probably likes playing against the Minnesota Timberwolves, to say the least. In the Boston Celtics’ 127-117 in Minnesota on Friday, the forward led the balanced offense (among starters, at least) with 29 points, six rebouns and five assists shooting 12-for-17 from the field. He was just one-point shy of achieving four-straight 30-point games…

Gordon Hayward Leads Celtics’ Scoring in 127-117 Win Over Timberwolves — NESN.com

RAPTORS 118, SUNS 101 POSTGAME NOTES: With the win, Toronto improves to 41-15 this season and 22-7 at home … The Raptors have won five straight games vs. Phoenix, their longest winning streak against the Suns ever … Toronto is 6-1 in the month of February.

FINAL SCORE: TORONTO RAPTORS 118, PHOENIX SUNS 101
DATE: FEBRUARY 21, 2020 ATTENDANCE: 19,800 (Sellout)
FINAL SCORE RECORD HIGH POINTS HIGH REBOUNDS HIGH ASSISTS
Phoenix 101 22-34 Booker – 21 Ayton – 10 Rubio – 9
Toronto 118 41-15 Siakam – 37 Siakam – 12 Lowry – 10
KEY RUN
Leading 102-95 with 5:29 remaining in the fourth, Toronto went on a 9-2 run to push the lead to 14 with 2:44
left … The Raptors led by double figures the rest of the way.
KEY STAT
Toronto shot .525 (42-for-80) from the field, including .543 (25-for-46) in the first half … The Raptors are a
perfect 16-0 this season when they shoot 50 per cent from the floor.
RAPTORS NOTES:
• With the win, Toronto improves to 41-15 this season and 22-7 at home … The Raptors have won five
straight games vs. Phoenix, their longest winning streak against the Suns ever … Toronto is 6-1 in
the month of February … The Raptors continue a four-game homestand (Feb. 21-28) Sunday night
when they host the Indiana Pacers.
• The Raptors have won eight consecutive games at Scotiabank Arena (Jan. 17 – Feb. 21), their second
longest home winning streak of the season.
• Toronto outscored the Suns 30-17 on the fast-break.
• The Raptors led by as many as 26 points late in the first half.
• Toronto committed a season-high 25 turnovers.
• Pascal Siakam recorded his 11th double-double of the season with game highs of 37 points and 12
rebounds in 38 minutes … Siakam scored 17 points in the first quarter.
• Kyle Lowry posted his fifth straight double-double and 12th of the season with 13 points and a game-high 10 assists in 34 minutes … Lowry is averaging 17.0 points and 11.0 assists during this span.
• All five Toronto starters scored in double digits, combing for 92 points.
• The Raptors had seven players score double figures – Siakam (37), Serge Ibaka (16), Terence Davis
ll (14), Fred VanVleet (14), Lowry (13), OG Anunoby (12), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (10).
SUNS NOTES:
• With the loss, Phoenix falls to 22-34 on the season and 11-16 on the road … The Suns have lost five
in a row on the road … Phoenix continues a three-game road trip tomorrow night at Chicago.
• Deandre Ayton returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games (Feb. 10-12) with left ankle
soreness … Ayton recorded his 16th double-double with 17 points and 10 boards in 36 minutes.
• The Suns had four players score in double digits – Devin Booker (21), Ayton (17), Ricky Rubio (13) and Kelly Oubre Jr.(11).