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CHARLOTTE - Jonas Valanciunas took a quick glance at the stat sheet, no longer banned post-game, crumpled it up into a ball and

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01:06, Nov 30 2017

CHARLOTTE - Jonas Valanciunas took a quick glance at the stat sheet, no longer banned post-game, crumpled it up into a ball and hurled it across the locker room. Francisco Cervelli Jersey . At the bottom of the page the final score read "100-95" - Torontos third loss in four games - but it was how they got there that had the Raptors young centre shaking his head as he destroyed the evidence. In the less literal sense he wasnt alone. The Raptors locker room was filled with distraught players drowning their sorrows in a sea of chicken fingers and mac and cheese at the post-game buffet, eager to forget about their most recent setback. "We cant really panic, but weve got to hold each other accountable," said Greivis Vasquez, moments after his team failed to close out what would have been a historic comeback in eventual defeat to a familiar, albeit perplexing foe, the Charlotte Bobcats. "Its easy when we win and you smile and youre cool, youre hanging around, but when you face adversity or obstacles, thats when you really show your character, so now weve really got to show what [were] made of." For Vasquez - who helped engineer Torontos late-game run - his teammates and his coach, there were no moral victories to be celebrated after cutting a 30-point third quarter deficit to one with 26 seconds remaining. No moral victories, not anymore, not if they fancy themselves a playoff contender. Instead the question was, how could they fall behind by 30 to the Bobcats - who had lost 10 of 13 and were playing without Kemba Walker - in the first place? "Effort," Kyle Lowry said, and repeated six times in a three-minute scrum. For the final 16 minutes they played with plenty of it, outscoring the nemesis Bobcats 54-29 to close out the game. For the first 32 it was nowhere to be found. "Thats it, effort," the Raptors point guard continued. "That simple. Effort." Its not that simple, not for the teams fans or coaching staff that were left to wonder where that effort went for two and a half quarters in a game the Raptors sorely needed. "Its a long season but you tell a lot about who you are in these situations," Dwane Casey said. "Today was a gut-check game and the fourth quarter we turned it around but its about what we did in the first three quarters thats disappointing." Coming off a loss to the corpse of the Los Angeles Lakers 24 hours earlier, and an equally disheartening defeat in Boston last week, the Raptors scored a season-low 11 points in the first quarter. For the second straight day they attempted nearly three times as many three-pointers as free throws and allowed the leagues 28th ranked offensive team to score 100 points on 49 per cent shooting. The loss was their seventh straight in Charlotte to a Bobcats team that has been varying degrees of terrible throughout that span of Raptors futility. "Weve got to take these two losses to heart," said Vasquez who had 15 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, his best line as Raptor. "Were professionals, we know what were playing for, so, [theres] no excuses on this team. Some guys just got to step up and understand what were playing for." "I think were fine," he continued. "Weve just got to wake up and understand that one loss cant really take us down, but one win can really build some good momentum." Veteran bruiser Chuck Hayes put it best. "Its an emotional roller coaster in this league." A week ago they were riding high, winners of three straight and eight of 10, since then theyve crashed back down to earth. Where do they truly stand in the grand scheme of things? Likely somewhere in the middle. Success in the league is fickle, as Casey knows and Hayes has learned in his years of service. "After the momentum we had in December you would kind of hope it would shift over into the New Year but the New Year aint been so good to us so far," said Hayes, who recorded his first double-double - 12 points and 13 rebounds - since Apr. 11, 2011. "But theres a lot of basketball left." Hayes, along with fellow reserves Vasquez and Patrick Patterson, played the bulk of the fourth quarter in place of frontcourt tandem Valanciunas and Amir Johnson, who each played less than 19 minutes, and Terrence Ross, who logged 21. For the fourth straight game Valanciunas failed to eclipse 23 minutes or score in double figures, shooting 6-for-21 over that stretch. On Monday he was overwhelmed in a daunting matchup with crafty, low-post shaman Al Jefferson. The Raptors sophomore bit on Jeffersons pump fakes, got beat on the boards and most alarmingly let his frustration get the better of him. Jefferson, who had a double-double after the first quarter, finished with 22 points and 19 boards. Fellow sophomore Ross has also seen his performance slip over the teams recent slide, recording just one point on Monday, shooting 0-for-6. Meanwhile, Johnson connected on just one of his four attempts and has exceeded 10 rebounds in one of his last 15 contests. "Weve got to find a start that fits us," said Casey, who wouldnt rule out an eventual lineup change but insisted its too early to make that call. "You cant spot any team in this league 25-30 points and expect to be successful." The Raptors will be given a much-needed day of reflection before hosting the Mavericks on Wednesday. It will be the first time theyve faced a winning team in seven games. After squandering three golden opportunities in six days, it could be the wakeup call they need. "Weve got another game," said Hayes. "This is not it, [its] just a little adversity and weve got to find a way to respond." Stolmy Pimentel Jersey .A. Dickey earned an American League Gold Glove on Tuesday to become the first Toronto Blue Jays pitcher to win the award. Starling Marte Jersey . Erik Cole scored on a breakaway with 4:49 to play, and the Stars rallied to defeat the Minnesota Wild 4-3 on Saturday night. http://www.officialpiratesonline.com/customized/ . And I wanted to take this opportunity to share some of my experiences gained through International competition and the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Seven NHL referees and six linesmen will be assigned upcoming games in Sochi by the IIHF as part of their 28-man officiating roster comprised of 14 refs and 14 linesmen.TAMPA, Fla. -- Steven Stamkos scored his first goal since returning from a major injury, Ryan Callahan had his first goal with Tampa Bay, and the Lightning beat the Florida Panthers 5-4 on Thursday night. Stamkos gave Tampa Bay a 5-2 lead from the low left circle during a power play at 10:47 of the third. The Lightning star, playing in his fourth game since missing 45 games after breaking his right shin Nov. 11, also had an assist after three pointless games. Callahan scored from in-close to put the Lightning up 3-2 at 12:04 of the second. The Lightning obtained the right wing from the New York Rangers for former captain Martin St. Louis at the trade deadline. Tampa Bay, which had lost five straight (0-3-2) also got goals from Sami Salo, Michael Kostka and Tyler Johnson. Goalie Ben Bishop won his 30th game this season. Tomas Fleischmann, Quinton Howden, Scottie Upshall and Brandon Pirri scored for the Panthers, who have lost 11 of 14. Upshall and Pirri scored in the final 1:05 to get Florida to 5-4. Johhnson made it 4-2 with 1:07 left in the second when he sent the puck into the slot and it deflected off Florida defenceman Ed Jovanovski and past goalie Dan Ellis. Gregory Polanco Jersey. Stamkos assisted on Johnsons goal. The teams both scored twice in the first 8:18 of the game. Florida, which entered last in road power play at 6.5 per cent (8 for 124) converted its first chance on Fleischmanns goal at 1:44. After Salo tied it at 5:38, Howden put the Panthers up 2-1 on his first NHL goal, coming from the low left circle just 12 second later. Kostka tied it at 2 at 8:18. NOTES: It was Stamkos first goal since Nov. 9 against Detroit. ... Lightning C Valtteri Filppula had three assists. ... Ellis, acquired from Dallas for Tim Thomas on March 5, made his Panthers debut. ... It was Howdens first NHL game this season and 19th overall. He was recalled from San Antonio of the AHL Wednesday. ... Florida LW Sean Bergenheim didnt play due to a lower body injury. ... Salo (lower body) and teammate Radko Gudas (left leg) both played. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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