Rockets end skid at 20, Wall has 1st triple-double since '16
Houston Rockets' John Wall (1) drives on Toronto Raptors' Fred VanVleet (23) during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 22, 2021, in Houston. But Wall had 19 points, 10 assists and 11 rebounds, his first triple-double since March 17, 2016. The Rockets closed out the third quarter with an 88-86 lead and opened the fourth quarter on a 9-1 run to pull away. AdThe Raptors led 28-27 at the end of the first quarter. In their losing streak, Houston led after the first quarter only three times, including on Feb. 26 when they led the Raptors 31-30.
NBA tells teams rules will be relaxed for vaccinated persons
No one in the NBA will be considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after receiving the final vaccine dose. Once that happens, rules for some of those individuals will change, the NBA said in a memo sent early Thursday to teams and obtained by The Associated Press. Had they been fully vaccinated, they would not have had to miss any time even after being around someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Toronto’s Fred VanVleet revealed earlier this week that he tested positive for the virus and that his recovery process, at times, was not easy. More than 100 players have tested positive this season, nearly half of them doing so in November just before training camps around the league opened.
USA Basketball picks 57 players for men's Tokyo Games pool
USA Basketball is a step closer to choosing the team that will play in this summer’s rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, releasing the names Thursday of 57 players who are part of the pool to fill the squad. It’s also already drawing major interest from some NBA stars who have yet to taste Olympic gold. USA Basketball will pare the list to a 12-person Olympic team by early summer. Jordan, who now plays for Brooklyn, is also a newcomer to the pool even though he was on the 2016 Olympic team. “But for USA Basketball to receive the commitment of so many outstanding players remains an indicator of the great honor of representing your country means to these men.”
Depleted Raptors hand Rockets 10th straight loss
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)TAMPA, Fla. – Norman Powell scored 30 points, Kyle Lowry had a triple-double and the depleted Toronto Raptors beat the Houston Rockets 122-111 on Friday night. AdLowry had 20 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists to help the Raptors hand the Rockets their 10th straight loss. Victor Oladipo led the Rockets with 27 points, and John Wall had 21 points and 12 assists. TIP-INSRockets: The last time the Rockets lost 10 straight games was Nov. 23-Dec. 20, 2001 during a 15-game losing streak. Raptors: The Raptors have not been involved in any of the NBA's 29 coronavirus postponements so far this season.
Raptors to keep calling Tampa home for rest of season
Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43) passes the ball over Orlando Magic guard Terrence Ross (31) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)The Toronto Raptors aren’t going back to Toronto this season. “It took us a while to get settled in," Raptors coach Nick Nurse said Thursday before Toronto played at Boston. The Raptors are 6-5 in their “home” building this season, Amalie Arena, which they’re sharing with the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning. Tampa also has the reigning Super Bowl champion Buccaneers and the Tampa Bay Rays played in the World Series last season. The Raptors tried to simulate the comforts the team has at home in Toronto, at least as much as possible.
A very rare NBA day: Curry, Jokic score 50 in losses
Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry instructs teammates during an offensive possession in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)Stephen Curry and Nikola Jokic were part of history Saturday. The NBA had two 50-point scorers in losing efforts on the same day for only the third time. Jokic scored 50 points in Denver’s loss to Sacramento, and Curry scored 57 points as Golden State fell in Dallas. There have been five 50-point efforts in the NBA so far this season, including Curry’s season-high, 62-point in the win over Portland.
VanVleet sets Raptors mark with 54 in 123-108 win at Orlando
Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet, left, drives around Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony (50) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)ORLANDO, Fla. – Fred VanVleet set a franchise record with 54 points and hit a career-best 11 3-pointers as the Toronto Raptors beat the short-handed Orlando Magic 123-108 on Tuesday night. AdNorman Powell had 23 points for Toronto, and Kyle Lowry posted a triple-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Orlando, which has lost 12 of 14, tried almost every guard on its roster against the 6-foot-1 VanVleet with little to no success. AdMagic: Orlando was without Gordon, who severely sprained his left ankle later in Sunday’s game against Toronto. Magic: Orlando hosts Chicago on Friday and Saturday in a two-game set.
We The South: The Raptors settling into their Tampa home
The Toronto Raptors and the Miami Heat tip off to start during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. The Raptors are playing their home games in Tampa as a result of Canada's strict travel regulations stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Familiarity is where we thrive,” said Teresa Resch, the Raptors’ vice president of basketball operations and one of the guiding forces behind the team’s move to Tampa. “The Toronto Raptors and their fans will not be disappointed here in Tampa Bay,” Tampa Mayor Jane Castor saidThe last time Tampa was on the NBA’s schedule prior to this season was in 2010, when Miami and Orlando were supposed to meet there in a preseason game. At least 17 times in the next 2 ½ months, the Raptors will be calling a court in Tampa home.
Celtics oust Raptors in Game 7, head to East finals vs. Heat
Tatum scored 29 points, Jaylen Brown had 21 and the Celtics topped the Toronto Raptors 92-87 on Friday night in Game 7 of the East semifinal series. The Raptors were bidding to become the seventh franchise in NBA history to win four consecutive Game 7's. Boston pushed the lead to nine, Toronto scored the next eight, eventually took the lead before the Celtics claimed it back. Raptors: Toronto was eliminated 456 days after winning the preceding season’s title, obviously the longest such run for a team that didn’t win consecutive championships. 2 seed in the East will make the conference finals since the NBA went to the 16-team playoff format in 1984; this one will feature No.
On to Game 7: Raptors survive Celtics in double-OT thriller
Fred VanVleet scored 21 points for the Raptors, who needed the win to extend their season, and Anunoby had 13 points and 13 rebounds. And tempers flared when it was over, everyone getting a few extra words in before Game 7 on Friday. Celtics: Brown took 18 shots in the first half, the most by a Celtics player in the first 24 minutes of a game since Antoine Walker took 18 on Nov. 29, 2002 also against Toronto. GAME 7 HISTORYThe Celtics will be in a Game 7 for the 33rd time; theyre 23-9 all-time but have lost four of their last seven ultimate games. Game 7 will be considered a Toronto home game.
Celtics roll in Game 5, take 3-2 series lead on Raptors
Jaylen Brown scored 27 points and the Celtics never trailed, rolling past the Toronto Raptors 111-89 in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series on Monday night. Boston now leads the series 3-2 and can earn a trip to the East finals on Wednesday. Toronto outscored Boston 28-25 in the third and it already didn't matter; the Celtics' lead was 87-63 going into the fourth. The Celtics scored more points in the second quarter (37) than they allowed in the first half (35). The Raptors went 1-0 last season in win-or-else games, that being the Game 7 triumph over Philadelphia in the East semifinals.
Raptors beat Celtics 100-93 to even East semifinals at 2-2
Two days after winning Game 3 on OG Anunobys 3-pointer as time expired, the Raptors didnt need any big shots. Jayson Tatum had 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics. 7-UPWhen Lowry and Brown fouled each other, it caused some headaches for the public address announcer, who mixed up his No. When Brown fouled Lowry in the first quarter, he announced the foul was on Lowry, saying my bad after a moment of confusion. Lowry hacked Brown in the second and it was announced as a foul on the Celtics player.
OG for 3: Anunoby beats buzzer to lift Raptors over Celtics
(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. Facing the absolute brink, the Toronto Raptors suddenly have life. OG Anunoby caught a crosscourt inbounds pass from Kyle Lowry and hit a 3-pointer with no time remaining, and the Raptors beat the Boston Celtics 104-103 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series Thursday night. The Celtics took a two-point lead when Kemba Walker found Daniel Theis for a dunk with a half-second left. Theis score left Toronto needing a miracle. When Siakam took a seat for the rest of the half, Toronto trailed 38-37.
Tatum, Smart lift Boston past Toronto, Celtics take 2-0 lead
Boston topped Toronto 102-99 on Monday night, taking a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal matchup. Youve got to win four.Smart scored 19 points, Walker had 17 and Jaylen Brown scored 16 for the Celtics. OG Anunoby had 20 points for Toronto, which got 19 from Fred VanVleet who missed a 28-footer as time expired. The Raptors scored only nine points in the next 10:39, and missed 23 of their final 28 shots overall. FIRST-HALF ANOMALIESThere were a pair of unexpected shooting notes from the first half: Toronto didnt take a free throw and Walker went 0 for 8 from the field.
Family reunion: NBA players begin seeing guests in bubble
With his Toronto Raptors coming off a bad playoff loss, their long-awaited reunion was a great way to cheer him up. Players began reuniting with family members in the bubble Monday, giving them a feeling of home during a marathon road trip. NBA teams began arriving at Disney on July 7 but the Raptors have been on the road even longer. Families began arriving in the Orlando area last week so they could quarantine before being permitted in the bubble. They would also get one ticket authorizing entry for one adult who could hold a child 2-foot-8 or shorter to each of that teams playoff games.
Frustrated NBA players wonder again whether they should play
But its not working, so obviously something has to be done and right now our focus really shouldnt be on basketball, Celtics guard Marcus Smart said. Players are trying to figure out not only how to revive them, but keep them going long after they leave the bubble. James has focused on the need to vote, not only in November but long after, no matter who wins the presidential election. He said being in the bubble gives a feeling of helplessness, because he isn't able to do that again. Things have kind of diminished.
VanVleet, Powell lead Raptors past Nets 104-99 for 2-0 lead
The victory gave the Raptors a 2-0 lead in the first round plyoff series. Kyle Lowry had 21 points, nine rebounds and forced a big turnover in the closing seconds for the second seeded Raptors. But this game was much closer as the Nets built a 14-point lead in the first quarter. Toronto was in control after that, stretching the lead to eight on Powell's drive and dunk from the right wing. Caris LeVert had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Jarrett Allen and Joe Harris each had 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Nets.
Celtics build 40-point lead, roll past Raptors 122-100
And Celtics coach Brad Stevens is already making it clear if that happens, a blowout win over the Raptors now won't mean anything then. Jaylen Brown scored 20 points, Jayson Tatum added 18 and the Celtics never trailed on the way to an emphatic 122-100 win over the Raptors on Friday night. It was 91-57 entering the fourth, and the Raptors went with subs the rest of the way. Raptors: Toronto needs one win in its final four games for a fifth consecutive 50-win season. The Raptors missed nine of their first 10 shots on the way to a 12-2 early deficit, setting the tone.
VanVleet scores career-best 36, Raptors top Heat 107-103
Miami Heat's Goran Dragic (7) greets Toronto Raptors' Fred VanVleet (23) after an NBA basketball game Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. Fred VanVleet scored a career-high 36 points and made seven 3-pointers, and the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors added to their strong restart with a 107-103 victory over the Miami Heat on Monday. Jae Crowder hit a 3 and Dragic drew a charge on VanVleet to give the Heat a chance. Heat: The Heat made just 5 of 23 3-pointers in the first half, but trailed only by four. Heat: Play Celtics on Tuesday.
Game on: NBA finally set to see games that count again
FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2020, file photo, Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo dunks during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers in Milwaukee. But after 20 weeks of waiting, wondering and worrying, the 2019-20 NBA season is ready to hit the restart button with a champion scheduled to be crowned in October. For the front-runners like the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks and West-leading Lakers, the eight remaining games before the playoffs are about tuning up their games. The biggest names are here: reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks, LeBron James of the Lakers, scoring champion James Harden of Houston, plus the reigning Finals MVP and All-Star Game MVP in Leonard. The intensity is going to start to pick up with the games just meaning much more, Philadelphia forward Al Horford said.