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former Hearts stopper made a fingertip
Here are five thoughts on the Eastern Conference first-round series between the Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets following Game 5, including the play of Kyle Lowry, Joe Johnson, Kevin Garnet and Paul Pierce, as well as head coaches Jason Kidd and Dwane Casey. 1. KYLE LOWRY: Brilliant in Game 5. Watching him Wednesday night brought me back to watching Allen Iverson torch the Raptors in the 2001 playoffs. Considering Lowry is a Philly guy and one of the guys he looked up to as a young player was Iverson, I couldnt help myself but to draw comparisons. A totally different players but one quality that truly makes them alike is that they are both incredible competitors. Not the size of the dog in the fight but the fight in the dog. In the last five quarters of play (Game 4, 4th quarter and Game 5), other than the magic of Vince Carter, I cant recall a better stretch of play ever from a Raptor on so many fronts. Enjoy it - Im mesmerized by it. 2. JOE JOHNSON: Give him credit. Major bounce-back in the second half of Game 5. He was close to unstoppable. Raptors did everything they could to contain/control him and he was that much better. Im sure a significant focus of game planning for Game 6 will centre on tightening the screws on both the individual coverages associated with him and the collective scheme based upon the help you have to give his defender. He is an absolute load. Im so impressed by his talent. 3. RAPTORS FIRST THREE QUARTERS VS. 4TH QUARTER: It looked like five guys stole Raptors shirts early in the 4th and tried to imitate the real guys. In the first three quarters we saw the Raptors at their truly best - ball movement, defensive energy, effort, discipline and most importantly, a collective will and confidence that the crowd fed off of. In the fourth, we saw a team that cruised and thought it would be easy and let up with its focus. Very fortunate that they hung on, yet when I reflect on it for the majority of the game they were far better, which is good. Now its about learning from that lesson and growing. Remember back in early December at Golden State? It was the Raptors biggest collapse in franchise history and lost to the Warriors. This time, a huge collapse as well - the difference - they won and won on a much more meaningful stage than the stage back in Oakland. Speaking of Oakland, the late Al Davis (Oakland Raiders) would say just win, baby! They did. One to go but it wont be easy. Their competition has lots to play for; it should be a major challenge and lots of fun to watch. 4. KG AND PAUL PIERCE: They were spectators Wednesday night in the 4th quarter and Im sure both men will be ready to go Friday night in response to that. I dont think there have been many times in either guys career that they sat and watched at crunch time. Im sure well see two angry/ornery guys in Brooklyn talking smack and challenging their teammates and the crowd to be at optimal level. Lots of folks piling on KG these days. I respect what hes done in his career. Is he the player he once was? No, but his effort and will to win are still there all the time. Pierce - Hes still got a lot left and his matchup at the four spot is still a tough cover for the Raptors, yet I do like that the Raps are now making him guard his guy and attacking him. Fully expect both guys to come out firing guns blazing. Be prepared. 5. JASON KIDD AND DWANE CASEY: Both coaches, Im sure, are working on their teams collective psyche as we enter Game 6. Kidd challenged his team before Game 5 to be much better in the 4th quarter after being outplayed by the Raps in Games 3 and 4 in the defining stanza. They were awesome in the 4th Wednesday night… the other three quarters, not so impressive. Im sure hes pushing momentum and carryover. Coach Casey will hammer the fact that you must sustain and play every possession at the max and learn/build on the fact that you won, yet have to respect the little details of the game. You also sell that momentum in a series that lasts only as long as you allow it to or make it happen. As much as the Nets want to sell that theyre now going to pick up where they left off, youve got to sell that the score always takes care of itself if you do the right things. You concentrate on doing the right things" each possession and youll find a way in Game 6, or if necessary, Game 7. Wont be easy to put Brooklyn away Friday but it can be done. Dictate the tone and personality of Game 6 right at the start. Winning/losing - thats too much sometimes to focus on. Dive into the details of what it takes to succeed and youll handle the pressure of a road game better. Adidas Ultra Boost Yeezy . The game got off to a less-than-ideal start for the Jets as Oliver Ekman-Larsson found a wide open net from the slot and opened the scoring for the Coyotes a lead in the first period, but Olli Jokinen answered back just over half a minute later. Cheap Adidas Originals Trainers Sale .35 million, avoiding arbitration. Davis led the majors last season with 53 home runs and 138 RBIs, both career highs. He earned $3. . - The Carolina Panthers believe Steve Smith lost "top-end" speed, a big reason the franchise parted ways with its all-time leading receiver. Adidas Energy Boost 3 .com) - Whew! North Dakota States reign as the three-time FCS national champion was pushed to the limit by South Dakota State on Saturday, but freshman R. Adidas Tubular x Cheap . -- Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run homer, Colby Rasmus drove in two runs and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Detroit Tigers 9-4 on Saturday.Celtic all-but wrapped up their fifth successive Scottish Premiership title with a resounding 3-1 victory over Hearts at Tynecastle. A composed finish from Colin Kazim-Richards gave the Hoops a half-time advantage, which was cancelled out by Abiola Dauda on 57 minutes, before Patrick Roberts and Leigh Griffiths secured the three points for the champions.The win left Celtic nine points clear of Aberdeen, who defeated Motherwell 4-1 later in the afternoon, but with the Hoops goal-difference of plus-55, it would take a seismic event for the Dons to snatch the title as they can only equal Celtics current points-tally by winning all their remaining three fixtures, while Ronny Deilas side would also have to lose all three of their matches by significant margins. Leigh Griffiths wrapped up a 3-1 victory over Hearts at Tynecastle Celtic were on the front foot from the start and had the ball in the net after 12 minutes when Roberts weaved his way into the box and tested Neil Alexander with a low drive which the goalkeeper could only parry, and Callum McGregor followed up to knock the ball over the line, only to be wrongly flagged offside.Two minutes later Nir Bitton threaded a pass to Roberts who again placed his shot to the keepers right from inside the box and was thwarted by Alexander, who then got up to tip the rebound from Griffiths over the bar. Reaction from both camps after Celtic all-but wrapped up their fifth succcessive Scottish Premiership title with a 3-1 victory over Hearts But Celtic made the breakthrough on 17 minutes with a move which started on the left side of the halfway line before the ball was worked to the right side of the Hearts box where Mlkael Lustig delivered a chip to the back post where Kazim-Richards controlled the ball on his chest and crashed his shot under Alexander from six yards.ddddddddddddGriffiths had a great chance to double the lead five minutes before the break when Prince Buabens shot was blocked by Bitton and the ball spun to the Celtic striker who raced forward from the halfway line and dispatched a shot from 20 yards which Alexander diverted wide with his legs. Callum McGregor had a goal wrongly disallowed at Tynecastle Hearts almost levelled the game three minutes after the break when Arnaud Djoum strode forward and hit a shot from 20 yards which deflected off Sviatchenko, and with the ball heading for the bottom left corner of Craig Gordons net the former Hearts stopper made a fingertip save.But Hearts continued to press and were rewarded when Dauda (57) collected the ball 10 yards inside the Celtic half before turning to drive through the visitors defence and send his low drive past Gordon from the edge of the box. Patrick Roberts restores Celtics lead in the 3-1 victory over Hearts Ten minutes later Lustig headed over the target from five yards with his back to goal after Sviatchenko flicked on a corner from Roberts as Celtic tried to regain the lead.And they did so 90 seconds later as Hearts dithered in defence with Alim Ozturk and Perry Kitchen playing poor passes before Roberts nicked the ball off John Souttar and showed terrific poise to slide his shot through the legs of the advancing Alexander.Celtic came close again when Kieran Tierney cut the ball back to Tom Rogic and he swept his first-time shot over the bar from 16 yards within a minute of appearing as a substitute.And Griffiths secured the victory five minutes from the end when he closed down a clearance from Soutter and then nutmegged the Hearts defender before beating Alexander at his near post with a low drive for his 30th league goal of the season. 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