BROOKLYN - If you subscribe to the concept of momentum, theres reason to be concerned about the Raptors chances going into Sundays series deciding Game 7. Air Force 1 Green Outlet . The shift began amid Wednesdays fourth-quarter meltdown, a 44-point browbeating, and carried over to Fridays Game 6. Facing elimination on their home court, a desperate Nets team jumped out to a 34-19 lead after 12 minutes and the Raptors - dazed and confused - never recovered, trailing for the duration. So how crucial is momentum at this time of year? "If you look at the series, the way its gone, its been like a roller coaster the whole time," Dwane Casey said following his teams 97-83 loss in Brooklyn, forcing a Game 7 on Sunday afternoon, tipping off at 1:00 PM from the Air Canada Centre. "Every game has been different." And that was the extent of Caseys post-game assembly. Questions about momentum, clearly favouring their surging opponents. Questions regarding experience, also favouring the veteran Nets. The Raptors were being written off before departing Brooklyn. "To listen to some of this, we may as well not play Game 7," said an agitated Casey. "Every game is different and I know our team will bounce back." For a brief, fleeting moment, Caseys team played the unfamiliar role of favourites, up 3-2 in the series, and it wasnt a good look for them. From the moment Rudy Gay was traded theyve fancied themselves underdogs. Its what brought them together, its what motivates them. Without that built-in adversity, they were unrecognizable. The Nets opened the game with the fight you would expect from a team on the ropes and for whatever reason, Toronto was unable to match it. The Raptors were flat offensively and showed little-to-no resistance on defence. Brooklyn outscored the Raptors 22-4 in the paint, out-rebounded them 14-4 and shot an impressive 68 per cent from the field. They moved the ball, got in the lane at will and controlled the tempo of the game from the jump, while the Raptors could barely get into their offensive sets. "It just comes down to who wants it more," DeMar DeRozan had said the day prior. On Friday it was all Brooklyn. "We didnt really realize we had Brooklyn against the wall and we didnt take advantage of it like we should," said DeRozan after leading the team with 28 points, no one else scored more than Kyle Lowrys 11. "We should have known they were going to come out throwing haymakers and we werent ready for it until the second half." "We just didnt come out with the competitive nature that we needed tonight," Lowry added. "They did an unbelievable job of forcing their will on the game tonight, but we have to find a way to match that intensity." In taking control of the series, Toronto had finally dodged the dreaded inexperience narrative that theyve been trying to shake since they drew the Nets but here it is, rearing its head once again. This was a scenario Casey had considered, one he feared. "I was concerned about what would happen tonight," the Raptors coach admitted. "[In] any Game 6, a team is going to come out with a desperate mindset. With this team, they built to win a championship this year, and theyre going to come out and give you their best shot. [I] knew that coming in and tried to warn our team. Guys who havent been in Game 6 before, its one of the toughest things to do." "Again, experience is the best teacher. Now were going into Game 7, its our first time at that. Luckily we have it at home." Yes, they will play Sundays elimination game in the friendly confines of their home gym, in front of a fan base that has been exceptionally supportive throughout their playoff run. That may be the only tangible reason to like their odds. As a franchise, the Raptors have only participated in one Game 7, the infamous day of Vince Carters graduation and missed fadeaway back in 2001. They have never hosted a deciding playoff game at the Air Canada Centre. With Portlands win over Houston, the Raptors now have the NBAs longest active streak without a playoff series victory. None of Torontos starters have played in a Game 7 while Paul Pierce alone has appeared in eight, Kevin Garnett in six and Joe Johnson in four. And then theres the momentum, if you believe in such things. The Raptors say they dont buy into momentum. The Nets, however, are counting on it. "I think we just need to take this momentum from this game into the next," said Nets forward Andray Blatche, who guaranteed a victory on Wednesday and did the same for Game 7. "I think our momentum will carry over. I think we found a recipe in getting a win on defence and offence and controlling the paint." So here they are. After all this time - two weeks, six games, broken shot clocks, a lint-free global ambassador and an F-bomb dropping general manager - the division-winning Toronto Raptors are right back where they started. Theyre a young, inexperienced team in over their heads, right? Maybe. But if nothing else, theyre back in their comfort zone. Theyre going to be overlooked, theyre going to be the underdogs. So, count them out at your own risk. "We believe in ourselves," Patrick Patterson insisted. "Everyone in this locker room believes in ourselves. Weve believed in ourselves all year long. For us to have any doubt in our minds right now is unacceptable. Its not like we cant beat them. Weve beat them before. Weve done it in the regular season [and] weve done it in the playoffs." "Now we know its win or go home," DeRozan said. "Everything is on the line now. Either we step up and we play with a force from the jump ball to the end of the game, or well be going home the next day." Air Force 1 Black Outlet . The 22-year-old Spanish midfielder recently signed a new three-year contract with Chelsea, and after spending last season on loan with Valencia in La Liga, Romeu will move to the Bundesliga for the 2014-15 campaign. Air Force 1 Cheap .com) - The Toronto Raptors set their sights on a second straight victory with the Oklahoma City Thunder visiting the Air Canada Centre tonight riding a two game streak of their own. SAN FRANCISCO -- Tim Lincecums days of dominance may be in the past. That doesnt mean he cant dial up flashes of the Freak he once was -- especially against the San Diego Padres. Lincecum pitched his second no-hitter against the Padres in less than a year, allowing only one runner Wednesday and leading the San Francisco Giants to a 4-0 win. "Ive always been that guy who will kind of go for the strikeout," Lincecum said. "I think my first no-hitter I had 13, so I think I was going for those a little bit more often." "Today I tried to be a little bit more efficient and take what they were going to give me. They were giving me a lot of groundballs and a lot of pop flies, so I was just going to try to keep attacking the way that I was," he said. Lincecum totally shut down the weakest-hitting team in the majors, striking out six and walking one in a 113-pitch outing -- 35 fewer than he needed last July 13 against the Padres in his first no-hitter. Lincecum retired the final 23 batters after walking Chase Headley in the second inning, relying much more on his off-speed stuff than his fastball. Though the Padres hit a few balls hard, San Francisco fielders didnt need to make any exceptional plays to preserve Lincecums gem. The right-hander with two NL Cy Young Awards became just the second pitcher in major league history to twice no-hit the same team. Hall of Famer Addie Joss did it for Cleveland against the Chicago White Sox with a perfect game in 1908 and a no-hitter in 1910. "Its hard enough to do one," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "To do two, that puts you in a little different class. I couldnt be happier." Lincecum (6-5) threw the 16th no-hitter in Giants team history. Just one other pitcher has thrown two -- Christy Mathewson for the New York Giants more than 100 years ago. In fact, Lincecum joined Sandy Koufax, Randy Johnson and Roy Halladay as the only pitchers with two Cy Young awards and two no-hitters. "Just to be in that company allows me a chance to pat myself on the back a little bit," he said. Making the performance even sweeter was the fact that Lincecum even got two hits of his own, becoming the first pitcher with two hits in a no-hitter since Rick Wise hit two homers for Philadelphia against Cincinnati on June 23, 1971. "Regardless of what they did, I think its cool I got two hits anyway because up to today I only had one and a pretty poor batting average," Lincecum said. "I got that thing above .100 and I feel much better about it." But Lincecum will always be known for his pitching. He arrived as a shaggy-haired phenom nicknamed the Freak in 2007 for his ability to generate tremendous velocity from his slight frame. He won NL Cy Young awards in 2008 and 09 and helped lead the Giants to their first World Series title in San Francisco the following season. As age and wear and tear ate away at his velocity, Lincecum was forced to change what kind of pitcher he is. Air Force 1 Wholesale. It hasnt been an easy transformation at times as he posted a losing record the past two seasons as his ERA hovered around 5.00. He was even relegated to the bullpen when the Giants won it all again in 2012 but was brought back with a $35 million, two-year deal last off-season for moments just like this. "I think its been a battle for him at times to make that transformation to what he is now," Bochy said. "Sometimes less is more, and thats what I think if anything, hopefully he learned today." Headley walked with one out in the second after falling behind 1-2 in the count. The Padres began the day worst in the majors in batting average, runs and hits. "He was good. It wasnt a fluke," Headley said. "His split and changeup or whatever you want to call it. If its not the best in baseball, then its one of the best pitches in baseball. Even with the diminished velocity, its still a tremendous pitch. He was able to throw it for strikes when he wanted too." This was the third no-hitter in the majors this year. Clayton Kershaw did it exactly a week ago and his Los Angeles Dodgers teammate Josh Beckett did it earlier in the season. The Padres, incidentally, are the only franchise in the big leagues that has never pitched a no-hitter. Lincecum made quick work of the San Diego hitters in the late innings. He drew a standing ovation when he batted in the eighth, then got another ovation when he took the mound to begin the ninth. "His rhythm was going," third baseman Pablo Sandoval said. "Thats the best hes pitched. Two no-hitters, thats pretty impressive." Lincecum struck out pinch-hitter Chris Denorfia to open the ninth. Pinch-hitter Yasmani Grandal followed with a tapper back to Lincecum, who tossed to first for the out. Will Venable was up next, and Lincecum retired him on an easy grounder to second base. Lincecum took a few steps toward first when the ball was hit, stopped to watch the play and clapped his hand into his glove when it was over. Catcher Hector Sanchez soon met Lincecum for an embrace, and the rest of the Giants joined in the celebration. "It was amazing," Sanchez said. "Anybody wants to be part of something special like this. Thats a great feeling." Buster Posey got four hits, including a double, and drove in two runs. Ian Kennedy (5-9) allowed four runs on nine hits over 6 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out eight. The Giants took a 1-0 lead in the second when Brandon Crawford tripled and Sanchez hit a sacrifice fly. NOTES: Giants RHP Ryan Vogelsong (5-3, 4.13) is scheduled to start Thursdays series opener against Cincinnati. ... RHP Tyson Ross (6-7, 3.22) starts for the Padres against Arizona on Friday. ... The Padres are hosting a public memorial for Tony Gwynn on Thursday at 7:19 p.m. at Petco Park. Gwynn wore No. 19. ' ' '
The Toronto Blue Jays will send left-hander J. DeMarcus Cousins Jersey .A. Happ to the mound Wednesday afternoon looking to beat the Milwaukee Brewers in the finale of a quick two-game series. Happ is 2-1 over his past three starts, charged with eight earned runs over that time. However, seven of those came in an 11-1 loss at Cincinnati on June 21. Happ then rebounded on Thursday to beat the Chicago White Sox 7-0 behind 7 2/3 scoreless innings of four-hit ball. The 31-year-old struck out eight, moving to 7-4 with a 4.29 ERA on the year. "The goal was to be aggressive, to force contact early, use all four quadrants and just be aggressive," noted Happ, who is 3-3 with a 5.93 ERA in his career versus the Brewers. The Brewers meanwhile, hope that starter Wily Peralta can get locked in on Wednesday afternoon. Though Peralta has won five consecutive starts, he has posted a 4.22 earned run average over that span, one in which Milwaukee has scored at least seven runs four times. The right-handers past two wins both came against Colorado, including Thursdays 7-4 decision at home. Peralta gave up all four runs on eight hits and two walks over six frames, striking out seven. While he improved to 9-5 with a 3.20 earned run average on the year, manager Ron Roenicke still thinks the hurler can improve on the mound. "I thought the last three outings, (Wily) has pitched well, but hes not locked in," said Roenicke. "Now hes struggling to get through the lineups." The 25-year-old Peralta has never faced the Blue Jays, who send left-hander J.A. Happ to the mound today. The Blue Jays halted a three-game skid by taking Tuesdays opener 4-1. Drew Hutchison yielded just one run over seven innings while striking out a season- high 10 batters in his first victory since June 13. Jose Bautista, starting for the first time since June 22 due to a strained left hamstring, and Colby Rasmus each homered for the Blue Jays. Starting as the designated hitter, Bautista hit his 16th homer of the year. Ryan Braun drove in the lone run for the Brewers, who have lost two in a row after winning four straight. Marco Estrada started for Milwaukee and suffered the loss, allowing two runs on six hits over six-plus innings of work. He struck out two and walked one, losing for the first time since June 15. "Things just started going south for me," Estrada said. "I just wasnt really locating. I really didnt know what I was doing, how I was missing and the way I was missing. I was just out there throwing the ball around." Milwaukee could be without outfielder Khris Davis today as he injured his left shoulder on Tuesday diving into second base. The Brewers, who are making their first trip to Toronto since 2005, are 7-3 against the Blue Jays since moving to the National League in 1998. Jason Smith Jersey . Off-Season Game Plan looks at a Wild team that has a nice mix of proven veterans along with young, inexpensive talent on the rise. When the Wild signed Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, making a big splash in the summer of 2012, it set the franchise on a path to being more competitive, but a big reason that they have been so competitive is the contributions of young players who still have more to give. Stitched Pelicans Jerseys . The Pope greeted Klose at his general audience Wednesday and the pair had a long chat. Klose is German like the pope, although he was born in Poland. In Sundays derby, Lazio took the lead in the seventh minute after Maarten Stekelenburg brought down Klose, resulting in the Roma goalkeeper being sent off and a penalty that Hernanes converted.TORONTO - After an NBA playoff debut that didnt go as well as hed planned, DeMar DeRozan went home and put his feet up. "I sat in my room the rest of the day, I didnt leave the room," DeRozan said. "I didnt turn the TV on. I didnt watch any games. I just cleared my mind. Just understand it was my first playoff game." He fought the urge to go back to the Air Canada Centre for a late-night shooting session. "I thought about it. I really thought about it," DeRozan said. "About 1 a.m. I was going to come back, but I was like: dont put too much pressure on myself. Just get my rest, regroup. Weve got two days until we play, so just get ready. I try not to think so much or stress myself out — just relax." The 24-year-old all-star scored 14 points — well below his season average of 22.7 — in the Raptors 94-87 loss to the Brooklyn Nets in Saturdays Game 1 of the best-of-seven playoff series. The player whose hot hand led the Raptors in their record run to the post-season went cold Saturday. DeRozan, who was the picture of post-season confidence earlier in the week, scoffing that the playoffs werent "rocket science," shot just 3-for-13 from the field. He missed all four of his three-point attempts. He insisted he wasnt nervous. "I think with as much energy was going on, it felt like things were going faster than they were," DeRozan said. While it wasnt the coming-out party any of Torontos playoff rookies had hoped for, they were all breathing a little easier Sunday morning, glad that Game 1 of their series was over and done with. "I think Game 2 is a whole different animal," coach Dwane Casey said. "I think the newness and the shiny part of the playoffs is worn off by Game 2. I think thatll help (DeRozan) tremendously. I think thatll help our whole team." Kyle Lowry, one of the few Raptors who looked unfazed by the playoff pressure in his 22-point performance, agreed. "I think the bright lights will dim a little bit for everyone, everything will calm down a little bit," Lowry said. "I think that first game is always tough at home, because of the excitement, and we have a bunch of young guys. But now its over. Now guys are ready to move on, now were ready to go." Game 2 is Tuesday in Toronto, then the series shifts to Brooklyn for Game 3 on Friday. The series was heated before it even began after the Nets seemingly tanked to fall to sixth-place, preferring to play the inexperienced Raptors. Toronto GM Masai Ujiri then threw gasoline onto the fire Saturday when he dropped an F-bomb when addressing the crowd in Maple Leaf Square, pairing the F-word with Brooklyn. New Yorks tabloid newspapers fought back. The headline on Sundays New York Daily News read: "Dont F*** With Brooklyn! Nets give foul-mouthed Raptors a spanking to take Game 1." The New York Posts front page was a picture of a grinning Paul Pierce with the headline: "After Toronto GM insults Bklyn, Nets shut up Raptors. F#@K YEAH!" The Raptors had put Saturdays drama behind them by Sundays practice at the Air Canada Centre. David Wesley Jersey . "This is about basketball," Casey said. "All that stuff has happened. Were very supportive of whatever Masai said. This is about basketball. I will say this, I thought our fans were fantastic (Saturday). They were great. Ive been in championship arenas, championship games, and this is as big-time as can be. "All the other stuff, what was said, its about basketball. Its about screening. Its about finishing plays. Its about executing defensively. I dont want to get off on another tangent." As for DeRozans less-than-impressive debut, Casey said he thought both DeRozan and Terrence Ross — also making his playoff debut — looked frustrated after they got in early foul trouble Saturday. Ross had just three points on the afternoon. "Young guys have to be somewhere learning to play in the NBA playoffs and this is a great start for (Ross), its a great start for DeMar," Casey said. "Theres no way Im disappointed in their performance. Their point-productivity, yes. But this is a great positive for our organization." DeRozan was asked if one game is enough to adjust to the pressure-packed playoffs. "I dont need a whole nother playoff round to get ready for it," DeRozan said. "I watched a lot of film. I understand. Im definitely not going to make the same mistakes twice. Its adjustments." His teammates are confident theyll see the best of DeRozan in Game 2. "Hes had rough games before. . . hes fine. Im positive hell bounce back," Lowry said. "Hes really focused. Yeah, a rough shooting night. Sometimes it happens. Sometimes the ball dont go in the hole." Why so positive? "Because hes an all-star," Lowry replied. "Theres a reason hes an all-star. He averages what he averages, hes a helluva player, and hes only going to get better." The Raptors are hoping the ACC fans — dressed all in white Saturday and waving white towels, thanks to a T-shirt and towel giveaway — remain as vocal as they were in Game 1. "It was live," Amir Johnson said. "I didnt get to see outside (where hundreds of fans gathered in Maple Leaf Square) but Ive seen pictures on the Internet. It was a pretty dope crowd. "Its big. We need them. We need everybody. The whole country." Saturdays shot-clock debacle should also be behind them. American sports broadcaster ESPN caused the shot-clock malfunction in Game 1, according to a Raptors official. Toronto had to rely on announcer Herbie Kuhn to count down the 24 seconds on each possession after the clocks above the baskets died with 5:57 remaining in the third quarter. Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment took blame for using the same power source for the primary and backup shot clocks. The damaged cables in the baskets were replaced and tested Sunday, and the primary and backup clocks are no longer using the same power source. ' ' '