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.
Raptors-Pistons postponed, tentatively set for Wednesday
TAMPA, Fla. – Toronto's game against Detroit that was scheduled for Tuesday is being postponed until Wednesday, a move that the NBA hopes gives the Raptors time to get back onto the floor. The Raptors were scheduled to play Chicago on Sunday and that game was postponed indefinitely because of positive tests and contact tracing issues. The league cautioned that Wednesday is a tentative rescheduling date for the game against the Pistons, and is “pending additional test results." Tuesday's game becomes the 31st postponed this season because at least one team was unable to play in accordance with the league's health and safety policies related to the coronavirus pandemic. The Raptors have been without coach Nick Nurse and five other staff members since late last week because of virus-related issues.
Raptors' virus issues worsen, game vs. Bulls called off
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)The Toronto Raptors’ issues with the coronavirus have worsened, prompting the NBA to call off their game scheduled for Sunday night against the Chicago Bulls. Toronto played Friday without head coach Nick Nurse, several other assistants and staffers and starting forward Pascal Siakam because of virus-related issues. The Raptors-Bulls game is the 30th to be postponed so far this season because of COVID-19 testing or contact tracing. All NBA players and coaches are tested daily. During the season's second half, which runs from March 10 through May 16, the Raptors and Bulls share 19 days without a game on their schedules.
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.
Virus sidelines Raptors coaches, Siakam for Rockets game
Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse talks to players during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, in Minneapolis. Assistant coach Sergio Scariolo was promoted to coach the team's game in Tampa, Florida, against the Rockets. Scariolo had been away from the Raptors while coaching Spain in FIBA's EuroBasket 2022 qualifiers and just cleared quarantine Friday. Ad“I don't know how many hundreds or thousands of games he's been a head coach," Raptors general manager Bobby Webster said about Scariolo. Webster said the team isn't certain if Siakam's issue is related to the issue with the coaching staff.
NBA chooses All-Star reserves, with Zion among first-timers
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) goes to the basket in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics in New Orleans, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)New Orleans forward Zion Williamson now can be called an NBA All-Star, and only three others in the game’s 70-year history have gotten there at a younger age. Phoenix’s Chris Paul is an All-Star for the 11th time, and Brooklyn’s James Harden is one for the ninth consecutive year. The rest of the reserves include Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons, Boston’s Jayson Tatum and Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic from the Eastern Conference, along with the Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Clippers’ Paul George, Utah teammates Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, and Portland’s Damian Lillard from the Western Conference. But this will be his first time in the All-Star Game itself.
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.
Durant out until Friday for coronavirus protocol reasons
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)NEW YORK – Kevin Durant will miss at least three games for coronavirus health and safety protocols before being eligible to return to the Brooklyn Nets on Friday. That means the superstar's return could come next Saturday at Golden State, where Durant won two NBA titles in three seasons. Durant drove in a car with a team employee three times Friday, according to a person with knowledge of the details. Both Durant and the employee were seemingly not wearing masks, the person told The Associated Press. AdThough Durant continued to test negative, he is a close contact of the employee who tested positive and faces the mandatory seven-day quarantine.
Durant can't start, can't finish game for virus protocols
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)NEW YORK – Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant couldn't start a game and then couldn't finish it, removed in the third quarter because of the NBA's health and safety protocols. “They just said contract tracing and I’m thinking to myself, ‘Well, if it’s contact tracing, then we’re all in the locker room together. He said someone whom Durant interacted with in the afternoon had an inconclusive test result return shortly before the game. “During the game, a positive result was returned for the person Durant interacted with. He tested positive for the virus in March while he was recovering from Achilles tendon surgery.
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.
Irving leads rout of Celtics in return to Boston Garden
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) drives against Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III (44) during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game, Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Boston. Irving scored 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting and had seven rebounds, five assists and two steals helping the Nets rout the Celtics 113-89 Friday night in the final preseason game for both teams. There were no fans in the new Boston Garden on Friday night, and his introduction was greeted with a faint, fake cheer. Precious Achiuwa scored 13 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for the Heat, while Bam Adebayo scored 13 points and Tyler Herro scored 10. McCollum led the Blazers with 26 points on 8-of-20 shooting and Gary Trent Jr. added 18 points in the loss.
LeBron James makes All-NBA team for record 16th time
James was revealed Wednesday as an All-NBA player for a record 16th time, breaking the mark he shared with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan. He was a first-team pick on all 100 ballots, joining Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo as the only unanimous first-team selections this season. The 21-year-old Doncic is the sixth player to make All-NBA at that age or younger, joining Kevin Durant, James, Duncan, Rick Barry and Max Zaslofsky. James is a first-team pick for the 13th time in his career, extending his record there. Harden and Doncic appeared on all 100 ballots — though only James and Antetokounmpo were unanimous as first-team choices on every ballot.
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.
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.
Celtics roll past Raptors 112-94, take 1-0 East semis lead
Toronto has lost four games by more than 15 points this season three of them against Boston. The Celtics won by 22 on Aug. 7, 18 on Sunday and 16 on Christmas Day. Tatum hit a baseline jumper as time expired, and the lead was 88-73 going into the final 12 minutes. Raptors: Toronto trailed 39-23 after one quarter, the sixth-worst point differential in a span of 547 quarters including playoffs played by the Raptors going back to Jan. 16, 2019. The Raptors and Celtics knelt for that moment and the playings of The Star-Spangled Banner and O Canada that immediately followed.
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.
Down in Disney, Bucks hope to finish the job this season
FILE - In this a Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo reacts to his shot the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers in Milwaukee. If Antetokounmpo can shoot like that in real games, maybe the Milwaukee Bucks can finish the job and win the title this season. The Bucks are too, bringing the NBAs best record into the resumption of the season next week at Walt Disney World. The Toronto Raptors exploited that last season, with versatile, big defenders such as Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka who could keep Antetokounmpo from the rim and make him shoot outside. The Bucks believe this season they have enough to go all the way, even without getting to use the home-court advantage they likely would have earned.