BOSTON -- DeMar DeRozan understands that a playoff berth for the Raptors has meaning beyond Torontos locker room. Terrence Ross scored 24 points, Kyle Lowry 23 and the Raptors edged closer to their first playoff spot since 2008 with a 99-90 win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night. "Not just the franchise, the whole city of Toronto and Canada," said DeRozan, sitting at his locker with his left foot in a bucket of ice. "Ive been here five years and see how passionate the fans are. It definitely means a lot. We feed off them, the energy they bring every single night. That would be great for the city and we have to take advantage of the opportunity." DeRozan added 20 points for Toronto, which increased its Atlantic Division lead to 2 1/2 games over Brooklyn. The Raptors could have clinched a playoff spot if the Knicks lost at Sacramento later Wednesday, but New York beat the Kings 107-99. It was Lowrys eighth straight game of 20 or more points and helped the Raptors snap an 11-game losing streak in Boston. "Im not going to lie," Lowry said. "I think everybody tonight is rooting for that Western Conference team over there." The Raptors are also chasing a division title. They face Boston in the back end of a home and home on Friday. "We cant be satisfied just making the playoffs," DeRozan said. "We could go out there and play four games and be home. Weve worked too hard to get to this point just to slow down and pace ourselves. Weve got a long, long way to go." Jared Sullinger led Boston with 26 points, going 4 of 6 from 3-point range, and Avery Bradley scored 16. Boston lost for the seventh time in eight games. "Sully got hot and I thought even though we were really undersized we played pretty well in that time," Boston coach Brad Stevens said. Toronto captured its 19th road win, one off the club record set 2000-01. Boston guard Rajon Rondo was cut on the forehead midway into the third quarter and received nine stitches. He returned to the bench early in the fourth quarter with a bandage that ran from the bridge of his nose straight up to his forehead and he re-entered the game with 8:05 to play. He finished with 15 assists and nine points. "I think it obviously says a lot," Stevens said. "He wants to play and I think the most important part about it is he came back in and guarded DeRozan. He went after it and I think he did a pretty good job on him." The Raptors had opened a 79-64 lead early the fourth quarter, but Boston went on a 9-0 run. Toronto pushed it back to 85-75 before Sullinger nailed consecutive 3s 34 seconds apart, narrowing it to four points with just under 6 minutes to play. "I saw that Rondo went down so I saw that we needed production, so I took it upon myself and just tried to get the best shots possible," Sullinger said. Chris Johnsons basket -- on an officials reviewed goaltending call -- closed it to 93-90 with 1:49 left, but Lowry and Ross hit consecutive 3s on the next two possessions to send the Raptors to the victory. In the third quarter, Lowry nailed consecutive 3s on Torontos first two possessions, pushing the Raptors lead to 61-46. They held at least a nine-point lead for the rest of the quarter, opening it to 77-62 after Ross nailed a 3 at the buzzer. Toronto, which blew an 11-point second-quarter lead in less than 2 minutes, held a 55-46 advantage at halftime. NOTES: A few minutes before the opening tip-off and about 10 after the National Anthems were completed, the Celtics asked the crowd to rise for a moment of silence to honour two Boston firefighters that were killed battling a fire in the citys Back Bay section -- about three kilometres away. ... Stevens praised Raptors G Lowry before the game. "(He) is playing terrific," Stevens said. "He was arguably an All-Star earlier. He makes a lot of plays that dont go talked about." ... Sullinger had 25 points and 20 rebounds when the Celtics beat the Raptors at home on Jan. 15. He had eight boards on Wednesday. Nathan Walker Jersey
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.S. international midfielder Michael Bradley is complete.With the knockout stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicking off Saturday in Brazil, TSN.cas panel of experts is back with a full set of predictions for the Round of 16 all the way through the Final. Read on to find out which team has the legs to outlast the cream of the crop and emerge as 2014 World Champions. The panel consists of TSN Soccer Analysts Jason deVos, Luke Wileman and Kristian Jack, TSN Radio 1050 Toronto host Gareth Wheeler, TSN Radio 690 Montreals Noel Butler and TSN.ca soccer editors Shane McNeil and Ken Rodney. Round of 16: Brazil def. Chile Though a unanimous choice from TSNs panel, Brazil will be in tough against a Chilean side that dislodged the defending champions from Spain. If handed a lesser opponent, Chile might be a dark horse advancement pick, but drawing the hosts was always the likely peril for whomever finished second in Group B. Brazil was a unanimous choice Colombia def. Uruguay A very conspicuous absence threatens to overshadow what would otherwise be an exciting clash between two of South Americas less-heralded giants. In the end, though, Luis Suarez suspension almost levels the playing field as Colombia has been and will be without its biggest threat – Radamel Falcao – for the entire tournament. Despite his absence, Colombia has been dominant in Brazil, piling up more goals than all but one team in the group stage. If James Rodriguez keeps at his group-stage pace and Colombia goes deep, he would be a legitimate Golden Ball contender. Picks: Butler, deVos, Jack, McNeil, Rodney, Wheeler, Wileman – Colombia; Jack - Uruguay France def. Nigeria Few were surprised when France handled Honduras to open the tournament, but Les Bleus made a definitive statement, pouring in five goals (and what likely should have been six but for a quick final whistle) against the top-ranked Swiss side. Karim Benzema has been a force alongside Olivier Giroud and if he continues his Golden Boot pursuit, France should certainly be on its way to the quarters at least. France was a unanimous choice Germany def. Algeria Algeria has caught a lot of teams napping, but will they be able to stun the perennial powers from Germany? Probably not as Thomas Muller scores seemingly at will and Miroslav Klose sits one fortuitous substitution away from the record book. The Greens have made history already in Brazil with their first ever advancement. The miracle run ends here, though. Germany was a unanimous choice Netherlands def. Mexico Though an overwhelming favourite, the Dutch present themselves as the first pick on to create a rift between our analysts. The reason? Mexican keeper Guillermo Ochoa. The man has been simply ridiculous and has already proven that hes single-handedly capable of withstanding an elite offence, having held Brazil scoreless. Gareth Wheeler and Kristian Jack are believers, but the rest of the panel is seeing Oranje for the quarters. Picks: Butler, deVos, McNeil, Rodney, Wileman – Netherlands; Jack, Wheeler - Mexico Costa Rica def. Greece It comes as no surprise that a match-up between two unlikely entrants provides the most divisive result iin terms of predictions.dddddddddddd Thats no slight to either team or their achievements, but on this same panel no one predicted Costa Rica to get through prior to the start of the tournament and only one had Greece advancing (Shane McNeil, in an extremely lucky guess). Consensus seems to be that the Ticos – having already dispatched England and Italy – will be able to handle Greece, but its not a sitter by any means. Picks: deVos, McNeil, Rodney, Wheeler – Costa Rica; Butler, Jack, Wileman - Greece Argentina def. Switzerland Or is it Lionel Messi that defeats Switzerland? The Argentines have gotten just two goals that didnt come off the Little Magicians boot and one of those was an own-goal from Bosnia and Herzegovina. The pressure will be even more firmly on Messi as Sergio Aguero will miss at least the Swiss match if not more, but our panel has complete faith in the Argentines here. Argentina was a unanimous choice Belgium def. United States Another divisive choice, but Belgium gets a slight edge over the Americans in this match-up. The Americans had a foot in the second round before Cristiano Ronaldos highlight-reel cross snatched victory out of their hands. Clint Dempsey and the return of Jozy Altidore will provide a handful for the Belgians, but with a balanced attack that has produced four different goal scorers and with Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku yet to register, Belgium gets the edge. Picks: Butler, deVos, Jack, McNeil, Wheeler – Belgium; Rodney, Wileman - USA Semifinals: Things get a bit fragmented once the quarters set in. A Brazil-Germany semifinal appears to be on the minds of many of our analysts, but its by no means by acclaim as both Noel Butler and Wheeler see upsets in the offing. On the other side Argentinas a safe bet with McNeil providing the lone vote of dissent in favour of the Belgians while the Dutch have been given a healthy dose of competition in the form of Mexico and/or Greece. Picks: deVos - Brazil def. Germany, Argentina def. Netherlands; Butler - Brazil def. France, Argentina def. Greece; Jack - Brazil def. Germany, Argentina def. Mexico; McNeil - Brazil def. Germany, Belgium def. Netherlands; Rodney - Germany def. Brazil, Argentina def. Netherlands; Wheeler - Germany def. Colombia, Argentina def. Mexico; Wileman - Brazil def. Germany, Argentina def. Netherlands Champions: It appears primed to go one of three ways, or so sayeth we. Will Brazil exorcise the ghosts of 1950 and finally win the Cup at home? Thats the opinion of Jason deVos, Luke Wileman as well as McNeil. Meanwhile, Jack and Wheeler continue to keep away from the pack, predicting a first-ever championship in the Americas for a European nation. Theyve got their money down on the Germans. Ken Rodney and Noel Butler, meanwhile, have gone rogue on the panel and stood in direct opposition to the Brazil-backers. Theyll get the bragging rights should Lionel Messi add a World Cup title onto his “Best Player in the World” case-file. Picks: deVos, McNeil, Wileman – Brazil; Butler, Rodney - Argentina; Jack, Wheeler - Germany White NFL Jerseys Cheap Youth NFL Jerseys China Wholesale Jerseys 2020 Stitched NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Autographed Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Discount Jerseys
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