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Toronto Raptors highlights

April 20, 2014 Updates

One of the big surprises to come out of the Nets’ 94-87 victory over the Raptors in Game 1 of their best-of-seven first round series was the fact super sub Andrei Kirilenko never got off the bench for Brooklyn. It appears his wife, Russian pop singer Masha Lopatova, was just as surprised as everyone else. On her Instagram account after the game, Lopatova tweeted out a picture of her husband sitting on the bench with the comment, “…And you are Kidding like Jason…” which appeared to be a reference to Nelly’s song, “Hot in Herre” which includes the line, “I’m just kiddin’ like Jason.” As fans and others began to comment on the photo, Lopatova later wrote, “I don’t want to say anything bad, but just think about 350 million Russian fans back in Russia cheering for the one Russian player in the playoffs (not to mention Russian community and Russian ownership) that hurts!!!” New York Post

Things took a bizarre turn halfway through the third quarter of the Nets’ 94-87 victory over the Raptors in Game 1 of their best-of-7 first round playoff series Saturday afternoon when both shot clocks stopped working. After a delay of several minutes while attempts were made to fix the clock, the game continued without them working, and with Raptors public address announcer Herbie Kuhn having to call out every time the clock reset to 24 seconds, as well as when it hit 10 seconds and then counting down from five down to it expiring on every possession for the remainder of the game. New York Post

April 19, 2014 Updates

Much has been made of playoff experience in this series with the upstart Raptors whose starting lineup had played in a combined 22 playoff games before Saturday. Pierce and Garnett have played in 22 playoff games in a season before, and this was Pierce's 137th career playoff game. "I've been in those situations a number, number of times," Pierce said. "I don't get rattled in the fourth quarter down the stretch of playoff settings. I've been in pretty much every playoff situation that you can imagine. I just try to stay calm and bring my calmness to the game. "I think it's more gratifying than at home. I love those moments." USA Today Sports

Ujiri, the NBA's reigning executive of the year, apologized in a brief news conference at halftime, saying he'd made the "wrong choice of words" and was "just trying to get our fans going." Asked if the profanity represented his feelings about the Nets, who have been accused of tanking in order to face Toronto in the first round, Ujiri said: "You know how I feel. I don't like them, but I apologize." Macon Telegraph

Nets coach Jason Kidd, meanwhile, claimed not to have heard about either the controversial comments or Ujiri. "I don't even know who the GM is," Kidd said. Macon Telegraph

The regular season is in the books and the Nets are ready to start their expedition to a championship for the second straight year. Through all the agony and doubt in the early season due to poor play, to the rejuvenation of this Nets team in the year 2014, we've finally made it to game one of the NBA playoffs. Who better to play in the first round, than the Atlantic Division-champions, Toronto Raptors. The Nets began this best of seven series, Saturday afternoon against the Toronto Raptors, winning 94-87, in a tightly contested battle the entire way. The game was tied in the fourth quarter, but on the backs of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and some big shots from Paul Pierce, the Nets notched a huge road victory. NetsDaily

The opening game of the NBA playoffs was meant to display the best the league has to offer. Instead, it ended up with a goofy technical malfunction that turned the end of Saturday's Game 1 between the Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets into a goofy scene. Approximately halfway through the third quarter at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, both shot clocks malfunctioned and turned off, forcing a stoppage in play. Arena workers and technicians attempted to install portable clocks at the corners of the court, but those didn't work either. So, with the break in play stretching on, they decided to resort to a decidedly more analog solution. Public address announcer Herbie Kuhn informed the players and crowd when the shot clock had reached 10 seconds, then five seconds, and then counted down to zero from there. Except, when the shot clock expired, there was no horn — he just said "horn." Yahoo! Sports

Casey will be on the shortlist of candidates for coach-of-the-year for helping the Raptors pull out of what looked like a fatal nosedive early in the year and earn the Raptors home court in the first round. A big factor was his ability to connect with Lowry, of course the Raptors point guard had to be willing after clashing with coaches at Villanova University, the Memphis Grizzlies and Houston Rockets and even last season under Casey at times. ”I was a young kid, a stubborn kid, a hard-headed kid, very closed, never opened up to anybody, a kid who never thought he needed help from anyone,” said Lowry, who turned 28 last month. “And I was wrong. I grew up.” SportsNet

The points were driven home at a sit down on the eve of training camp with MLSE minority shareholder Larry Tanenbaum, president and chief executive officer Tim Leiweke and general manager Masai Ujiri. “Everything got put on the table, to be honest,” says Lowry. We all showed our hands, spoke honestly and that was that. “I told him I could play for him and he could coach me. That was a big thing for both of us: he coaches, I play and that’s it.” SportsNet

Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri made an appearance at the team’s “Party in the Square” outside Air Canada Centre on Saturday as Toronto prepared to host the Brooklyn Nets in the team’s first playoff game since 2008. Thousands gathered in Maple Leaf Square to celebrate and watch the 12:30 p.m. game between Brooklyn and Toronto on the ACC’s giant outdoor screen. Ujiri, hired in May 2013 to lead the Raptors back to respectability following a long post-season drought, was not mincing words when addressing the feverish crowd. National Post

Ujiri addressed the media at halftime. “I apologize. I used wrong choice of words out there. This thing is really not about me. It’s about the players and the playoffs. So, just trying to get the crowd out there rattled. Wrong choice of words. I apologize to kids out there and to the Brooklyn guys. Nothing against them. Trying to get our fans going, that’s it.” For The Win

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Nasty break-up and all, Air Canada is the best thing that ever happened to the Toronto Raptors.

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