TORONTO - Although no one cared to admit it, on either side, at the outset of the evening, Mondays divisional grudge match in Brooklyn meant more to the Raptors than the game that preceded it or the one to follow. Kenny Britt Jersey . The stakes were higher, the competition more fierce and the atmosphere was that of a playoff game - something the young, upstart Raptors have five weeks to better prepare themselves for or the result will be eerily similar. If they looked out of place in that environment, its probably because they were. Torontos starting five features a fifth-year star that has yet to make a playoff appearance. Theyre the only team currently in a playoff position that starts two sophomores and its been five years since either their point guard or power forward has experienced postseason basketball. Combined that lineup accounts for 24 games of postseason experience. Staring them down in the final minute of a one-possession, high stakes game was a Nets unit that has collectively participated in 268 playoff contests. Paul Pierce alone is responsible for 136 of them while Kevin Garnett and Andrei Kirilenko - both out with injuries - would have added another 176. The Nets took a five-point advantage into the fourth quarter and, for all their hardships this season, they had only lost one of 30 games in which they held the lead after 36 minutes. Thats the difference experience makes. The Raptors, despite a valiant effort, showed up to a knife fight armed with plastic forks. "This team here in Brooklyn is a championship-caliber team," Dwane Casey said following his teams 101-97 loss. "They know the plays to make to win games. Weve still got to learn that. Were on our way but we still have some learning to do." Although the Raptors remain the NBAs best fourth-quarter team, outscoring opponents by 158 points in the final frame this season, their late-game execution continues to be a work in progress. When ahead or behind by five points or less in the final three minutes, Toronto shoots 37 per cent, the ninth-lowest mark in the league. Theyre 15-18 in games that come down to that scenario. On Monday, Pierce hit what may have been the biggest shot of the night - a cold-blooded three to break a tie with just over a minute left and the shot clock ticking down - while the Raptors wilted in the moment. Down one, 30 seconds later, Toronto got the stop it needed, leading to a five-on-four break the other way. In the midst of a brilliant second half, Kyle Lowry found DeMar DeRozan in transition, believing he would continue to go hard to the bucket. Met by Pierce in the lane, DeRozan lateraled back to Lowry, who wasnt expecting the pass and turned down the shot. John Salmons, receiving the ball from Lowry, also hesitated on an open look from the elbow, which ultimately led to Terrence Ross fumbling the ball as he looked to salvage the broken play. It was a possession mired in indecision and it sealed Torontos fate. The Nets - 10-for-14 from three-point range after the first quarter - hit big shots and made winning plays. They looked like the desperate team, and rightfully so. Had they won, the Raptors would be sitting pretty in the Atlantic Division, five games up on Brooklyn with the season-series tiebreaker in hand. Instead, Brooklyn has pulled within three games of the division lead. "[The atmosphere] was definitely a notch higher because of what was at stake," DeRozan admitted after the game. "Theyre chasing us and were leading in the division. It was just a big game overall. Theyve been playing well, trying to make a playoff push and were trying to sustain our position so it definitely was a big game." While the loss stings, the Raptors are still in the drivers seat, controlling their own destiny with 20 games to go. "It was a disappointing loss in the fact that theyre a team thats battling us for the division," Casey said. "Theres still a lot of basketball left to play. Weve got to stay positive. Its not the end of the world. We werent going to go undefeated the rest of the way. We knew that." Should Toronto and Brooklyn share the same record atop the Atlantic when its all said and done, with the season series now even, the tiebreaker would go to the team with the most wins within the division. The Raptors are currently 8-3 with five games left to be played against Atlantic opponents while the Nets are 7-5 with four remaining. Each of those games could be crucial - including two meetings with New York in the final week of the season - for the Raptors who are hoping to win their second division title in franchise history. Sink or swim, that will be determined by what theyre able to take out of Mondays squandered opportunity. "Its a learning experience," DeRozan said. "It was a heck of a game that we can learn from and possibly could be a team we could see in the playoffs." Cleveland Browns Jerseys . The Oilers will try to get back in the win column on Monday when they continue a four-game road trip with a battle against the Buffalo Sabres. Edmonton won its third straight game last Wednesday against visiting San Jose, beating the Sharks 3-0 as Scrivens stopped 59 shots to set an NHL record for saves in a regular-season shutout. Ibraheim Campbell Jersey .A. Happ? Happs seven wins are second on the staff to Mark Buehrles 10. Win-loss record is an antiquated stat, sure, but win total is generally an indication of a pitchers ability to work deep into games, enough to be personally affected by the result. http://www.footballbrownsnflprostore.com/Youth-Jim-Brown-Elite-Jersey/ . Lupul injured the hand in a fall at practice on Thursday. He will wear a cast for a minimum of 10 days before he can put a glove back on it and get some mobility back, said Carlyle, who added the winger wont go on the teams upcoming road trip.TORONTO – Jonathan Bernier values his sleep a lot more these days. Not only is Bernier facing a mighty barrage of shots once more in his second season as the Leafs No. 1, but as a new dad, hes prone to the typical restless nights of most young parents. What’s he more familiar with though is that busy workload as Toronto’s top dog in goal. No starter in the league faced more shots on a nightly basis than the 26-year-old last year – 34 per game at even-strength – and after all too brief respite, he’s facing a whole bunch more again this fall. The Leafs have won six straight and 10 of 12 on the strength of their goaltending and an absolutely scorching offence, but they’ve surrendered an average of 37 shots in the past nine games, reverting all too recently to a formula that led to disaster last spring. “We’re still very much a work in progress,” head coach, Randy Carlyle urged. “It’s a game of mistakes and we’ve got to cut down on some of the mistakes that we’ve been making as of late.” Long the backup to Jonathan Quick in L.A.’s stingy system, Bernier has gotten used to the drastically different challenge of a heavy workload in Toronto. His routines have changed, if not dramatically then slightly to accommodate the requirements of starting just about every night under such strain. The purpose of practice, for example, has changed. Bernier no longer relies upon bucket after bucket of pucks to stay sharp. Instead it’s more about management, of his body and the details of his game. On Wednesday morning, hours after he faced 42 shots in a 6-2 win over Anaheim, Bernier took to the ice at the team’s practice facility 10 minutes or so before the 11:45 a.m. session got underway. He wanted to work on a couple different things, namely stick shots and belly shots. And rather than linger after the practice, as he would’ve as the backup, Bernier exited just a few short minutes after its conclusion, requiring the extra rest more than the extra shots. “I still go out there and want to work on details,” he said. “[But] when you play a lot you don’t need to practice as much obviously, you get your reps in the game. It’s just to stay sharp on little details.” Additionally, Bernier has opted out of most morning skates, preferring to save the added wear on his body. It’s all part of the adjustment he’s made to playing regularly in the league. Bernier started more games as a Leaf last year than he did in the entirety of his three full seasons as the Kings backup. Perhaps most importantly, he faced more shots a year ago (1,787) than he did in all those L.A. years combined. He’s on pace for 58 starts this year and an even greater number of shots than last season. “I think the most important thing for me is rest. I like to have a two and a half hour nap [on game-days], especially maybe with the baby now I really take advantage of it,” Bernier says with a wide grin. “But that’s something to me that when I feel good I feel rested I feel sharrp. Joel Bitonio Jersey. .” His baby boy, Tyler, has altered that equation slightly too. “It changes your life I guess,” said Bernier. “It takes a little while to get adjusted but right now I feel I’ve gotten into a routine a little bit.” The numbers reflect that. Bernier endured some “early season woes” as Carlyle described them recently, but he’s been locked in since the end of November, compiling a mighty .936 save percentage in his last seven starts. He’s done this just as the workload has picked up. Scoring more than four goals per game has helped mask some deficiencies for the Leafs in recent weeks, including familiar possession troubles that have led to some busy nights for Bernier and tandem partner, James Reimer. Jonathan Bernier Shots Faced Year Starts Shots Against 2010-11 22 652 2011-12 13 383 2013 12 306 2013-14 49 1787 2014-15 22 695 That’s what led Carlyle to observe that his team was “slipping” following the game Tuesday against the Ducks, trending away from the structured game that’s shown itself here and there in the past month. After the Leafs were blown out by Nashville in mid-November the club had a look at the stingiest shot suppression teams in the league, saw Minnesota leading the pack and made it a goal to hit their mark – 25 shots or less – nightly. They came close in three games thereafter, holding Tampa, Detroit and Pittsburgh under 30, but have since reverted to the troubling form of last season in many instances. At a team meeting before practice Wednesday the group talked again about pushing the shots against back under 25. They’ve held opponents under 30 just nine times in 31 games and are yielding 34 shots per game, fourth-most in the league. “I don’t think the last two games we’ve been very solid,” Bernier said, “but at the same time when you score that many goals you can allow yourself to make a few more mistakes.” A restricted free agent next summer, Bernier’s contract will be among the many of intrigue for the Leafs. Hes quickly made the case of his capability as a quality starter, but just how good he is and can be is still being determined. The short-term results are encouraging though. Only Carey Price, Tuukka Rask, Semyon Varlamov and Sergei Bobrovsky have a higher save percentage than him since the start of last season – the latter two falling off some this year. And Bernier trails only Varlamov and Rask with a 62 per cent quality start percentage in that same short span*. Being a starter and busy one at that appears to suit the Quebec native just fine. *(Courtesy of the Hockey Abstract’s Rob Vollman, a goaltender qualifies for a quality start when he stops at least the league average number of shots or plays as well as a “replacement level” goalie while yielding two goals or less.) Cheap NFL Jerseys China Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys China Wholesale Jerseys 2019 Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '