Sports: Raptors keep Marc Gasol busy in win over LeBron’s Lakers - PressFrom - Canada
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SportsRaptors keep Marc Gasol busy in win over LeBron’s Lakers

08:35  15 march  2019
08:35  15 march  2019 Source:   thestar.com

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Marc Gasol - Career stats, game logs, biographical info, awards, and achievements for the NBA and European leagues. Relatives: Brother Pau Gasol . High School: Lausanne Collegiate School in Memphis, Tennessee. Draft: Los Angeles Lakers , 2nd round (18th pick, 48th overall), 2007 NBA Draft.

Raptors keep Marc Gasol busy in win over LeBron’s Lakers© Rick Madonik Raptors centre Marc Gasol had 15 points with seven rebounds and four assists in 26 minutes Thursday.

LeBron James was in the building and Kawhi Leonard was matched up against him. And yet the major emphasis for the Raptors against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night was getting a 34-year-old Toronto centre known for more for his smarts than his athleticism as heavily involved as they could.

And mission accomplished where Marc Gasol was concerned in Toronto’s 111-98 victory over the James and the Lakers at the Scotiabank Arena.

Raptors coach Nick Nurse had said for two days that he was going to use three Gasol starts — all courtesy of a suspension to Serge Ibaka — to give the seven-footer more chances to contribute.

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Marc Gasol Sáez (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈmaɾɡ ɡəˈzɔl]; born 29 January 1985) is a Spanish professional basketball player for the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

LeBron James, Lakers : 7. James Harden, Rockets: 6. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks: 5. Marc Gasol , Grizzlies/ Raptors : 1. Paul George, Thunder: 1. C.J. McCollum, Trail Blazers: 1. 94. Kyle Lowry, Raptors (March 8): 13 points, 12 assist, 11 rebounds in 127-104 win over Pelicans (second of

“We're going to look to go through him a little bit, throw him the ball,” Nurse said before the game. “I want him to bomb some more threes, maybe five or six a night, try to get that little part of his game back on track. Cut him loose a little bit.”

Gasol didn’t exactly go crazy on offence but he did play 26 minutes and take four three-pointers (making two) among his 10 field-goal attempts. He finished with 15 points while gathering seven rebounds and dishing out four assists.

“I thought there was a lot more opportunities for him than the 10 shots and the four threes,” Nurse said afterward. “Not that he turned them down, you can see those guys kind of winding up into their moves and if they ever need him back there, if they ever need him at the last second he’s going to back there on some kick-backs and be able to step into (three-point shots).

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Raptors sink 21 3-pointers in win over Heat (1:56). Gasol drains 3 to give Raptors lead in third (0:24). Griffin nails long 3 from above key (0:16). John Buccigross recaps a career night in Atlanta and the Team LeBron vs. Team Giannis rematch. Raptors vs Lakers . Scotiabank Arena

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“(But) he was good, moving the ball, rebounded well, I thought. The group played good when he was in there.”

Playing without Kyle Lowry due to an ankle injury, the Raptors got 25 points from Leonard and unleashed an unorthodox backup group that turned the game early in the fourth quarter. A point guard-free lineup of Pascal Siakam, Patrick McCaw, Norm Powell, Malcolm Miller, OG Anunoby extended a six-point lead after three quarters to a 13-point gap in the first six minutes of the fourth before the lineup was more starter-centred.

Powell finished with 20 points for the Raptors. James had 29 for the Lakers.

Leonard tied his season high with five three-pointers in the game and he also had eight rebounds; Pascal Siakam had 16 points.

  • Dominating the West: Toronto now has a franchise-record 20 wins against Western Conference opponents. It’s the most of any Eastern Conference team in the league this year and the Raptors still have two games against Oklahoma City and one against Minnesota to go.
  • New kid on the block: The Raptors made official the signing of forward-centre Eric Moreland to a 10-day contract before the game. Moreland was waived by Toronto in training camp and had a quick look with the Phoenix Suns and also played two games with the United States team in FIBA World Cup qualifying. The six-foot-10 Moreland gets the Raptors to the league-minimum 14 players on NBA contracts. Moreland ended up playing the final five minutes in his debut. “I kind of like the way he plays,” Nurse said. “He’s not gonna get you 20 but you might (get) some physicality, he might grab some boards.”
  • Getting close: Fred VanVleet, who has missed 12 games after suffering a thumb injury Feb. 9 in New York, went through a rigorous pre-game shooting workout with just a lightweight wrap on his hand. Nick Nurse said Wednesday that it’s possible VanVleet could return for one of Toronto’s next two games, Sunday in Detroit or Monday at home against New York.
  • Up next: St. Patrick’s Day in Detroit. The Raptors visit the Pistons (Sunday, 4 p.m.) in front of what’s sure to be a crowd packed with Toronto fans.

Doug Smith is a sports reporter based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @smithraps

Raptors toy with Bulls and find winning mix at centre.
Nick Nurse is not about to commit to announcing Marc Gasol as the Raptors’ starting centre for the rest of this season, and went to comic lengths to explain his reticence. “I don’t know, we’ll see about that,” Nurse said before jumbling a couple of clichés. “I hate to pin myself against a corner, into a wall. We’ll see.” Whatever Nurse says or doesn’t say and however he explains it or doesn’t, Gasol has fit comfortably and consistently into the Raptors’ starting lineup of late. He made his eighth start in a row — three when Serge Ibaka was suspended, of course — and ninth in the last 10 games when the Raptors beat the Chicago Bulls 112-103 at Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday night.

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