Reigning NBA champion Toronto Raptors ready to begin quest to repeat
Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri says expectations for the team remain the same this season. He says the focus is always going to be on winning and he thinks the players are up for the challenge. The reigning NBA champions held a media day today at Scotiabank Arena. Starters Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green signed elsewhere as free agents in the off-season but a veteran core remains in Toronto, anchored by Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka.Pascal Siakam is coming off a breakout season and some of the team's younger players should get more of an opportunity.The Raptors will hold a training camp in Quebec City before flying to Japan for their pre-season opener Oct.
While the Rockets poured in second-half 3s, Harrell put in his first 12 shots, driving a stunning comeback to soar past the Raptors , 129-122, pushing their winning streak to eight-consecutive games. The Rockets came back from a double-digit deficit for the fifth-consecutive game, from trailing at the
SportsPulse: Trsyta Krick takes a stand on a number of topics and scenarios dominating the headlines as we push through the back end of the NBA season. USA TODAY.
When James Harden's night was over, defence got easier for the Toronto Raptors.
Pascal Siakam scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and the Raptors — in their first game since winning the NBA Finals — rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat the Houston Rockets 134-129 in Tokyo on Tuesday to open the NBA Japan Games.
The exhibition game at the Saitama Super Arena, a site for basketball at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, was the NBA's first in Japan since 2003. The Rockets and Raptors return there to conclude the two-game series on Thursday.
Raptors coach Nick Nurse said he liked the arena and felt energy from the Japanese fans.
'We love China': Rockets' Harden 'sorry' over GM's Hong Kong tweet
'We love China': Rockets' Harden 'sorry' over GM's Hong Kong tweetThe team and the NBA were forced into defensive mode as China's state broadcaster said it was yanking Rockets games from the air and sponsors abandoned them.
The Houston Rockets keep finding a way to win after James Harden inspired a 138-134 overtime win against the Los Angeles Lakers. Houston trailed the Lakers for almost the entire game on Saturday, but Eric Gordon hit a huge three-pointer to tie it up and force OT.
James Harden scores 48 to rally Rockets past Lakers in overtime thriller. HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden was the star for the Houston Rockets as usual on Saturday night, but he and the team got a big boost from Eric Gordon in his second game back after recovering from a bruised knee.
"We get 'Let's go Raptors' in a lot of cities," Nurse said. "It's nice to see it in Tokyo as well. Lot of Raptors fans around the world. It's great."
There were plenty of Rockets fans as well, for good reason.
Harden put on yet another dazzling offensive show, making his first six shots and finishing 11 for 14 from the field and scoring 34 points in 27 minutes.
His final points were a pair of free throws with 3:40 left in the third quarter that put Houston up 104-87. He checked out shortly afterward, and Toronto outscored Houston 47-25 the rest of the way.
"It was amazing," Harden said. "They got an opportunity to see what NBA basketball is about, what Rockets basketball is about. They brought the energy tonight. They were excited from the beginning of the game. They made us want to go out there and put on a show, so hopefully it can be that same kind of atmosphere on Thursday."
China punishes NBA as crisis over democracy tweet deepens
China punishes NBA as crisis over democracy tweet deepensHowever the National Basketball Association faced a counter-attack in the United States, where presidential candidates and influential senators accused it of kowtowing to authoritarian China.
The Houston Rockets keep finding a way to win after James Harden inspired a 138-134 overtime win against the Los Angeles Lakers. Houston trailed the Lakers for almost the entire game on Saturday, but Eric Gordon hit a huge three-pointer to tie it up and force OT. Reigning NBA MVP Harden continued
James Edward Harden Jr. (born August 26, 1989) is an American professional basketball player for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Russell Westbrook played for Houston for the first time, scoring 13 points in 21 minutes in his preseason debut.
"It wasn't bad," said Westbrook, the longtime Oklahoma City star and former MVP now in his first season with Houston. "Unfortunately, we didn't win. That's the main goal. But it was good to get on the floor for the first time, get up and down, try to find a rhythm. We've got a lot of work to do."
Serge Ibaka scored 18 points and Fred VanVleet scored 16 for the Raptors, who played without Marc Gasol and Kyle Lowry.
There are six games later Tuesday: Philadelphia plays host to Guangzhou of the Chinese Basketball Association, San Antonio visits Miami, Memphis hosts New Zealand, Dallas goes to Oklahoma City, Minnesota is at Phoenix and Denver plays in Portland.
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Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press
Zach LaVine leads Bulls past Raptors 105-91 in pre-season game in Toronto .
TORONTO — Zach LaVine scored 26 points and his Chicago Bulls hit 18 three-point jumpers in a 105-91 pre-season victory over the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors on Sunday. Fifth-year guard LaVine did most of the damage for Chicago with a pair of three-pointers and 16 points in the first half. He finished with four three-pointers. Tomas Satoransky and Coby White also scored four three-pointers apiece. The Bulls went 18 for 49 beyond the three-point arc, in total, compared to the Raptors nine for 29.OG Anunoby led Toronto with 15 points, followed by Matt Thomas with 12 and Canadian Chris Boucher's 11.