Kurt Helin

Associated Press

Raptors beat Hawks 105-97 to notch franchise’s first 50-win season

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TORONTO (AP) — DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points, Jonas Valanciunas added 19 points and nine rebounds, and the Toronto Raptors earned their franchise-record 50th victory of the season Wednesday night, 105-97 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

DeRozan added six assists and five rebounds, while Kyle Lowry finished with 17 points, 11 assists and six rebounds as Toronto (50-24) won for just the second time in five games.

Toronto became the final franchise in the NBA to reach 50 in a season.

Jeff Teague had 18 points for the Hawks (45-31), whose four-game winning streak was snapped.

Tim Hardaway Jr. added 15 points and Paul Millsap had seven points and nine rebounds for Atlanta, which has won 14 of its last 18 games.

The Raptors took the lead for good early in the first quarter and led by as many as 24 points late in the third before Atlanta scored 14 straight in the fourth period to make a game of it.

Data curated by PointAfter

Hardaway Jr. had eight points over that stretch, including a pair of 3-pointers.

But with the Toronto lead down to 93-84, the Raptors reeled off six straight points to re-establish some breathing room.

The Raptors led 89-67 going into the fourth quarter on the strength of a 31-14 run over the final nine minutes of the third.

After the Hawks opened the second half by scoring 12 of the first 16 points, Toronto took over.

The Raptors hit four 3s in the third quarter, including a pair by rookie guard Norman Powell, who had 10 points in the period.

Toronto had widened its lead to 54-41 at halftime as Lowry and DeRozan combined for 18 points in the second quarter alone, just three shy of the total scored by all Hawks in the period.

After missing his first six shots, Lowry hit back-to-back 3s on his way to 11 points in the quarter. DeRozan also hit a pair of 3s as the Raptors went 7 for 14 from beyond the arc in the half.

Teague was 5 for 9 for 10 points in the first half for the Hawks, who shot just two free throws through two quarters compared to 12 attempts for Toronto.

TIP-INS

Hawks: Atlanta turned the ball over 18 times, leading to 25 Toronto points, compared to 11 turnovers by the Raptors for 12 Hawks points. . Atlanta hit 14 of 33 from 3-point range, compared to 11 of 23 for Toronto.

Raptors: Forward Luis Scola sat out with a sore right knee and Jason Thompson got the start in his place. . Powell has scored in double figures in four straight games.

 

Stephen Curry fans fall from stands trying to get autograph

Associated Press
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Four fans trying to get an autograph from Stephen Curry fell out of the stands when a railing dislodged before the Utah Jazz hosted the Golden State Warriors.

Curry had just finished his pregame routine, which draws many fans at Warriors games, when he stopped to take a picture and sign a few autographs at the opening of the tunnel.

A large number of fans lined the stands surrounding the tunnel, holding jerseys and other paraphernalia for Curry to sign. As he did, a railing dislodged and four fans, including three minors, fell onto the floor at Curry’s feet.

One fan went to first aid on his own and the other three were treated, released and returned to their seats.

Curry autographed an item for the three fans that did not leave the scene.

Jazz spokesman Frank Zang said the team will re-evaluate the safety measures around the court.

D’Angelo Russell: “I am sorry I recorded that video. I feel horrible.”

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And now comes the D'Angelo Russell apology tour.

Not that there’s much else he can do after a video that he had taken months ago went public. In that video, teammate Nick Young — who is engaged to pop star Iggy Azalea — talks about sleeping with other women. Russell said that Snapchat video was meant to be a private joke, but as of last week it ended up the Twitter account of a celebrity gossip site and went viral from there.

It has led to teammates shunning Russell, according to reports. Azalea liked the video and thanked Russell, which you know is not good news for Young (Russell admitted as much). And if you were a teammate of Russell’s now, wouldn’t you look askance at him?

Russell apologized profusely, both before the media at Staples Center Wednesday, and to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports before that.

“I am sick,” Russell told The Vertical by phone on his drive to the Staples Center on Wednesday. “I am sorry about recording the video. I can’t repeat myself enough on that: I am sorry I recorded that video. I feel horrible. I wish this never happened.”

When asked about how the video left his possession and became public months after it was recorded, Russell told The Vertical: “Honestly, I have no idea. Me and Nick, that’s our friendship: We play around a lot. Anyone who knows him and knows me, they know that about us. But I apologize for recording that video. I never intentionally wanted to hurt anyone. I never wanted what was said in there to get out. It was my fault that it did, but that was never intentional.”

Russell has got a lot of work to do on that trust. He, at least, seems to understand that.

Russell said he apologized to Young, who “heard him out” but didn’t necessarily accept the apology.

Russell repeatedly said he did not know how the video became public, saying he was trying to figure it out. There are reports that Russell posted the video to Snapchat, thinking he could take it down before it was noticed. Russell denied that. If the Snapchat thing were true, that would show a shocking lack of both maturity and understanding of how things work on social media and the Web in general.

Young spoke for less than 30 seconds to the media before Wednesday night’s Laker game.

Don’t worry, Lakers’ coach Byron Scott will underplay the damage.

Dwyane Wade, wife Gabrielle Union, to have home-flipping show on HGTV

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Home-flipping/renovation shows are the bread-and-butter of HGTV — you know, that station your mom watches. “Flip or Flop,” “Property Brothers,” and the like are big hits and the network is spinning off multiple versions of that model.

Enter Heat All-Star Dwyane Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union — they are getting their own home flipping show, a celebrity spin on model, the network announced. Here is the description from their press release announcing the network’s fall lineup.

Actress Gabrielle Union and Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade are beginning a passion project – flipping homes. Follow along as they renovate, revitalize and resell a home in a suburban Florida neighborhood.

Dwyane Wade tweeted this would be his summer workout plan (his brand workout play, at least), but played the show down a little when Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel asked him about it.

“We’ll see how it goes,” Wade said before Wednesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. “It depends on kind of if it’s going to start off as an episode. But it depends on if we want to cut it up, if we want to make a series out of it. All that stuff is still going to be finalized at a later date. But right now we’re green-lighted to get our show going….

“It’s just our love for HGTV,” he said. “We watch it all the time. We’re big fans of all them guys. So we had an opportunity because of our passion of the show and it went from there. It’s something fun and something that we both are excited to take on this summer at some point. So it’ll be cool.”

The house to be flipped has yet to be picked, but Wade said he and his wife would have to do this over the summer when he was off from the team. Wade is also a free agent this summer.

Finally, a show you and your mom can sit down and watch together. Well, besides Game of Thrones.

DeMarre Carroll says he wants to return before regular season ends, is ramping up workouts

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Tuesday came the report that the Raptors don’t think DeMarre Carroll will be back for the end of the regular season and likely only would play if the Raptors make a deep playoff run.

Carroll doesn’t see it that way.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday he said he wanted to be back for a few games of the regular season so he can be ready for the postseason. From Eric Smith, the Raptors’ radio play-by-play guy.

Players are notoriously (at times legendarily) optimistic about their healing powers and ability to come back from injuries. They almost always underestimate the time involved. But Carroll has set his targets, saying he wants to be able to come back and play like a bulldog, not a poodle.

To be clear, there was a setback as was previously reported, and with that you can understand why team officials might be cautious about his return.

The Raptors have set team records for wins in a season the last couple years only to get bumped in the first round of the playoffs. The Raptors are about to set a franchise record for wins again this season, but fans have been hesitant about buying in, even though is a team capable of a run (so are a few others). Carroll returning would give them a reason to believe.

But we’ll see if he plays, and if he does, we’ll see if he’s a bulldog.