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TORONTO -- The numbers caught up with the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night. So did the San Antonio Spurs. Without four new recruits from the Rudy Gay trade, the depleted Raptors ran out of steam against the well-stocked defending Western Conference champions. Led by Manu Ginobilis 16 points, seven Spurs scored in double figures as San Antonio recovered from a slow start to thump the Raptors 116-103 in NBA play. Toronto (7-13) led by as much as 14 in the first quarter but, with little help available on the bench, faded fast and San Antonio (16-4) pulled ahead as the game wore on. DeMar DeRozan and Amir Johnson led Toronto with 19 points. Tony Parker finished with 15 and Tim Duncan 14 as the Spurs went to their bench early. It was Torontos first game since the Gay trade was officially approved by the league, although the players involved sat out Sundays 106-94 road win over the Lakers. Toronto used just eight players in the win, snapping a five-game losing streak. "They got us in the second quarter. That was the difference in the game," said Toronto coach Dwane Casey. "I was really happy and proud with the way our guys executed in the first quarter. Kind of a carryover from the L.A. game and thats a good sign. "Again, theres no excuses in this league but Im going to chalk this one to travel a little bit, we ran out of gas. But youre talking about one of the best teams in the league in (San Antonio)." The Raptors -- returning home from a three-game West Coast swing -- were without Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes, acquired Monday in the deal that sent Gay, Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy to Sacramento. Forward Tyler Hansbrough was not available Tuesday, sidelined by a shoulder sprain. D.J. Augustin was waived on Monday. That left 10 players available to face the Spurs, with DeRozan and Terrence Ross struggling with their accuracy, shooting a combined 10 of 27. "You can make all the excuses. I dont want to make any excuses," said guard Kyle Lowry. "We just lost tonight." "It is what it is," DeRozan said of the Raptors lack of help. "Youve got to deal with it. We went out there and played hard." Patterson, Salmons and Hayes were due to arrive in Toronto late Tuesday with Venezuelas Vasquez slated to come in Wednesday due to red tape requirements. The Spurs, meanwhile, were in their third country in less than a week. San Antonio was in Mexico City last week for a date with the Minnesota Timberwolves that was eventually postponed due to smoke inside the arena. Tuesdays game was the first of four in five nights for the Spurs, who were coming off a 111-100 loss Sunday in Indiana. Three-point shooting helped the Spurs gain their lead. San Antonio, moving the ball around nicely before going cold late from outside the arc, hit 13 of 23 compared to 10 of 23 for Toronto. Toronto had 19 turnovers, which yielded 20 points. Centre Jonas Valanciunas looked good early Tuesday, sinking his first five shots with an arsenal ranging from a dunk and hook shot to put-back layup and tip. But he only scored four points the rest of the way. Led by the Lithuanian, Toronto made its first six baskets for a 13-6 lead before DeRozan missed a three-point attempt some four minutes in. The first quarter ended with the Raptors ahead 36-24 and shooting at 62.5 per cent compared to 47.8 for San Antonio. Torontos two bigs, Valanciunas and Johnson, combined for 20 points on 10-of-12 shooting while Spurs stars Duncan and Parker totalled eight points. "We played good basketball after the first quarter," said San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich. "We played very badly in the first quarter, no defence. Then we played pretty good ball after that." San Antonio took control in the second quarter, outscoring Toronto 35-17 as the Raptors missed on 14-of-22 shots. A 13-2 Spurs run at the start of the quarter narrowed the gap to one point and the visitors pulled ahead for the first time, 41-40, courtesy of an Aron Baynes dunk. San Antonio led 59-53 at the half, closing with a 13-4 run. Valanciunas and Johnson were stuck on 24 points after two quarters. Torontos shooting percentage was down to 50 while the Spurs improved to 54.8. The depleted Toronto bench was 1-of-7 shooting in the first half (9 of 25 overall) compared to 10 of 17 for the Spurs (23 of 38). San Antonio pushed the lead to 15, up 89-74 at the end of the third quarter. The game was pretty much over by then. Casey says plenty of work lies ahead for the new-look Raps. "Were going to treat (practice) Wednesday and Thursday like training camp, weve got so many new guys coming in," he said prior to the game. "Were going to go back to basics. Weve got to find out where guys can fit in." Ross got the start at small forward Tuesday, with Casey calling the six-foot-six Ross a "freak athlete" who is one of the most athletic players he has ever coached in the NBA. "Hes a great athlete. He just has to harness that, bring it in and be a complete player, and do it on a consistent basis." Tuesday was not his night to show it, however. He finished with 14 points on 4-of-13 shooting. "Hes a young kid but thats the only way hes going to learn, to be in there in the fray," Casey said later. "I thought he did some good things." "A typical young guy," he added. "He and Jonas both are error-prone and weve got to continue to work with them and get them better in those areas and cut those (mistakes) down." Asked if Ross will continue to get the start, Casey said: "Well see." He called the start "an opportunity, not given." Canadian Cory Joseph and former Raptor Matt Bonner got warm receptions when they checked into the game for the Spurs in the fourth quarter. Baynes, a six-foot-10 Australian in his second year in the NBA, finished with a timely career-high 14 for the Spurs, who were without injured centre Tiago Splitter (calf). San Antonio is now 30-9 all-time against the Raptors, and has won the last six meetings. Torontos last victory over the Spurs was Jan. 3, 2010, at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto FCs Brazilian target Gilberto was said to be in attendance. Raptors global ambassador Drake was also courtside. Custom Carolina Hurricanes Jerseys .35 million, avoiding arbitration. Davis led the majors last season with 53 home runs and 138 RBIs, both career highs. He earned $3. Hurricanes Jerseys China . - A week after a late-game debacle on defence, the Pittsburgh Steelers showed they can finish. https://www.cheaphurricanes.com/ . Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane wanted to stay in Chicago and the Blackhawks wanted to keep the high-scoring forwards in the only NHL uniform they have ever known. Carolina Hurricanes Shirts . The 23-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., defeated Germanys Benjamin Becker 6-3, 6-4 on Tuesday in the fourth round of the Sony Open in just 89 minutes. Carolina Hurricanes Pro Shop .Brazil midfielder Ricardo Goulart scored the winner in the 50th minute to give the defending champion a four-point advantage in the standings over second-place Sao Paulo, which beat rival Palmeiras 2-0.MALMO, SWEDEN – While sitting in the stands at the Malmo Isstadion on Boxing Day serving the second game of a four-game suspension, Griffin Reinhart was surprised to hear the voice of Zach Fucale. Team Canadas backup goalie at the time was on the bench and, per usual, running his mouth. What was he saying? "I dont even know," said Reinhart, the big Edmonton Oil Kings defenceman, "just kind of gibberish." "Maybe he just didnt understand me," said Fucale with a grin. The Halifax Mooseheads goalie talks a good game. Literally. "I like to just keep a little play-by-play of the game by myself," said the 18-year-old Montreal Canadiens prospect. "I talk a lot and encourage everyone as well." WATCH: Sportscentre story on Fucales special night and why his teammates say hes different than most goalies Hes been doing it so long he cant remember when he started. It may seem strange, but it seems to be working. Fucales trophy case already includes a Memorial Cup championship won in May and an Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament title in 2012. In short tournaments like those, being vocal goes a long way in terms of helping defencemen adjust to playing in front of a new goalie as well as with a new partner. "We dont play with each other all year long so its important we talk a lot and communicate as much as we can," Fucale notes. "Theres not a detail you can really miss in this type of tournament so if we talk a lot well be on the same page." Fucale started the 2014 World Junior Hockey Championship as Jake Patersons understudy, but parlayed a steady 19-save performance against Slovakia on Monday into another start the next night against the Americans. With first place on the line, Fucale held the fort during another slow start by his teammates, turning aside all 13 first-period shots faced. He stoned Connor Carrick on a breakaway late in the third to preserve what ended up as a 3-2 victory.dddddddddddd. During the third period and also post-game the thousands of fans in attendance chanted Fucales name. WATCH: Post2Post: Jamie McLennan breaks down Fucales seven "10-bell saves" v USA When his teammates and even head coach Brent Sutter talk about Fucale the word "swagger" comes up quite a bit. "Hes always cocky," said forward Charles Hudon. "Not cocky like he wants to show-up everyone, but cocky for himself. I played with him in peewee and bantam (in Boisbriand, Que.) and he had the same swagger." "Hes all about confidence and thats what you need," said Val-dOr forward Anthony Mantha, who is tied for the tournament lead with 10 points. Goalies will often be in their own world and keep to themselves in the dressing room. Fucale, though, bucks the trend. "Hes a confident guy and a loud guy," said Team Canada captain Scott Laughton. "Ive never seen a goalie so loud in the room. Hes been very good for us staying positive when he wasnt playing. In the room, hes one of the more vocal guys. Ive never seen that before from a goalie. Usually theyre pretty quiet, but its just like hes one of the guys." "Around the room, you see a lot of goalies are pretty weird and they have certain routines," said forward Connor McDavid, "You cant talk to them [at certain times], but, honestly, Zachs really relaxed and he does have that swagger." Fucale, for his part, wasnt sure how to respond when asked if he had a lot of swagger. "I dont know," he said. "I try to just stay low key and do my job. Maybe I talk a lot in the room, but I dont know about that." What he does know is that the win over the United States wont mean anything unless his team plays well in the knockout rounds starting on Thursday against Switzerland. "The round robin doesnt really count," said Fucale. "Its Game 7 now." ' ' '
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