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Reds bounce back with entertaining win over Loons

Toronto FC battled back to win 4-3 after being 3-1 down on Friday night against Minnesota United.

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Tomas Karageorgos | Report

Toronto FC battled back to win 4-3 after being 3-1 down on Friday night against Minnesota United.

Head coach Greg Vanney made two changes as Alex Bono moved back into his starting role between the sticks, and Richie Laryea played right back as the defence switched to a back four.

Minnesota opened the scoring in the 17th minute when Darwin Quintero pounced on a mistake from Bono. Ján Greguš sent a ball towards Quintero who was being marked by Laryea, Bono came off his line and Quintero made no mistake as he headed the ball down to control it then shot it into the empty net.

TFC tied the game at 1-1 in the 27th minute when Chris Mavinga cleared the ball after a Minnesota corner, which ended up at Alejandro Pozuelo’s feet who created a moment of magic as he went from inside his own half to the edge of Minnesota’s box before curling in a magnificent shot to beat keeper Vito Mannone.

Less than two minutes later, Pozuelo scored his second of the game in the 30th minute. Justin Morrow played a pass to Pozuelo who took a couple touches before shooting it high into the net with his left foot. Those two goals was the fastest brace recorded in Toronto FC history.

Minnesota made it 2-2 in the 57th minute when Ángelo Rodriguez headed home a Romain Métanire cross.

Rodriguez won a penalty for the Loons in the 69th minute when he was fouled in the box by Chris Mavinga. Quintero sent Bono the wrong way and gave the visitors the lead.

Substitute Jordan Hamilton tied it at 3-3 in the 77th minute as he finished with his weaker right foot after receiving a through ball from Jonathan Osorio.

Hamilton added another goal in the 78th minute to give his team the 4-3 lead and what would be the game-winning goal. Pozuelo sent a chipped pass to Jozy Altidore who sent it over Mannone, Hamilton beat the Minnesota defender to the ball and headed it in.

The action was not done there as two Minnesota players were sent off just minutes apart from each other. Greguš committed a hard scissor tackle on Pozuelo and was given a straight red in the 89th minute. Minnesota captain Francisco Calvo was given two yellow cards in injury time which sent him off as well. Those two players will be suspended for their team’s next game.

Meanwhile, Toronto FC will host the Portland Timbers on Saturday. The Timbers picked up their first victory of the season this past weekend, and are desperate for more points.

Kick-off is set for 3 p.m. at BMO Field.


Featured image from David Chant. ■

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Raptors snap Lakers win streak

The Toronto Raptors held the Los Angeles Lakers to 44 second half points on Sunday and won 113-104.

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The Toronto Raptors held the Los Angeles Lakers to 44 second half points on Sunday and won 113-104.

Pascal Siakam recorded a double-double as he scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Fred VanVleet also had a double-double as he had 23 points and 10 assists. Norman Powell had 14.

Chris Boucher slotted into the bench spot where Serge Ibaka would be, and he scored 15 points and blocked three shots. Terence Davis had 13 points, five rebounds and three assists in 17 minutes of action. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 10.

Anthony Davis scored 27 points for Los Angeles. Both Kyle Kuzma and Troy Daniels came off the bench and scored 15 and 11 points respectively.

LeBron James recorded a triple-double as he had 13 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds. Former Raptor Danny Green scored zero points.

Chris Boucher has shown that he is a player who is capable of playing efficient basketball at multiple levels.

Arguably two highlights of the night came from Pascal Siakam, and coach Nick Nurse.

Nurse won his first coach’s challenge this season.

Toronto’s next game is against the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday at Staples Center.

Tip-off is set for 10:30 p.m.


Featured image from Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press. ■

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Siakam ties career-high in Raptors costly win against Pelicans

Pascal Siakam scored 44 points as the Toronto Raptors defeated the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.

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Pascal Siakam scored 44 points as the Toronto Raptors defeated the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.

Siakam initially scored 44 points as his career-high against the Washington Wizards in mid-March of this year.

Siakam also recorded a double-double against New Orleans as he grabbed 10 rebounds.

OG Anunoby scored 21 points and had seven rebounds. Norman Powell scored 18 points off the bench. Fred VanVleet had 12.

Coach Nick Nurse had to run a deep squad rotation because Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka both suffered injuries in the first half.

Here are the details on their injuries:

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Brandon Ingram led the Pelicans with 27 points. Jrue Holiday scored 16.

Toronto native Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 13, and Frank Jackson also scored 13.

Former G-League MVP and defensive player of the year Chris Boucher will be a player that will see more minutes with the injury to Ibaka.

The Raptors scored 75 points in the first half , the most that the franchise has scored in the first half of a game since March 2018.

The Raptors will play LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday at Staples Center.

Tip-off is set for 9:30 p.m.


Featured image from Chuck Cook/USA Today Sports. ■

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Raptors team performance edges Sacramento

The Toronto Raptors defeated the Sacramento Kings 124-120 on Wednesday. 

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The Toronto Raptors defeated the Sacramento Kings 124-120 on Wednesday.

All of Toronto’s starters scored in double figures.

Kyle Lowry scored 24 points and Pascal Siakam recorded a double-double with 23 points and 13 rebounds. OG Anunoby had 18 points, six rebounds and five assists. Marc Gasol and Fred VanVleet scored 12 apiece.

Serge Ibaka provided a spark off the bench as he scored 21 points in 24 minutes.

Harrison Barnes led the Kings scorers with 26 points. Buddy Hield scored 21, and De’Aaron fox had 17 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 22 points, and made six three-pointers. Canadian and former Raptor Cory Joseph had 10 points.

Raptor Matt Thomas has not seen much action yet this season, but he has made the most of his minutes when called upon.

Ibaka has always brought passion when on the floor, and this dunk capped off his night along with the rest of the team.

The Raptors start a five-game road trip which begins on Friday against the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center.

Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.


Featured image from Cole Burston/Getty Images. ■

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