Cumberland Times-News

Local Sports

April 3, 2013

Valanciunas has career night, Raptors beat Wizards


TORONTO — Jonas Valanciunas joked that the last time he went to the free throw line so much he was probably 13 years old.

Valanciunas went 16-of-18 at the line, scored a career-high 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Toronto Raptors past the Washington Wizards 88-78 on Wednesday night.

“From the start I was a new guy in the NBA, didn’t know a lot about it and there’s a big learning process during every game,” said Valanciunas, who admitted he’s starting to get more calls from refs around the league. “I was not talking to (the officials), not complaining about calls, maybe that helped me.”

Raptors coach Dwane Casey has started seeing growth in the rookie, who had a career-best five blocks Monday in a loss to Detroit.

“The physicality of the game doesn’t bother him anymore,” Casey said. “Where before he’d kind of disappear a little bit, now JV is huge at the end of the games. You can go to him, he can make free throws, he can pass the basketball. Most of all, he can defend without fouling and I think that’s huge for him, too.

“That growth on his part has been huge.”

DeMar DeRozan scored 25 points for Toronto, which snapped a two-game losing streak after being eliminated from the playoff chase with the 108-98 home loss to the Pistons.

John Wall had 20 points to lead the short-handed Wizards (28-47), who announced before the game that rookie standout Bradley Beal will miss the remainder of the season with a right leg injury.

The Raptors entered the fourth carrying a 68-62 lead thanks in part to solid free throw shooting from Valanciunas and Kyle Lowry, who finished with nine points, eight boards and 13 assists.

DeRozan drained a deep two late in the fourth, stretching the Raptors’ lead to 84-74, and Toronto held on for the win.

The Raptors, who shot 75 percent (27 of 36) on free throws against the Wizards, are second in the NBA in from the line since the All-Star break at 81 percent.

Trailing 50-39 at half time, Toronto used an early 12-4 run to pull to within two.

“We did not come out with any focus,” said Wizards coach Randy Wittman. “That’s where this group has to, on the road, put a team away. To be up 11 at half time and then go through the motions in those first three minutes, let them back in it. We need that killer instinct, and we have not shown it.”

DeRozan put down a one-handed dunk on Nene, picking up the hoop and the foul.

Then Valanciunas, who led all scorers at the half with 13, took care of Nene defensively with a one-handed swat on the 6-foot-11 forward.

DeRozan pulled Toronto within one with a layup off the glass plus the foul, and Quincy Acy completed the comeback with a one-handed dunk.

“It definitely felt good,” DeRozan said. “That was frustrating. We let teams jump out on us like that and then we got to fight our way back. We know we got to play like we did in the second half for 48 minutes.

“That’s embarrassing when a team gets up on you on your home court.”

Toronto opened the game on a 6-0 run and led for much of the first period, but Trevor Ariza capped off a 6-0 Washington run with a 3-pointer to put the Wizards up 24-23 after the first.

Rudy Gay, who scored a season-high 34 in the Raptors’ loss to Detroit, finished with six points and eight rebounds. Casey said afterward that Gay was reduced to just 24 minutes because he twisted his ankle.

Landry Fields, who went to Los Angeles for follow-up tests on his right elbow Monday, was the beneficiary of added minutes as a result of Gay’s injury. Fields scored three points in 17 minutes.

Notes: Beal, the No. 3 overall pick in last year’s draft out of Florida, averaged 13.9 points, 3.8 assists and 2.4 rebounds this season.


Text Only
Local Sports
  • Duke freshman Jabari Parker declares for NBA draft Duke freshman Jabari Parker declares for NBA draft

    Jabari Parker is hoping to become Duke’s latest one-and-done star to become the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West? Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West?

    To get another shot at LeBron James, the San Antonio Spurs may have to go through Dirk Nowitzki, then Dwight Howard and James Harden, and finally Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kuchar builds on Masters momentum Kuchar builds on Masters momentum

    There were no major letdowns for Masters contenders Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth at the RBC Heritage on Thursday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Alco beats Northern Alco beats Northern

    CRESAPTOWN — Ashleigh Eisentrout knocked in four runs to lead Allegany to an 11-2 win over Northern in Appalachian Mountain Athletic Conference action Wednesday at Carl Belt Field, marking the 200th victory in the Camper head coaching career of Rick Twigg.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Allegany blanks Bishop Walsh

    CUMBERLAND — Colton Sivic and Dylan Shockey doubled and singled, and four pitchers combined on a four-hit shutout to lead top-ranked Allegany to a 7-0 win over Bishop Walsh Wednesday at Al Martin Field.

    April 16, 2014

  • Christopher Newport tops FSU 2-1 on Nicely’s RBI

    NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — A.J. Nicely’s RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning broke a tie game and lifted third-seeded Christopher Newport to a 2-1 victory over fourth-seeded Frostburg State in the opening round of the Capital Athletic Conference tournament Wednesday afternoon.

    April 16, 2014

  • FSU rallies, defeats Saint Vincent, 15-13

    LATROBE, Pa. — Malory Brunett, Megan White and Ellie Garner combined to score nine goals as Frostburg State rallied for a 15-13 women’s lacrosse victory over Saint Vincent on Wednesday afternoon.

    April 16, 2014

  • Sports Roundup - 04/17

    April 16, 2014

  • Sports Calendar - 04/17

    April 16, 2014

  • Jets Chris Johnson Jets sign former Titans RB Chris Johnson

    NEW YORK — Always fast on the field, Chris Johnson is looking to quickly prove his critics wrong.
    The New York Jets signed the former Titans running back Wednesday, a little over a week after he was officially released by Tennessee.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo