BROOKLYN - If you subscribe to the concept of momentum, theres reason to be concerned about the Raptors chances going into Sundays series deciding Game 7. Metta World Peace Jersey . The shift began amid Wednesdays fourth-quarter meltdown, a 44-point browbeating, and carried over to Fridays Game 6. Facing elimination on their home court, a desperate Nets team jumped out to a 34-19 lead after 12 minutes and the Raptors - dazed and confused - never recovered, trailing for the duration. So how crucial is momentum at this time of year? "If you look at the series, the way its gone, its been like a roller coaster the whole time," Dwane Casey said following his teams 97-83 loss in Brooklyn, forcing a Game 7 on Sunday afternoon, tipping off at 1:00 PM from the Air Canada Centre. "Every game has been different." And that was the extent of Caseys post-game assembly. Questions about momentum, clearly favouring their surging opponents. Questions regarding experience, also favouring the veteran Nets. The Raptors were being written off before departing Brooklyn. "To listen to some of this, we may as well not play Game 7," said an agitated Casey. "Every game is different and I know our team will bounce back." For a brief, fleeting moment, Caseys team played the unfamiliar role of favourites, up 3-2 in the series, and it wasnt a good look for them. From the moment Rudy Gay was traded theyve fancied themselves underdogs. Its what brought them together, its what motivates them. Without that built-in adversity, they were unrecognizable. The Nets opened the game with the fight you would expect from a team on the ropes and for whatever reason, Toronto was unable to match it. The Raptors were flat offensively and showed little-to-no resistance on defence. Brooklyn outscored the Raptors 22-4 in the paint, out-rebounded them 14-4 and shot an impressive 68 per cent from the field. They moved the ball, got in the lane at will and controlled the tempo of the game from the jump, while the Raptors could barely get into their offensive sets. "It just comes down to who wants it more," DeMar DeRozan had said the day prior. On Friday it was all Brooklyn. "We didnt really realize we had Brooklyn against the wall and we didnt take advantage of it like we should," said DeRozan after leading the team with 28 points, no one else scored more than Kyle Lowrys 11. "We should have known they were going to come out throwing haymakers and we werent ready for it until the second half." "We just didnt come out with the competitive nature that we needed tonight," Lowry added. "They did an unbelievable job of forcing their will on the game tonight, but we have to find a way to match that intensity." In taking control of the series, Toronto had finally dodged the dreaded inexperience narrative that theyve been trying to shake since they drew the Nets but here it is, rearing its head once again. This was a scenario Casey had considered, one he feared. "I was concerned about what would happen tonight," the Raptors coach admitted. "[In] any Game 6, a team is going to come out with a desperate mindset. With this team, they built to win a championship this year, and theyre going to come out and give you their best shot. [I] knew that coming in and tried to warn our team. Guys who havent been in Game 6 before, its one of the toughest things to do." "Again, experience is the best teacher. Now were going into Game 7, its our first time at that. Luckily we have it at home." Yes, they will play Sundays elimination game in the friendly confines of their home gym, in front of a fan base that has been exceptionally supportive throughout their playoff run. That may be the only tangible reason to like their odds. As a franchise, the Raptors have only participated in one Game 7, the infamous day of Vince Carters graduation and missed fadeaway back in 2001. They have never hosted a deciding playoff game at the Air Canada Centre. With Portlands win over Houston, the Raptors now have the NBAs longest active streak without a playoff series victory. None of Torontos starters have played in a Game 7 while Paul Pierce alone has appeared in eight, Kevin Garnett in six and Joe Johnson in four. And then theres the momentum, if you believe in such things. The Raptors say they dont buy into momentum. The Nets, however, are counting on it. "I think we just need to take this momentum from this game into the next," said Nets forward Andray Blatche, who guaranteed a victory on Wednesday and did the same for Game 7. "I think our momentum will carry over. I think we found a recipe in getting a win on defence and offence and controlling the paint." So here they are. After all this time - two weeks, six games, broken shot clocks, a lint-free global ambassador and an F-bomb dropping general manager - the division-winning Toronto Raptors are right back where they started. Theyre a young, inexperienced team in over their heads, right? Maybe. But if nothing else, theyre back in their comfort zone. Theyre going to be overlooked, theyre going to be the underdogs. So, count them out at your own risk. "We believe in ourselves," Patrick Patterson insisted. "Everyone in this locker room believes in ourselves. Weve believed in ourselves all year long. For us to have any doubt in our minds right now is unacceptable. Its not like we cant beat them. Weve beat them before. Weve done it in the regular season [and] weve done it in the playoffs." "Now we know its win or go home," DeRozan said. "Everything is on the line now. Either we step up and we play with a force from the jump ball to the end of the game, or well be going home the next day." Marcus Thornton Jersey . According to a report from CSN Bay Area, the 49ers are bracing for 6-8 game suspension for their outside linebacker. Bobby Wanzer Jersey . The 29-year-old Mills started three games for Oakland this season, posting a 1-1 record with a 4.41 earned-run average. He opened the season appearing in 14 games and making 12 starts for the Milwaukee Brewers triple-A affiliate in Nashville, posting a 4-2 record with a 1.Who does West Indies star and World T20 champion Dwayne Bravo expect to light up Euro 2016? A big Swede is on his list... The all-rounder, who is currently playing for Surrey in the NatWest T20 Blast, has picked the seemingly Manchester United-bound Zlatan Ibrahimovic as one of his three players to watch out for in France.Bravo is also backing legend Wayne Rooney for a strong campaign with England - but who was his No 1 pick? Hint - he plays his club football in the Spanish capital and the likes the number seven... Click on the video above to see Bravos Euro 2016 picks aand then keep up to speed with all the news from this summers tournament on Sky Sports digital platforms. Sacramento Kings Store. You can also catch plenty of NatWest T20 Blast action live on Sky Sports, including Friday nights game between Nottinghamshire Outlaws and Derbyshire Falcons (7pm, Sky Sports 2) and next Wednesdays clash between Somerset and Glamorgan (5pm, Sky Sports 2). Also See: Fixtures/results Live cricket on Sky Get Sky Sports Cricket videos ' ' '
DETROIT -- Doug Weight recalled his father putting him on skates at the age of 2 because he could barely walk due to a childhood condition that relegated him to wearing braces on his legs. Vlade Divac Jersey . "He started putting me on the ice to strengthen them at the suggestion from a doctor," he said. Weight said it wasnt a pretty sight at the rink in St. Clair Shores, Mich. "I looked like Forrest Gump," he joked. Four decades later, Weight was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. The Stanley Cup champion, three-time Olympian and four-time NHL All-Star was inducted Monday night at the Motor City Casino -- in the city where he grew up. "Its ironic," the Detroiter said. "Pretty special." Weight was honoured along with former teammate Bill Guerin, a two-time Stanley Cup champion, three-time Olympian and four-time All-Star. "Its very special, three different NHL teams and nine teams in all," Weight said about the number of times he teamed up with Guerin. "Its a pretty incredible run together. "Its icing on the cake to go in with Billy." Weight and Guerins wives and children have become friends over the years, going on vacations together and sharing holidays as families. "It couldnt have worked out any better," Guerin said. Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos, former college coach Ron Mason and Cindy Curley, one of the pioneers in womens hockey, also were inducted. USA Today Hockey Writer Kevin Allen was also given the Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the U.S. at the event. Weight and Guerin began their friendship before they were in the NHL and grew closer while playing together for the Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues and New York Islanders. They also teamed up to play for their country on more than once occasion, including the 2002 Winter Olympics when they helped the Americans take the silver medal. Weight, who won a Stanley Cup in 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes, had 278 career goals and 1,033 points from the 1991-92 season through the 2010-11 season. He is an assistant coach for the New York Islanders. Guerin hoisted Cups in 1995 with the New Jersey Devils and in 2009 with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The native of Massachusetts had 429 goals and 856 points in his career that started during the same season as Weight and ended one year earlier. Guerin is a player development coach for the Penguins. Karmanos fell in love hockey when his children began playing the sport, but laments that a lot of kids cant afford to play the game. He said ice cost about $40 an hour when his children were growing up and now costs $300 for the same period of time. Sticks and skates, he said, also are much more expensive. "One of the things that holds us back as a sport is it costs too much," Karmanos said. "Were pricing a lot of people out of the game." Mason led Michigan State and Lake Superior State to national titles and also coached at Bowling Green. He also was an athletic director for the Spartans. "This isnt something you dream about," he said. "If youve put a lot of years in, like I did, as a player and a coach and of course AD, its nice to be rewarded at the end of it." Curley had a record 23 points in the International Ice Hockey Federations first world championship for women in 1990. "The womens game is way behind the mens game and it hasnt been around as long," she said. "We are all, as women, patient for the opportunities that the guys have had. The fact that the Hall is considering women is exciting to me. I know theres so many great players that deserve to be in here that will be. Im just honoured that they considered me." DaQuan Jeffries Jersey . Mike Babcock has turned to the Montreal Canadiens goalie over Roberto Luongo, who backed Canada to a gold medal in Vancouver in 2010, for Canadas final preliminary round game against the ailing Finns. Francisco Garcia Jersey . The Hockey Canada Foundation is donating $50,000, with Hockey Quebec contributing $15,000. Hockey Canada also announced it will hold a skills camp for all levels of minor hockey in Lac-Mégantic during the 2013-14 season. Representatives from Hockey Canada, the Hockey Canada Foundation and Hockey Quebec were on hand Tuesday night at a meeting of the AHM de Lac-Mégantic to make the announcement and presentation.MANCHESTER, England -- Valencia and PSV Eindhoven slumped to humiliating home losses as the Europa League threw up some early surprises in the opening round of group-stage matches on Thursday. Languishing near the bottom of the Spanish league, Valencias woes deepened by losing 3-0 to Swansea in Group A, sparking a brief walkout by a section of fans midway through the match in protest at the teams poor performances. Swansea secured its greatest ever result by capitalizing on the 10th-minute sending-off of Valencia centre back Adil Rami to score through Wilfried Bony, Michu and Jonathan de Guzman at the Mestalla. "I am so pleased for everybody because now they know they can play against the biggest clubs in the biggest stadiums without any problem," said Swansea manager Michael Laudrup, who fielded six Spanish players in his lineup -- more than Valencia. Bulgarian minnow Ludogorets Razgrad provided a second upset of the night by scoring twice in the final half hour to win 2-0 at PSV, which was European champion in 1988 and also won the UEFA Cup 10 years earlier. Tottenham, among the favourites this season having embarked on a summer spending spree, restored some normality by cruising past Tromso 3-0 thanks to two first-half goals by Jermain Defoe, while Fiorentina beat Pacos Ferreira 3-0, Lazio defeated Legia Warsaw 1-0, two-time former champion Sevilla won 2-1 at tournament debutant Estoril, and Real Betis drew 0-0 with Lyon. All 48 teams were in action across 12 groups in Europes second-tier competition, but there was no doubt where the standout scoreline was. Valencia went down to its biggest home loss in Europe since a 5-1 defeat to Inter Milan in 2004, adding another chapter to Swanseas remarkable rise from a financially troubled fourth-tier club in the English league 10 years ago to a first major trophy (last seasons League Cup) and then this famous European win. The writing was on the wall as soon as Rami was given a straight red for pulling back Bony when the striker was through on goal. Swansea toyed with the hosts at times with its easy-on-the-eye passing game and Bony finished off a flowing move in the 14th minute to put the Welsh team ahead. Clyde Lovellette Jersey . A group of Valencia supporters emptied the stand in the bottom tier behind one of the goals for 10 minutes at the start of the second half in protest, returning just in time to see Michu -- one of Swanseas Spanish contingent -- add a second in the 58th from compatriot Ajejandro Pozuelos through-ball. De Guzman completed the scoring with a fabulous, curling free kick from long range in the 62nd. "I am the same as the players," said Valencia coach Miroslav Djukic, whose club has sold many of its best players over the past couple of seasons. "I am responsible for the situation, it is not just about the players. The performance was not good enough." Valencia, traditionally one of the biggest clubs in Spain, has lost three of its first four matches in La Liga to lie 16th. It was a good night for English Premier League clubs, with Tottenham able to rest a number of its leading players but still easily overcome Tromso at White Hart Lane in Group K. Defoe started ahead of Roberto Soldado, who left Valencia over the summer, and made the most of a rare opportunity by chipping the goalkeeper for the first goal in the 21st minute then sliding another good finish into the corner in the 29th. Substitute Christian Eriksen curled a 20-yarder brilliantly into the top corner for a late third but the win was tarnished by injuries to Mousa Dembele and Danny Rose. Gonzalo Rodriguez, Ryder Matos and Giuseppe Rossi were the scorers for Fiorentina, which wasnt too hindered by the absence to injury of prized striker Mario Gomez, while fellow Italian side Lazio relied on Brazilian midfielder Hernanes goal in the 53rd minute to see off Legia at home. Kevin Gameiro scored Sevillas winner in Portugal after Bruno Miguel cancelled out Victor Machins opener for the visitors. Eintracht Frankfurt crushed Bordeaux 3-0, Genk won 1-0 at Dynamo Kyiv and there were also victories for Salzburg, Rubin Kazan and AZ Alkmaar. ' ' '