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ATLANTA - As Dwane Casey summed up his teams latest victory, famed actor and Atlanta-native Chris Tucker, a regular at Hawks ga

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ATLANTA - As Dwane Casey summed up his teams latest victory, famed actor and Atlanta-native Chris Tucker, a regular at Hawks games, looked on and waited his turn to enter the Raptors locker room. David Robinson Spurs Jersey . The Rush Hour star hung around, chatting with players and coaches until it was time for them to get on the bus and head back to Toronto. Hes not the only one that wants a piece of the East-leading Raptors. Theyve become the talk of the NBA. On this date a year ago, they would suffer a narrow defeat at the hands of Brooklyn. It was a night that turned out to be significant, as it was the first in a series of five straight losses, extending into December, that would ultimately force the trade of Rudy Gay. They havent dropped more than two consecutive contests since. Everything they have done over the last 12 months has in some way contributed to the team they have become today, a club that strongly believes they can win on any given night, against any opponent, anyway they have to. The scary part for any team on the other end: they might be right. Our confidence is pretty high, said Lou Williams, who was one of seven Raptors to score in double figures Wednesday as Toronto dropped a season-high 126 points on the Hawks, winning their sixth straight contest and improving to 13-2 on the campaign. Were playing at a high level, were winning games and were playing together. I think were doing a lot of things the right way, were playing good basketball, so the confidence is high. In a match-up of the Easts highest scoring teams, the Raptors came out on top. They were simply too much for Atlanta to handle. With significant offensive contributions coming from everywhere on their roster, top to bottom, they are an impossible team to game plan against. In the first quarter it was DeMar DeRozan, scoring 14 of his game-high 27 points, hitting all five of his shots. In the second, Terrence Ross scored five straight and Williams got cooking, on the way to pouring in 22 against his former club. The third belonged to Kyle Lowry, who had eight of his 14 points - he also recorded a season-best 13 assists on the night, committing just one turnover. Then the fourth quarter awakened Greivis Vasquez. The struggling back-up point guard scored the teams first 12 points of the frame and finished with 21 on just 12 shots in 16 minutes of action. Thats what its all about, thats what its going to take to win, said DeRozan. Not just me. Not just Kyle. Its going to take a collective effort, honestly. Thats what its all about. Everybody in here wants to win. Everybodys ego is put aside. Every time we step out there on the court we feel like we give ourselves a chance to win. Weve got a lot of depth, Williams added. It just shows the quality of a basketball team that we have. Three nights in a row its been somebody different stepping up. It was me with 36 in Cleveland and [Jonas Valanciunas] at home the other night and now Greivis having a breakout game. So it just shows the depth and the character of this team. Asked about the biggest difference between these Raptors and the version that began last season 6-12 with Gay, Casey pointed to role definition. Everyone has bought in, from top to bottom, and is doing just enough to carry their weight without rocking the boat. Its one of those things where guys know who they are, they know the team, they know their role, said Casey, his team improving to 4-1 on the road for the first time in franchise history. Everyone stays in their lane. They know that the ball is going to start with Kyle [and] DeMar, its going to go through our perimeter players, its going to go inside if need be. So everybody understands that, they dont try to do too much offensively and defensively they know exactly what to do. Thats where weve grown. You can put any situation in front of us and we should be able to handle it defensively. Everybody understands their role. Theres a pecking order. Theres not a my turn, your turn type situation. After failing to reach the 20-assist plateau in seven of the first 10 games, theyve exceeded it in five straight while prioritizing ball security in the process. They committed just two turnovers in the second half Wednesday, totaling 11 on the evening. Theyre maximizing their opportunities to score and the offence has never been better. Kyles really conscientious with the ball, DeMar is conscientious with the ball, Casey continued. We have few sets that have multiple long passes, a lot of our passes are short passes. We have a guard-oriented offence. So we try to cut down on [turnovers]. I think a lot of it is just our guards are conscientious, not trying to make crazy passes. Our guys have done a good job of making the simple play, simple pass and not something thats out of the Star Wars book. Despite the record, their effort out of the gate - over the first five games or so - was suspect and raised at least some cause for concern, but this recent stretch has been encouraging. They have defeated quality teams - Memphis, Cleveland, Phoenix and now Atlanta. Theyve won their last nine games by a combined 151 points (16.8 per victory) and theyre doing it in a multitude of ways, with a number of players stepping to the plate. The Raptors are now 13-2 to begin the campaign, showing no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Only four Eastern Conference teams have started a season with a record as good or better in the last 10 years. One made it to the Conference Semis, two advanced to the East Finals, the 2007-08 Celtics won the championship. Its definitley nice, admitted DeRozan. But were not looking at it at all. Were moving on to the next one. Bruce Bowen Jersey . Jason Zucker and Matt Cooke also scored for Minnesota, which has won five of six. Kuemper made five saves in the first, nine in the second, and nine in the third. The rookies best save came with 2:17 left in the third period when he denied former Wild forward Matt Cullen from just outside of the crease on the right side. Luka Samanic Jersey . Behind the talents of rookie Johnny Gaudreau, the Flames will look to keep pace Thursday night when they face the Minnesota Wild in the second of a six-game homestand. https://www.spurslockerroom.com/Bryn-Forbes-City-Edition-Jersey/ . With the Rangers already leading 2-0, Carey Price was taken down early in the second period of New Yorks 7-2 pounding of the Canadiens in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final on Saturday afternoon.UFC president Dana White has warned Conor McGregor he will be stripped of his featherweight title unless he quickly moves to clarify his future fighting plans. Irish superstar McGregor stunned the world of mixed martial arts by announcing his retirement from the sport with a brief tweet on Tuesday. The UFC acted quickly by announcing it had pulled him from the main event of its blockbuster UFC 200 card on July 9 after he refused to travel to Las Vegas later this week to promote the landmark card. UFC president Dana White wants to plan UFC 200 McGregor was scheduled to face Nate Diaz in a rematch of their March welterweight fight, which the American won via second-round submission.Also on the card, former featherweight champion Jose Aldo is scheduled to meet Frankie Edgar for an interim featherweight title.The plan was for the winner to then face McGregor later this year but White has warned the Irishman that Aldo and Edgar will fight for the real belt unless he clarifies his position. McGregor defeated Jose Aldo to win the UFC featherweight title last December Thats the thing: Conor needs to clear up this whole retirement thing and clear it up fast because if hes retired, then at UFC 200 Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar are fighting for the vacant title then, White said, during an appearance on Wednesdays episode of The Herd on Fox Sports 1.When asked if he believed McGregor has truly retired from MMA, White said: I do not.White said he believes McGregor will fight in the next year before adding the mixed-martial arts superstar could still feature at UFC 200. McGregor pulled from UFC 200 Conor McGregor pulled from UFC 200 amid retirement speculation If he called me after this interview wed probably still do it, White said. The problem is this - you have to be here to promote your fight and you have to shoot this commercial.Were spending $10m in promotion for UFC 200 and all that money is in motion. You cant do this. I dont care who you are or how big you are, you cant do this.As things stand, the UFC are left scrambling to find a main event for a card they announced a year ago. The rest of the card had been met with a mixed reaction from fans before McGregor was pulled and being forced to withdraw the sports biggest pay-per-view star does nothing to further the UFCs cause. Nate Diaz is without an opponent for UFC 200 Diaz is without an opponent but appears far from certain to stay in the main event slot without McGregor. Marco Belinelli Jersey. Prior to his win over McGregor at UFC 196 in March, Diaz - who was called up to fight on late notice after an injury to lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos - had never headlined a UFC pay-per-view event.The Stockton native was soundly beaten by Dos Anjos at the end of 2014, and he suffered unanimous-decision defeats to Dong Hyun Kim and Rory MacDonald in his only two fights at welterweight, making a shot against welterweight champion Robbie Lawler hard to justify.McGregor is a superstar who transcends the sport and - aside from probably Ronda Rousey - is the only active fighter the UFC would allow to headline one of the biggest nights in its history without a world title on the line. Jon Jones will face Ovince Saint Preux for an interim light heavyweight title at UFC 197 The most obvious candidate to step into the breach may be pound-for-pound number one Jon Jones.The former light-heavyweight king makes his long-awaited return following a 16-month layoff against Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 197 this Saturday.Jones was originally supposed to face Daniel Cormier but the reigning light-heavyweight champion was forced to pull out of the bout due to injury.Providing Jones comes through against Saint Preux unscathed, his rematch with Cormier would emerge as the most natural candidate to fill the void at UFC 200. That is a prospect which would excite Jones. Why did McGregor retire? Was Conor McGregors UFC exit always on the cards? Absolutely, I would totally step in to UFC 200 and fill in that main event or co-main event slot, Jones told media on Wednesday.Though Jones may stand to benefit from McGregors apparent rift with the UFC, he was quick to offer support to the Irishman.Hats off to him for standing up for what he believes is right, Jones added At the end of the day, business is business, and the guy obviously has respect for himself and his talents.Fights like this will help fighters in the future. So, I respect his balls. I respect his willingness to fight for what is right. Also See: Why did McGregor retire? McGregor pulled from UFC 200 Who is UFCs real No 1? Saint Preux v Jones at UFC 197 ' ' '

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