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Arsenal, who is already at th
PHILADELPHIA - Kyle Lowry lifted the Toronto Raptors from what appeared would be a loss — and coach Dwane Casey still wasnt happy.Lowry scored 17 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter to lead Toronto to a 91-86 comeback victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.Im glad we came back, but we cant rely on that if we are serious about competing in this league, Casey said. Weve got an air of complacency and I dont like it. Its everybody collectively. We have to come out with a better effort. We cant come out and perform like that.It was just the fourth win in the last 12 games for the Atlantic Division-leading Raptors, who gave up the first 15 points, trailed by as many as 16 early and had to overcome a nine-point deficit with 5 1/2 minutes remaining against the hapless 76ers.I feel like we need every win we can get, Lowry said. We cant let games like this slip away from us. Thats a hard-playing team, but we have a bigger goal.Patrick Patterson added 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Raptors.Lowry, selected Thursday as a starter for the All-Star game, entered the final period with four points on 2-for-9 shooting before heating up late when the Raptors desperately needed him.Robert Covington scored 18 points to lead six 76ers in double-figures. It was the fourth straight loss and sixth in seven games for Philadelphia, which dropped to 3-18 at home.Philadelphia played without leading scorer Tony Wroten for the sixth straight contest. The team announced before the game that Wroten will be sidelined indefinitely due to a partially torn ACL that will require surgery.Philadelphias Nerlens Noel returned to the lineup after missing Wednesdays 98-91 loss to the Knicks due to sickness. It was the first time Noel and Michael Carter-Williams were on the court together since Noels critical comments of the Philadelphia point guard following Mondays 111-76 defeat at Washington.The duo provided a Philadelphia highlight early in the fourth quarter when Carter-Williams whipped an over-the-shoulder pass to Noel for an easy dunk that tied the game at 68 with 9:09 left.The 76ers then went ahead 70-68 on Luc Mbah a Moutes jumper with 8:11 remaining, giving Philadelphia its first lead since early in the second quarter. Two straight baskets by Noel followed by Mbah a Moutes three-point play put Philadelphia up 77-69 with 5:39 to play.Lowry, a Philadelphia native, then heated up, scoring all 13 points during a 13-4 Toronto run over the next three minutes and his third 3-pointer during the stretch knotted the game at 81 with 2:48 left.I just didnt want us to lose tonight, Lowry said. I think my teammates were counting on me and we needed somebody to pick up the energy. And I felt like it was my time to pick up the energy and go out there and do my job.The Raptors went up 85-81 on Demar DeRozans layup and Lowrys two free throws, but Carter-Williams hit a 3 with 1:03 left and then stripped Lowry and converted a breakaway layup to give the 76ers an 86-85 lead with 42.1 seconds left.Greivis Vasquez put Toronto back in front 87-86 with a layup with 25.9 seconds remaining.The 76ers had a chance to go in front, but Carter-Williams pass attempt inside to Noels was denied. He then committed a foul and Jonas Valanciunas made both free throws with 10.6 seconds left, and Philadelphia couldnt convert on its possession.As theyve done all season, Philadelphia remained positive with a long-term look at yet another defeat.Games like that go a long way for us as a young team, Noel said. And as we continue to grow and be in certain situations like that, well only get better with our defensive and offensive execution and just being able to close out games like that.DOUBLE DOWNNoel finished with 12 points and a career-high 14 rebounds, giving him six double-doubles on the season. That marks the most among rookies.HOLD THEM DOWNToronto improved to 9-0 this season when holding teams under 90 points and have won 18 straight dating to last season when keeping opponents under that mark.TIP-INSRaptors: Lowry is the third Raptors player to earn an All-Star game start, joining Chris Bosh (2007) and Vince Carter (2000-04). ... Toronto won its seventh straight against Philadelphia, including three this season.76ers: Mbah a Moute returned to the lineup after missing the last two games with a left knee injury. ... Philadelphia failed to reach 100 points for the 20th consecutive game, marking the longest such streak for the club since doing it 25 straight times in the 2003-04 season.UP NEXTThe 76ers visit Memphis on Saturday night.Toronto hosts Detroit on Sunday. Παπουτσια Yeezy Ελλαδα . -- Without Carey Price, the run for a first Stanley Cup in 21 years got steeper and longer for the Montreal Canadiens. Adidas Stan Smith παιδικα . Marek Hamsik, who had earlier missed a penalty, headed Napoli in front in the 23rd minute and Pandev added a second goal five minutes from halftime. Alessandro Matri got Juventus back into the game just after the break but Pandev was on hand to score again in the 68th. . 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. Παπουτσια Stan Smith .com) - Jeff Teague had 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as the Atlanta Hawks defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 90-85 on Saturday night. Fake Yeezys Ελλαδα . With the Canadiens leading by one to start the third period, Price turned away 16 shots by the Panthers in the final frame to give Montreal a 2-1 victory over Florida on Monday night. The Panthers (16-21-6) outshot Montreal 16-10 in the final frame, but were repeatedly frustrated by Price, who made 26 saves on the night.Alain Prost is known as one of the finest drivers to ever race a Formula One car. The meticulous Frenchman not only won four world titles during his career but became known as the Professor for his intelligence inside the cockpit. The man who once said you cant always have the best team, its about compromise was the master at knowing just how much he could get out of his car, no matter how good or bad it was. If he had the team to win, which he had very often at his time at McLaren, and his final year at Williams, Prost excelled, but he was almost equally as impressive when he didnt have the car to win, finishing a race in the best position possible, while many of his opponents made mistakes trying to turn their car into something it wasnt. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has more than just his passport in common with Prost. One of the most deep-thinking men in the game today, the 63-year-old has had to alter his ambitions for his club in recent years, guiding them to finishes, once thought as failures, that now he believes are successes. Wengers team, who this week qualified for the group stages of the Champions League for a 16th straight season, have enjoyed many a Premier League race at the front, but in recent years have fallen back, not coming close to glory in each of the last eight years. In five of those campaigns the Gunners finished fourth, a position not too long ago that would have been seen as adequate, but far from acceptable for a big club like Arsenal. However, since UEFA changed the rules for 2001-02 season, to finish fourth now means you get a spot in the following years Champions League. For the first four seasons, following the change, Arsenal didnt need the extra spot awarded to such a position, as they raced ahead of the pack, finishing either 1st or 2nd in each of those seasons. Since finishing second to Jose Mourinhos 04-05 Chelsea pacesetters, though, Arsenal have finished fourth five times in the last eight years. This has led those at the very top to accept mediocrity at The Emirates, simply because of UEFAs insistence on rewarding a lucrative spot to a position that hasnt come close to domestic glory. Wenger sees it quite differently. Despite not coming close to winning a league title in eight years, where many Arsenal fans, quite rightly, believe they should be competing, fourth spot is a position the manager believes is an accomplishment. "For me there are five trophies every season: Premier League, Champions League, the third is to qualify for the Champions League," Wenger said in a shareholders meeting back in 2012. "The fourth is the FA Cup and then the League Cup." In Wengers world, with 16 straight appearances in Europes elite competition, all should be right at Arsenal, but it clearly isnt as he stands at a crossroads with the clubs fan base surrounding their level of ambitions. Told in June, by chief executive Ivan Gazidis, that the club will have a large escalation in financial firepower to attract big players, the fans finally thought the clubs conservative approach in the market would end this year, yet with hours to go before Mondays deadline, there has still been no significant signings in this transfer window.Fans and media alike have been left bamboozled by Wengers nonchalant approach to potential transfers, accusing him of aiming high for unrealistic targets and turning down chances to get good, yet perhaps not great, players to come in and improve their squad. Wenger gives little away towards his thought process towards the transfer market and potential targets but it is worth noting that he clearly thinks more of his current players than most – he did after all bring them to the club – and secondly, perhaps more crucially, Wenger will be aware just how big the gulf is between his team and the three super powers above him. Both these elements will be enoughh to bring doubt into his mind when assessing whether or not a potential new signing would improve his team.dddddddddddd In the last eight years,  Arsenal has finished behind Manchester United, after 38 games, every season and its not been close. From 2005-2006 to 2012-13, the Old Trafford side have scored an incredible 116 points more than their rivals, an average of 14.5pts more per season. Only once during that span has the gap between the sides been less than 10pts by the end of the season. Similarly, the race between Arsenal and Chelsea has been very uncompetitive, with the Blues finishing above their London rivals seven out of the last eight times, outscoring them by 62pts, an average of 7.75pts per season. With the help of significant more horsepower, Manchester City have overtaken Arsenal in the last three years, finishing higher each season and outscoring them by 27pts, an average of 9pts per season. It is clear the big three have left Arsenal in their dust and once again this season the Gunners have started the race to be 2013-14 Premier League champions in 4th place on the grid. However, the line between success and failure, even in Wengers judgment of how success is achieved, is a thin one for Arsenal and anything lower than 4th again this term would be a major disappointment and setback for the club. That makes this Sundays North London derby with rivals Tottenham even more interesting. Happening on the final day before the transfer window closes, the match gives Wenger, and his injury-hit squad, an opportunity to test his players out against the team most likely to threaten their monopoly on a top four spot. With Arsenal idle in the market, Tottenham have been the opposite, turning this transfer window into an exciting period in the clubs history, despite the imminent loss of their best player. Many of their new signings could have quite easily have been bought by Arsenal, who could have competed with their wages and offered them the chance to play in the Champions League. They could have also spurred Arsenal into improving their squad to counter the improved threat their closest rivals have made. Yet, Wenger did neither. Aware he cannot compete with the top three in the league, Wenger, for now, has settled on the same group as last season to once again win the 4th place trophy. The last time these teams met, at White Hart Lane in March, Arsenal lost 2-1 and fell four points back of fourth place Spurs with ten games to play. Tottenham dropped significant points during that run-in, which ultimately prompted Andre Villas-Boas and technical director, Franco Baldini, into finding major improvements this summer to attempt to improve on the 72 point tally of last season. "We need to get to a point where we are qualifying for the Champions League regularly, thats our aim," Villas-Boas said last week. Arsenal, who is already at that stage, will not give Spurs any kind of warm welcome on Sunday but their fans should privately be welcoming the new threat their neighbours are providing.  In the last two seasons Spurs have opened the scoring at The Emirates but have gone on to lose 5-2, remarkably, in both years. A similar scoreline on Sunday might just be the last thing Arsenal needs. Wenger has spent too much time lately being comfortable with the three teams ahead lapping his club, while sitting safely in behind them. Arsenal fans need a team to make a bold move up the inside heading into a fast corner. If Tottenham do that as early as Sunday it might just force Wenger into being more aggressive on the final day of the transfer window. Join Luke Wileman, Jason DeVos and myself live this weekend for more Barclays Premier League action. On Saturday we will be live on TSN at 9:30am ahead of West Ham vs Stoke before we host Arsenal vs Tottenham on Sunday at 10:30am on TSN2. See you then. ' ' 'Get a free £10 bet ' ' '

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