BROOKLYN - With just over four minutes to go in the third quarter, Amir Johnson sat on the bench, wincing in pain as he watched the game and, in effect, his teams season slip away. That seemed like an appropriate time to get a head start on the Raptors playoff obituary. Their first-half onslaught had evaporated, the 17-point lead was no more and Johnson, like Kyle Lowry, was battling foul trouble and a myriad of ailments. At that point the momentum, if you believe in such things, belonged to the hosting Brooklyn Nets. This upstart Raptors team had been in similar situations throughout the season - fighting for their lives, backs up against the wall - but, tied going into the fourth quarter of a critical Game 4, this would be their biggest and most revealing test yet. They had a new audience, a brighter spotlight, a bigger stage and 12 minutes to prove something that they themselves already knew. "Everybody has something on their body that definitely hurts," said Johnson, who injured his knee in a failed attempt to draw a charge on the Nets Paul Pierce, "but we keep playing, we keep fighting. Its not the time to hold back now. Weve got to keep going." The Raptors held Brooklyn without a field goal for the final six minutes, without a point for the last five and in doing so they showed more character than they had at any point in this series. "Thats just us, man," DeMar DeRozan said after scoring a team-high 24 points in the Raptors scrappy 87-79 win on Sunday, tying their best-of-seven opening round series up at 2-2. "Were definitely resilient, were not going to give up until the games over. Were going to fight through." Just as things were at their most bleak - Lowry had picked up his fifth foul and Johnson, still on the bench, was also saddled with five - the Raptors got serious. Slightly out of character, DeRozan drew a charge, then he took another. Was that a first? "Nah, I dont think so," the all-star guard said with a smirk on his face as Lowry, sitting next to him, chuckled. "I hope its not." Then Lowry, throwing caution to the wind, reached in and poked the ball away from Pierce. Johnson followed suit and in a familiar scene - one that earned him his fifth foul and a sore knee earlier - stepped in to take the charge. Both Lowry and Johnson were one foul away from spending the rest of the game watching from the sidelines, one hit to the knee away from spending the rest of the night on the trainers table. Neither player seemed willing to allow his team to lose. "Theyre fighters," said Jonas Valanciunas. "Theyre soldiers. They go on the court anyway. So its good when you have those types of guys on your team." Everyone is dealing with bumps and bruises to some degree at this point in the season. Who wasnt limping out there tonight, Valanciunas was asked. "Julyan Stone," the young centre said with a smile. But there was Lowry, limping up and down the court between possessions, lying next to the bench to stay loose when he wasnt in the game. He had tweaked his reoccurring right knee injury early in Game 3, on top of all the nicks hes accumulated over a long season, but he gutted it out again. Where would his team be without him? "We would have probably got in a fight if I tried to take him out of the game," coach Dwane Casey joked. "Hes dealing with a lot right now and he came through with flying colours. He fought through foul trouble, a little bit of adversity throughout the game and still came through.” Lowry scored 12 of his 22 points in the second half and once again, with the game on the line, his team resembled their point guard, their leader, their best player. "I am not surprised at all that Kyle was limping around, hes a warrior, hes everything to this team," said Chuck Hayes. "The guy gives it his all, we just feed off of him. Then we tease him about it after, hes going to have probably every ice bag in here on his body." "We dont give up man, were some fighters," Hayes continued. "We play like the underdog, we were the underdog probably all year, including this series. I dont know, we just go out there and play for each other." Go ahead, underestimate them, disrespect them and count them out. They feed off it. If respect is earned in the postseason, perhaps the Raptors are starting to turn heads. "We understand that this is a group thats not going to back down, thats not going to give up," Pierce said after the game. "Theyve earned a lot of peoples respect around the league. Just because you dont have a lot of playoff experience doesnt mean youre not a good team. You can learn on the fly." Theyve done just that, now its a whole new ball game. The Raptors will return to Toronto and their raucous crowd at the Air Canada Centre after reclaiming home-court advantage for what has become a best-of-three set, beginning with Wednesdays Game 5. Have they played their best basketball? "No," Lowry and DeRozan answered in unison, but there is a growing sense of belief in the room coinciding with an ambiance of nervousness that spread throughout Barclays Center as Toronto hit back on Sunday. The Raptors may not be in over their heads after all. "Were on a mission," Casey said. "Were not just here trying to win a game. We want to make sure we stay poised, stay focused on our business. Thats what weve been about all year." Tom Glavine Jersey . The 17-year-old had four goals and four assists in 38 games for Liberec in the Czech pro league this past season. Zacha had three goals and two assists in seven games at the world mens under-18 championship in April when the Czech Republic took the silver medal. John Smoltz Jersey . 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Dougie Hamilton and Jordan Caron scored in the first period after the Red Wings had miscues on the ice and Tuukka Rask finished with a 23-save shutout, giving Boston a 3-0 win over the Red Wings and a 2-1 series lead in their first-round series.LONDON -- Jose Mourinho is perhaps the only manager who can complete a season at Chelsea without a trophy and not face any calls for his sacking or a fans revolt. What a difference to the way Rafa Benitez was treated -- and the many managers before him. The Spaniard led Chelsea to the Europa League title last year -- a competition sneered at in England but still a leading honour -- and yet jeering supporters were still counting down the days until Mourinho would return to replace him. Yet it is Benitez, not his nemesis, ending this campaign with a trophy, having won the Italian Cup at Napoli. It seems that little, though, can diminish Chelseas infatuation with Mourinho, however dull the football has been at times this season, however antagonistic he has been toward referees, however much he has scolded his players in public. Mourinho knows he can get away with it, for now, without facing backlash from owner Roman Abramovich and the fans who spent so long calling for the return of the self-styled "Special One," who won all three domestic trophies at least once during his 2004-07 reign. Despite an acrimonious exit from Real Madrid after finishing last season without silverware, Mourinho points out how he rebuffed other employment opportunities to rekindle the Chelsea love affair. "I had lots of chances to have easy fairytales, I decided not to have it," Mourinho said after Chelseas realistic hopes of winning the Premier League ended on Sunday. "If I want to win leagues easily, I would choose another league. I would choose another club with another moment that in this moment Chelsea does not have. ... I chose with my heart every aspect the club I want, the club I love, a competition I like very much to play, a city where I like very much to live." Mourinhos missive: Be grateful I returned. Having exhausted so much energy during Mourinhos absence pleading "We want our Chelsea back," the fans can hardly complain that there will be no parade down Kings Road this year. Abramovich, who acceded to the crowds demands, has put away his axe after going through seven managers in the six years between Mourinhos reigns, and is giving the Portuguese the time to forge a new squad without instant silverware. "Chelsea had a fantastic decade but that team, step by step, is disappearing," Mourinho told the BBC. "I came in a moment when there is a transitional moment of the big players of the last decade. Some are not here (anymore) and some are at a certain age, and the younger players are at the beginning of a process." Captain John Terry, left back Ashley Cole, and midfielder Frank Lampard, whose contracts are expiring, were deeply emotional as the stalwarts left the pitch affter Sundays final home game of the season, a drab 0-0 draw with Norwich.ddddddddddddChelsea would need Manchester City and Liverpool to lose their two remaining games while winning its own season-ender at Cardiff to win the title. Theres little chance of that happening, so the focus is on the summer transfer window when Mourinho has to bring in a goal-scorer -- Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa is the top target -- to ensure Chelsea doesnt endure another campaign of malaise up front. Samuel Etoo has 14 goals, Fernando Torres 10, and Demba Ba eight. Thats just 32 goals between them. Luis Suarez has netted 30 alone for Liverpool despite missing the start of the season while completing a biting ban and not having European matches to augment his tally. "We dont have the kind of striker able to, in a short space, to make an action, to score a goal, to open the gate," Mourinho said in his latest public criticism of his players. Mourinho demands an attacking player with a "killer instinct". The caveat -- "respecting obviously that we have good strikers" -- seems half-hearted, but he has to extract good money for them to fund the squad rebuilding while working within UEFAs Financial Fair Play rules. Mourinho could test the limits of his bond with fans if he offloads winger Eden Hazard, who was crowned the leagues young player of the year but then rebuked for his performance in last weeks Champions League elimination against Atletico Madrid. In January, though, he sold Juan Mata, the clubs player of the year for the previous two seasons, to Manchester United, jettisoning a creative force from the squad. Have they missed Mata? Chelseas problem hasnt been beating title rivals, completing the double over Liverpool, crushing Arsenal 6-0 at home and drawing away, and winning at Manchester City. What has proved so costly is dropping points while unable to break down weaker teams. The stalemate against relegation-threatened Norwich followed draws in 2014 against West Ham and West Bromwich Albion. Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Sunderland have also managed to beat the 2005, 2006 and 2010 league champions. "We had some limitations in terms of scoring enough goals to win all these kinds of matches against the teams with a more defensive approach," Mourinho acknowledged. "We know that we need a different kind of quality." It was said without a hint of irony, given the ultra-defensive tactics Mourinho employed in an attempt to exploit rivals on the counterattack. Next year, Mourinho will be expected to deliver more expansive football to thrill the crowds -- and a trophy. If he doesnt, perhaps even Chelsea fans will run out of patience with the "Special One." Black China NFL Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale NFL T-shirts Cheap NFL T-shirts Wholesale Jerseys 2018 Cheap NFL Jerseys Camo ' ' '