TORONTO - Fresh off one of his most impressive outings of the season, DeMar DeRozan sat by his locker and spoke about carrying his suddenly injury-ridden team while a small piece of gauze soaked up the blood on the hand he used to carry them. Cheap Nike Shoes . Theres some irony there, somewhere. DeRozan needed "four or five" stitches to close a gash in the webbing of his left hand following Wednesdays surprising 107-103 win over the Houston Rockets. "I didnt even notice," he said. It happened late in the fourth quarter as he tried to rip the ball away from Omer Asik. "I looked down and my whole hand was soaked." "It wouldnt stop bleeding. But its cool." Next to Terrence Ross, the Raptors healthiest starter might be the guy with the bloody mitt. They had been fortunate to avoid the injury bug for most of the season but, as they say, when it rains, it pours. Suddenly, its hit them like a monsoon. Missing Kyle Lowry for the first time this season, out with soreness in his left knee, Toronto lost another indispensable cog when Amir Johnson was removed three minutes into Wednesdays game, having tweaked a lingering right ankle ailment. Just a few minutes later the Raptors fell behind by 12 points. With eight games left in their feel-good, Cinderella season the sky was falling, or so we thought. Fact is, this wouldnt be the first time theyve been written off, left for dead. They havent followed the script to this point, so why would they start now? "Guys stepped up," Dwane Casey said. With Patrick Patterson leading the charge in his second game back from an elbow injury, the second unit immediately captured momentum. John Salmons played his best basketball in months while Nando De Colo and Tyler Hansbrough both gave Toronto a lift with their energy off the bench. Greivis Vasquez, starting in place of the injured Lowry, filled in admirably at the point, recording eight assists without committing a turnover in a season-high 40 minutes of action. But no one was quite as impressive as DeRozan. The all-star guard faced all the additional defensive attention you would expect without Lowry in the lineup but after a 12-minute adjustment period he put the team on his shoulders and got to work. "I had to pick up the slack with [Lowry] out," said DeRozan, making just one of his five shots in the first quarter. "I havent really played without Kyle, hes played every game. It was an adjustment for me tonight but I figured it out there after the first quarter." DeRozan scored 15 of his game-high 29 points in the second quarter, connecting on all six of his attempts in the frame, including a 32-foot bank shot to end the half. Rising to the occasion, DeRozan was at his best when his team needed him most; the mark of a true all-star. The Raptors have two players that fit that description. With DeRozan sidelined for a couple games in late February, Lowry led Toronto to a pair of victories, scoring over 30 points in each contest. Now it was his turn to carry the load. "Theyve been doing it the whole year," Vasquez said of the teams star backcourt. "Both [of them]. Its not hidden that theyre our leaders. We go as they go and everybody understands that. This is why we have a healthy locker room. Were not fighting egos. We know whats going on. Those two guys are going to score, those two guys are going to make winning plays for us and weve just got to feed off their energy. Whenever those guys go down weve got their back, thats what this team is all about." Lowry originally sustained the injury colliding with LeBron James in Mondays loss to the Heat. Although there was no structural damage to his knee, it was still swollen on Wednesday and the teams medical staff decided it was best to hold him out, much to the dismay of Lowry, one would imagine. "If it were up to him he would go one leg," Casey joked before the game. "But you dont want to risk his future health for one game." Even in his absence, Lowrys tendencies seemed to rub off on his teammates. DeRozan took a rare charge. Vasquez tried to do the same, though he was called for a blocking foul. "I know he was laughing," Vasquez said of Lowry, who leads the league in drawing charges. "He knows I dont take charges." The good news for the Raptors is that neither Lowrys knee injury or Johnsons bum ankle appears too serious. Both players will benefit from some much-needed rest during Thursdays off day and hope to be ready for Fridays home tilt with the Pacers, Torontos final game against a winning opponent this season. "Weve been very lucky not to have had some major injuries, knock on wood, throughout the year," Casey said. "The little injury bug has hit us a little bit. The schedules not going to stop. Weve got to keep going. Next man up." Casey reaches milestone With the victory, Casey notched his 100th win at the helm of the Raptors, becoming the third coach in team history to reach that plateau, joining Sam Mitchell and Lenny Wilkens. Asked about the accomplishment after the game, the Raptors third-year bench boss shifted the focus to his players, as expected. "All I know is its [win] number 43 for us this year," he said. "Its not about [me]. Its about the team, its about the organization, its about the players that have been here the three years and the process that weve gone through." "To start where we did and kind of build, and were still building, is a tribute to the young guys and the players that have been through here." The stat The Raptors will finish the year with a 16-14 record against Western Conference teams, their first season above .500 versus the West since 1999-00. The quote "Ever since I was in New Orleans I wanted to start my whole career," said Vasquez, who made his second start as a Raptor after doing so in all 18 games with the Kings this season and all 78 he appeared in with New Orleans last year. "But when I came here I really humbled myself and understood that its about winning more than about putting up numbers. I can go out there and play 36 minutes and put up crazy numbers but what about the playoffs? What about making winning plays?" "So Im going to be ready, man. I love this team and Im willing to do whatever it takes." Wholesale Nike Shoes . - Jerome Verrier scored the winner 8:24 into overtime and Louis-Phillip Guindon stopped 46 shots as the Drummondville Voltigeurs edged the host Val-dOr Foreurs 4-3 on Friday in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoff action. Cheap Nike Shoes From China . Not that Durant cared. The only streak he cares about is still intact. https://www.wholesalenikeshoesauthentic.com/ . Meanwhile, the Jets extended their winning streak to four and remain perfect under Paul Maurice. Its the Jets second four-game winning streak of the season, the other coming in mid-November.A day after International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel stood firm about keeping Dec. 31 as the deadline to submit an Olympic hockey roster, the deadline has changed. After appeals from some top European countries - namely Russia, Sweden, Finland and Czech - over the past 24 hours, the National Hockey League, NHL Players Association and the IIHF agreed to move the date to Jan. 7. The new date gives countries a little extra time to take injuries into account, like Canada with Steven Stamkoss broken tibia. USA Hockey will move forward with plans to announce both its mens and womens Olympic hockey teams on Jan. 1 as part of the Winter Classic. "We look forward to celebrating the Americann player through the announcement of our Olympic teams as part of the NHL Winter Classic," said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. Cheap Nike Shoes Free Shipping. "It will be an extraordinary stage with an Original Six matchup, a record crowd, a worldwide television audience, the great pageantry of the event itself, and of course the unveiling of both our mens and womens Olympic teams." Talks about allowing NHL players to skate for their countries at a fifth straight Winter Games have been ongoing, but there has yet to be an announcement from the NHLPA, IOC, IIHF and the NHL itself. The Sochi Olympics run from Feb. 7-23 and the preliminary round of the hockey competition begins Feb. 12. ' ' '