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PORTLAND - DeMar DeRozan validated his newly minted All-Star title, spearheading the Raptors comeback on Saturday but theres one play hed like to have back. Raul Garcia Atletico Madrid Jersey . With just under five seconds remaining - the Raptors having clawed back from a 19-point deficit and pulled within one - DeRozan took the handoff from Chuck Hayes. As he tried to create space, turning the corner with Blazers guard Wesley Matthews draped all over him, the first-time All-Star fumbled the ball off his calf. His reaction was instant and said it all. He knew he, quite literally, dropped the ball. "I lost the ball, I put that one on me," DeRozan said, owning up to the miscue. "Ive got to keep the ball in my hands and not turn it over, at least give us a chance to get a shot off." Fact is the Raptors had that opportunity, a shot to steal a game they had no business hanging around in, because of DeRozans heroics. DeRozan, like the rest of his teammates, came out flat in the first half. Coming off a win in Denver the night before, Toronto shot 35 per cent from the field in the opening 24 minutes, misfiring on all eight attempts from three-point range. As a team they couldnt execute, missed makeable shots and left their defensive effort in the Mile High City. It was ugly. "The first half, we came out with a typical back-to-back approach," said coach Dwane Casey, who was critical of his team after they let up in the fourth quarter of Fridays double digit victory over the Nuggets. "It wasnt us." DeRozan, playing in his second game after missing two with an ankle injury, had just six points, shooting 2-of-8. Whatever was said at the break seemed to wake up the fifth-year guard. DeRozan could do no wrong in the second half, where he scored 30 of his game-high 36 points and recorded 10 of his career-best 12 assists. "I mean, hes an All-Star. Yall see it," said Kyle Lowry, who should be joining DeRozan in New Orleans later this month. "Hes an All-Star for a reason. He did an unbelievable job of making shots, getting to the line and just getting it going. We know. Weve seen it before so its no surprise to us." Lowry, like his backcourt comrade, was also much better in the second half - he had 23 points and eight assists on the night - as were subs Patrick Patterson and Chuck Hayes, who came in and helped the Raptors find themselves defensively. The resilient Raptors dug deep once again - something weve become accustomed to seeing after slow starts this season - and when it came down to one final possession, there was never a doubt who the play was being drawn up for. "[DeRozan] wanted the ball and when your best player, your All-Star wants to the ball you give him the ball," Lowry said. "They did a good job defensively and [Matthews] is strong enough to do that but Im still getting the ball to [DeRozan] every single time in that position." Within seconds of losing the ball, DeRozan walked off with both hands on his head in disappointment. He tapped his chest as if to say, "my bad" and lifted the jersey over his head. "We put ourselves in that position," Casey said, stressing the poor start. "[DeRozan] wanted the ball, we gave it to him, but I give him props for getting us to that point." "I commend DeMar for carrying us. He put us on his shoulders and took us down the stretch and put us in a position to win. Thats all you ask." The loss - Torontos sixth straight in Portland - said a lot about how far the Raptors have come, how far DeRozan has come. If there was ever any doubt about DeRozans All-Star candidacy or his growth as a leader, Saturdays game served as a silencer. He had his full arsenal on display, demanded the ball with the game in the balance and when it was all said and done he took responsibility for his blunder. No excuses, he pointed the finger at himself. Meanwhile, his team fought the good fight, something they failed to do when they last visited Portland. A year ago, the Raptors experienced the absolutely lowest point of an already low season, dropping an embarrassing 92-74 contest to the Blazers on Dec. 10, 2012, the finale of a winless five-game road trip. They lost Lowry and Andrea Bargnani to long-term injuries in the game, while Amir Johnson was ejected for uncharacteristically tossing his mouth-guard at an official. Their skid in Portland continues, they havent won in The City of Roses in seven years, but theyre not the same team that left the city in turmoil 13 months ago. "We put ourselves in a position to win the game even after all that," Casey said. "So thats what you have to ask for." Leandro Paredes Roma Jersey .51 points, ahead of Canadian Olympic champion Alex Bilodeau and Patrick Deneed of the United States. Mikael Kingsbury has a 710-point lead in the overall standings, followed by his compatriot Bilodeau (699) and Deneed (382). Koke Spain Jersey . LOUIS -- Facing trouble, Michael Wacha did his best to slow down the game.HAMILTON - Craig Butler swears he wont be showing off his Grey Cup ring in the Hamilton Tiger-Cats dressing room. But the Canadian defensive back, who signed a three-year contract with Hamilton after spending his first three CFL seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, promises hell bring his winning attitude to a team he feels is already on a roll. "I want to bring some leadership to the team," said the 25-year-old native of London, Ont., and former Western Ontario Mustangs star. Its probably best to keep the ring under wraps. It would only rub salt in a wound after Hamilton lost the championship game 45-23 to the Roughriders. Butler was a big part of their success. He led the Grey Cup champions last season with 60 tackles and also had four interceptions and is happy to list his strengths. "Experience. Versatility. Passion. I love this game," he said. "Its my job but I love it more than anything. "Im going to bring that to practice every single day and a winning attitude." Butler was among the three free-agent signings Hamilton unveiled Thursday. The others included: defensive back Brandon Stewart from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and offensive lineman Steve Myddelton from the B.C. Lions. Hamilton has also signed import receiver Cary Koch from the Edmonton Eskimos and former Roughriders linebacker Abraham. The club re-signed Canadian linebacker Marc Beswick, the East Divisions top special-teams player last year, just before he was set to hit the open market Tuesday. And prior to the start of free agency, the Ticats signed quarterback Zach Collaros, who spent the last two seasons with the Toronto Argonauts before being released by the CFL club. But Butler was a big catch for Hamilton as well. He acknowledged it was hard leaving Saskatchewan, the team that drafted him in the second round, 12th overall and where he got that Grey Cup ring. But he said there were several factors that drew him to Hamilton, including the success they had last year in making it too the championship game. Harry Kane Hotspur Jersey. He points to the coaches, locker room, overall organization and the teams new stadium thats scheduled to open in July. Butler has shown versatility on defence — four different positions since his university days — and says he doesnt care where he plays. "I like winning. I mean I like wanting to win championships and thats really my main goal," he said. "Wherever they play me Im happy with it. As long as Im on the field and Im making plays and contributing, Im all good with it." Stewart and Myddelton also say they feel theyve joined a winning organization. Stewart, 27, who has spent the past five seasons with Winnipeg, also brings versatility to the defence. While hes excited about playing with Butler, Stewart cant wait to perform for for Austin and defensive co-ordinator Orlondo Steinauer, a fellow Seattle native. "Hes going to make my game a lot better," Stewart said of Steinauer. The veteran says Hamilton is a good fit. "And maybe (Ill) bring a little attitude to the field, a little energy," he said. He started all 18 games for Winnipeg last year, recording 47 defensive tackles and 16 special-teams tackles and one interception. Myddelton, 27, will add experience to an offensive line missing its centre and leader in Marwan Hage, selected by Ottawa in the expansion draft, and Peter Dyakowski, who will miss much of next season due to knee surgery. "They have holes to fill, and thats my job now," said the six-foot-three, 305-pound native of Barrie, Ont. Hes entering his fifth CFL season (3 1/2 with Calgary before he was traded to B.C. midway through last year). He says being close to home and playing for a well-respected coaching staff drew him to the Ticats. "The success the team had last year under the adverse circumstances they had (playing at the University of Guelph), I think this team is headed in the right direction and Im excited to be a part of that," he said. cheap jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '