Lowry in a trade from Houston  

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01/03/2019 5:09 am  

EAST RUTHERFORD, N. Old Skool Clearance .J. -- With a chance for an increased role in the Giants running game, Rashad Jennings made a strong first impression on Saturday night. Jennings ran 73 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter and Curtis Painters scoring pass with 2:50 left gave the Giants a 20-16 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in a preseason game. "It feels good to get out there and jell with the offence," Jennings said. "Find a big hole like that and make a big play." Howard Jones had given the Steelers a 16-13 lead when he picked up backup quarterback Ryan Nassibs fumble and went 28 yards for a touchdown with 10:16 to go. But Painter led a 12-play, 80-yard drive and threw a 3-yard TD pass to Corey Washington for the victory. Eli Manning played four series and was 0 for 2 for the Giants. Manning said the offence under new co-ordinator Ben McAdoo is a work in progress. "I thought the running game was good," Manning said. "Whenever you have a running back break a long one, thats a great thing to have to be able to hit that big play. "I feel confident in the offence, feel confident in our ability." The Giants opened the preseason last week with a 17-13 victory over Buffalo in the Hall of Fame game. The Giants focused on their running game after a week in which David Wilson was forced to retire because of a neck injury. Peyton Hillis missed the game because of an ankle injury. Jennings, who signed a four-year, $10 million deal with the Giants in March, finished with 85 yards to lead the team. Ben Roethlisberger played only one series for the Steelers (0-1). He was 1 for 2, with the completion a 46-yarder to rookie third-round pick Dri Archer to the Giants 14. Running back LeVeon Bell started the drive with gains of 9 and 8 yards. The seven-play, 70-yard drive ended with the first of Shaun Suishams three field goals, a 26-yarder for a 3-0 lead. "I thought it was a good, solid first series," Roethlisberger said. "Obviously, it helped that we had a huge play to Dri. But we moved the ball down the field and got points on the board." Jennings long touchdown run came on the next play from scrimmage. "It was a well-executed play," Jennings said. "Eli made sure we were in the right play, it was a hat on a hat, a gaping hole in the offensive line." "One-on-one battles in the open field, youve got to win those. Its what I did and the rest was just a race." Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was disappointed with his teams defence on that score. "We gave up a long run and that cant happen," he said. "Youre going to have guys break out and get 8 or get 12 yards, but not 78. It was an integrity issue. When those things happen, you have to be able to minimize the explosion." Early in the second quarter, the Giants took advantage of a 21-yard punt by Brad Wing and started their drive at the Steelers 35. Josh Brown made a 45-yard field goal for a 10-3 lead. Bruce Gradkowski took over for Roethlisberger and was 8 for 12 for 66 yards. Nassib replaced Manning in the second quarter. On his second drive, he completed his first five passes, including a 12-yarder to Rueben Randle. Brandon McManus 46-yard field goal with 38 seconds left in the first half gave the Giants a 13-3 lead. Charles James fumbled a punt with 7:37 left in the third and Jones recovered at the Giants 21. The Giants defence held and Suisham made a 38-yard field goal to make it 13-6. Suisham added a 32-yarder 59 seconds into the fourth quarter to make it 13-9. NOTES: Washington also caught a TD pass last week against the Bills. ... Steelers second-year linebacker Jarvis Jones had a sack of Manning late in the first quarter. ... First-round pick WR Odell Beckham Jr. missed the game because a hamstring injury. Also out for the Giants: WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring), OT Will Beatty and DT Mike Patterson (shoulder). ... Missing the game for the Steelers: LB Ryan Shazier, TE Michael Palmer, WR Darrius Heyward-Bey and NT Steve McLendon. ... The Giants next preseason game is next Saturday at the Colts, who lost to the Jets on Thursday. The Steelers will host the Bills in their preseason home opener next Saturday. Cheap Old Skool From China . With their coach gone, they finally played offence the way he would have wanted. Amare Stoudemire made all seven shots in the first half, Anthony passed and shot well, and the Knicks shook off the surprising departure of their coach to rout the Portland Trail Blazers 121-79 on Wednesday night, snapping a six-game losing streak. Cheap Old Skool China . - The Mavericks built a 12-point lead with 2:50 to play, gave away all but two points of it, and still managed to hang on.TORONTO - It didnt take long for the Raptors to address their top priority of the summer. Less than 48 hours after the July 1 free agency window opened, the Raptors reached an agreement with their star point guard Kyle Lowry, bringing him back to Toronto for four more years at a reported $48 million, according to several outlets and confirmed by Lowry himself over Twitter. "Toronto will be my home city," the 28-year-old tweeted Wednesday evening, along with a picture of himself decked out in retro Raptors gear. The deal has an early termination option in the final year, allowing Lowry to become an unrestricted free agent after the third season if he chooses. Although the contract has been agreed to in principle, it cant be signed or made official until the NBAs moratorium period is lifted on July 10. Lowry spent the day mulling over Torontos offer and weighing his options with his family and agent after meeting with Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri and head coach Dwane Casey Tuesday afternoon in his hometown of Philadelphia. The Raptors point guard was visited by members of the Rockets front office, also receiving interest from the Heat and Mavericks. Ultimately, he opted to return to the team he helped lead to a division title, at a significant pay raise from what he was making when he enjoyed a career season in 2013-14. Earning $6.2 million last year, Lowry registered career-highs of 17.9 points, 7.4 assists and 4.7 rebounds while narrowly missing out on what would have been his first all-star selection during a breakout campaign with the Raptors. Entering his prime, the eight-year vet will be the eighth highest paid point guard in the league next season after finishing third in Win Shares among players at his position last year. His new contract will be more than twice the size of his previous one, a four-year, $23.5 million deal signed in 2010. Lowry has earned a total of $28.8 million over the first eight years of his career. Although a deserved raise played a role in his decision to re-sign - the Raptors had the advantage of being able to pay him more than any other team - Lowry became entrenched as a leader with the team both on the court and in the locker room, endearing himself to the city with his hard play. "At the end of the day its still a business and you have to be a businessman for the situation that youre in," he had said the afternoon after his team was eliminated in the opening round of the playoffs. Cheap Old Skool. "But I am very happy. This has been one of the best seasons Ive had, through and through. Best coaches, teammates, [front office]. Its been great. I am happy. Without a doubt I can say Im happy." "I love this place," he continued. "I love the situation. Its simple as that." For that very reason his return was hardly in doubt, though Raptors fans are generally conditioned to hope for the best and fear for the worst. The Raptors front office, coaching staff and even Lowrys teammates remained confident a deal would get done throughout the process but he did have other viable options to consider, given his desire to compete for a championship and his status as this summers most coveted point guard. Bringing him back, amid the long-time perception that players dont want to be in Toronto, is a major coup for a Raptors franchise that is determined to change their culture under the leadership of Ujiri and MLSE boss Tim Leiweke. The Raptors acquired Lowry in a trade from Houston during the summer of 2012 after he fell out of favour with Rockets coach Kevin McHale. Despite a turbulent first season in Toronto, one that saw him battle injury and feud with Coach Casey, Lowry came to training camp in the best shape of his playing career and took his game to a new level after a pre-season meeting with Ujiri sparked his competitive nature. With the Raptors contemplating a rebuild following the December trade of Rudy Gay, Lowrys best friend, Ujiri nearly moved the point guard in a deal that would have sent him to New York. Fuelled by Lowrys breakout, the resurgent Raptors continued to win and Ujiri slowly became a believer. Last season, Ujiris first at the helm of the Raptors, was always supposed to be a "show me" year for Lowry. Ujiri had always promised to be fair to Lowry and maintained he would be given the platform to sink or swim. Like any other investment, Lowry is a calculated risk but the Raptors are betting the 2013-14 version will be more of the norm than an anomaly going forward. Prioritizing continuity this offseason, Ujiri can now shift his focus to re-signing restricted free agents Patrick Patterson and Greivis Vasquez, both of whom should attract varying degrees of interest on the open market. If retained, the Raptors wont have much more than their mid-level exception to spend and could flirt with the luxury tax this coming season.   ' ' '


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