Portland, OR (SportsNetwork. Luis Gonzalez Astros Jersey .com) - Damian Lillard posted 26 points and nine assists, outdueling fellow star point guard Kyle Lowry and helping the Portland Trail Blazers rally past the Toronto Raptors, 102-97, in overtime. After Terrence Ross opened the extra session with a 3-pointer, Lillard, Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum hit from deep at the other end on consecutive possessions. Patrick Patterson and Lowry countered with layups to make it 96-94, but a clear path foul on Toronto -- moments after a controversial no-call against Portland -- was the difference. First, Matthews got caught in the air and threw the ball up for grabs. Ross picked it off and was fouled by Lillard. The referees convened at the monitors to determine whether or not it was a clear-path foul on Lillard but ultimately ruled it a common foul. After Lowry missed a jumper with 27 seconds left, Greivis Vasquez committed a clear-path foul on Batum. He split two free throws, then Lillard made two to make it 99-94. Joel Freelands dunk following a press break in the final seconds sealed it. LeMarcus Aldridge added 23 points and 13 boards and Matthews scored 19 for Portland, which improved to 15-1 against the Eastern Conference. It was a good win to end the year on, Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. I was very pleased with the way we kept competing. Lowry tallied 25 with seven rebounds and five assists for the Raptors, who still hold a half-game lead over Atlanta for the best record in the East. Lou Williams made five free throws in 15 seconds early in the second quarter to break a 25-25 tie and start an 11-0 run for Toronto. Toronto led by at least five until midway through the fourth quarter, when Aldridge followed a Steve Blake 3-pointer with a turnaround jumper to cut the deficit to 77-75. Lowry scored the next six points for the Raptors on a pull-up jumper and four free throws, but Toronto missed six shots in a row after that. Portland took advantage, drawing within one on Lillards hanging layup and tying it at 83 when Aldridge split a pair from the line. Aldridge could have given the hosts a lead, but he missed a sweeping layup and off-balance runner on the same possession. He made up for the misses two minutes later. Aldridge broke an 85-all tie with a silky mid-range jumper at 1:36. That score held until late, when an unlikely hero emerged. Freeland blocked Lowrys layup attempt twice in the final 30 seconds. His swat out of bounds with 10.1 on the clock led to Toronto inbounding from underneath their basket. It was passed in to Amir Johnson, who after failing to get the ball to Lowry, went to work in the post on Freeland and converted a difficult hook shot to tie it. Lillards driving layup fell short at the buzzer. Game Notes Portland has won nine of its last 10 ... The Blazers improved to 10-1 when Matthews scores at least 19 points and 12-2 when they make more than 10 3- pointers as a team ... Portland is 15-2 at home this season ... Toronto shot 4-for-22 from behind the arc. Jose Cruz Jr. Astros Jersey . Jamies number grades given are out of five, with five being the best mark. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers (4) – He had a strong game Sunday; was very good in tight with big saves on Crosby, Malkin and Neal in-crease. Jose Urquidy Jersey . Saltalamacchia drove in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning, Henderson Alvarez won for the first time in three starts and the Miami Marlins beat the Braves 3-2 on Thursday night. BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Juan Luis Anangono headed in the tying goal from a difficult angle in the 86th minute to lift the Chicago Fire into their fourth straight draw, a 2-2 tie with the Philadelphia Union on Saturday. Anangono ran down the right endline and headed Mike Magees 42-yard free kick past Philadelphia goalkeeper Zac MacMath. The Fire are winless in five matches (0-1-4), while Philadelphia (1-1-3) collected its second tie in a row. Chicago was awarded a penalty kick just before the 5 minutes of stoppage time elapsed, but MacMath stopped Magee, the 2013 league MVP, on the original kick and a close-in rebound to preserve the deadlock. Philadelphia scored twice in a seven-minute span to erase Chicagos early lead. Midfielder Maurice Edu connected from 6 yards out in the 32nd minute after Bakary Soumaare froze, believing the Union had been called for a hand ball after Vincent Nogueiras shot was blocked by the Fires Jhon Hurtado. Wade Miley Jersey. Edu stepped up and beat goaltender Sean Johnson from the edge of the 6-yard box for his first goal in MLS play. The 27-year-old Californian had played in Europe the last four seasons. The Union took the lead on Leo Fernandes 30-yard free kick in the 39th minute. His shot from the right side of the field cleared a crowd of players and bounced in front of Johnson, who misplayed the shot, handing Fernandes his second goal of the season. The Fire opened the scoring on Magees first goal of the season in the 16th minute. Quincy Amarikwa stole the ball from Philadelphia defender Amobi Okugo, ran to the left corner and fed Magee, who was open 4 yards out. ' ' '
KANSAS CITY, Mo. Joe Crede Jersey . -- The Royals shook up their coaching staff Thursday in an attempt to jumpstart their failing offence, making Dale Sveum the hitting coach and Mike Jirschele their third base coach. Pedro Grifol, who took over as hitting coach last season, will now instruct catchers. The moves were announced after the Royals finished off a disastrous homestand that included a sweep at the hands of Houston, and before they opened a four-game series in Toronto. Sveum said the Royals havent done a good enough job this season of hitting pitches in the upper half of the strike zone. "The bottom line is weve struggled with elevation and weve swung at pitches down in the zone probably way too much," he said. "From thigh high to the top of the strike zone, were not doing enough damage." The Royals began the day last in the majors with 21 homers, putting them on pace to match the 1976 club for the fewest in franchise history for a non-strike-shortened season. Theyre also last in the American League in runs and slugging percentage. "There is not one man in the lineup thats hitting the ball well," Royals designated hitter Billy Butler said Wednesday. "Were just cold." Yost said "a different voice can make a difference," to struggling batters, but the Royals have heard plenty of voices about hitting: Sveum is Kansas Citys fifth hitting coach in less than three seasons. The Royals let go of Kevin Seitzer two years ago in the hope that somebody else would help the club generate more power. Seitzer was eventually hired by the Blue Jays, who currently lead the majors with 76 homers -- more than Kansas City is on pace for all season. Jack Maloof and Andre David were hired before last season, but they only made it a couple of months before they were reassigned within the franchise. It was at that point that the Royals hired Grifol and Hall of Famer George Brett on an interim basis. The Royals showed signs of life once that duo was in charge, slowly climbing into playoff contention. Grifol was given the job on a full-time basis after Brett stepped down in July, but lasted less than a year in the role. "Hes the one that pulled us out of our trouble last year," Yost said of Grifol Thursday. "A year later, we find ourselves in the exact same spot." Sveum, a former Brewers and Cubs manager, had been serving as the Royals third base coach. But he also has plenty of experience as a hitting coach, helping Milwaukee finish in the top three of the National League in homers in each of his three seasons. "Hes got experience, he studies hitting," Yost said. "Hes got a lot of knowledge. He helped Prince Fielder get, in my opinion, to the next level as an offensive performer." Ross Detwiler White Sox Jersey . The goals took Liverpools tally in the Premier League this season to 70, overtaking Manchester City as the top scorers, and left the fourth-place team just four points behind league leader Chelsea. Hugh Duffy Jersey . The thinking at the time was Clowney could have already been promised he would be selected first overall by the Houston Texans, therefore negating any need to meet with any other teams. The plot took another twist this week.Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Steve Delabar is going back to the minors. The righty was sent back down to Triple-A Buffalo for the second time this week in order to make room for Liam Hendriks who will get the start Friday night against the Cincinnati Reds. Delabar waas sent down Tuesday but was called back up for Thursdays game against the New York Yankees when Brett Cecil went to the disabled list. Jack Mcdowell White Sox Jersey . The 30-year-old has appeared in 30 games this season, recording a 4.91 earned run average and a 3-0 record. ' ' '