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DENVER - Its been four years since the Raptors had a representative in the All-Star Game. Eric Rowe Jersey . DeMar DeRozan, a 20-year-old rookie at the time, remembers it well. "I was here when Chris Bosh was the last guy to go," said DeRozan, now 24 in his fifth NBA season, less than two hours after receiving the news. A first-time All-Star, DeRozan got the nod Thursday evening when the NBA named the Raptors guard to the Eastern Conference squad as a reserve. "I work extremely hard every off-season to try and be the best player that I can be," he said proudly. "Just to be a part of All-Star Weekend is something you dream of. I remember being a kid watching All-Star Weekend and wishing to be a part of it. To see your dreams come true definitely means a lot." DeRozan, the fourth ever Raptor selected to the midseason showcase, which will take place in New Orleans on Feb. 16, was hardly surprised to find out his selection had been made official. He had expected it. The texts from family and friends started to come in as the Raptors plane landed in Denver, shortly after the announcement had been made live on TNT. Houston Rockets All-Star guard James Harden called to congratulate him, John Wall of the Washington Wizards, also an Eastern reserve, sent a text. The first call he made was to his fianc√© and his infant daughter back in Toronto. "That was cool," he said of what had to be a special moment. Its a moment, an achievement that didnt come overnight. Hes put in the work and his growth as a player, a leader and as a man reflects that. "Hes worked at it [and] he deserves it," said Dwane Casey, who has coached DeRozan in three of his five seasons. "Every year Ive been here he has improved. He has brought something new back after every summer. Im so happy and proud of him as a young man watching him grow." DeRozan, the ninth overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft, is 11th in the league in scoring, fourth in the East, and averaging career highs in points (21.8), rebounds (4.7) and assists (3.6). The Raptors iron man has missed the clubs previous two games with an ankle injury, but hes still only missed 10 contests in his career, with two full seasons under his belt. Since the trade of Rudy Gay, DeRozan has blossomed in his new role. DeRozan has recorded five or more assists in 12 of the 43 contests hes appeared in this season. He accomplished that feat 12 times all of last year and five times total in his first three seasons combined. He has already grabbed five or more rebounds 23 times this season, something he did in 19 games during the 2012-13 campaign. "Im so happy for him, man," said snubbed teammate Kyle Lowry. "It just shows the hard work that hes put in. Its great for our team, its great for the organization, its great for the city, its great for the country." Of course, the news wasnt entirely positive. Lowry, in the middle of a career season, was left off the All-Star roster. The 27-year-old point guard - widely considered to be the most notable name missing from the East team - stood in the lobby of the Raptors Denver hotel, looking ahead to his mid-Febrary vacation. He too was not surprised by the result of the voting and if he was disappointed by it, he didnt show it. "Im alright," said Lowry, averaging career-highs in points (16.8), assists (7.6) and three-point shooting (41 per cent) this season. "Ill be on a beach somewhere hanging out. Ill watch the All-Star game and cheer for (DeRozan)." Lowry is coming off of back-to-back 30-plus point games for the first time in his eight-year career, however both performances came after the coaches submitted their ballots for All-Star reserves on Sunday. Casey has spent the better part of the last month campaigning for both of his guards, hoping to get both voted in, but expecting to only get the one. Why was Lowry left out? Politics, most likely. He and DeRozan may have split votes from coaches who were only willing to vote for one Raptor. Coaches trying to get their own guy in - unable to vote for their own players, by rule - may have thrown their votes to others, less likely to make it. Then theres Lowrys reputation for being, well, prickly on occasion. However, the numbers speak for themselves, or at least they should have. Lowry leads the East in assists in January, averaging 8.3. Hes also hit more threes this month (49) than any player in the league, shooting them at a 46 per cent clip. Hes among the league-best in assist-to-turnover ratio and he has the second highest PER (player efficiency rating) of any guard in the conference. "I am disappointed for Kyle because he is playing like an All-Star," Casey said. "He is one of the best point guards in the league right now and hopefully this doesnt deter him from his continuing his journey to being the best in the league and proving people wrong." Instead, the Nets Joe Johnson made the cut. Johnson is averaging 15.7 points, his lowest mark since 2002-03, his second season in the league. Hes only the second All-Star voted in by the coaches with a below-average PER since 2003. "Im going to keep grinding no matter what, All-Star or not," Lowry said. "Im always going to work hard and continue to be the best player I can be to help my team win." "Honestly I didnt even worry about it," he continued. "We didnt get two, doesnt matter, we got one and thats a big statement for our team. [DeRozans] going to represent our team and hes going to represent us well." DeRozan joins Johnson, Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat, Wall, the Indiana Pacers Roy Hibbert, Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls and the Atlanta Hawks Paul Millsap on the East squad, along with starters LeBron James and Dwyane Wade of the Heat, Indianas Paul George, Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks and the Cleveland Cavaliers Kyrie Irving. Irving Fryar Jersey . The Raptors (15-15) posted six road victories last month and have won seven of their last nine games overall. Toronto visits the Washington Wizards on Friday night. Malcolm Mitchell Jersey . Trailing 4-1 in the final set, Sharapova steadied her erratic service game and took command again to beat the 56th-ranked American 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 on clay at the Magic Box tennis centre. The ninth-ranked Russian looked to be cruising before McHale broke late in the second set to tie the match and then took her commanding lead in the final set after breaking Sharapova. TORONTO -- Marlies coach Steve Spott called Sundays 3-2 victory over the St. Johns IceCaps a wake-up call. The Marlies started slow and couldve easily gone behind 2-0 if it wasnt for the solid play of goaltender Drew MacIntyre, who picked up his league-leading 13th win. "I think as a coach sometimes, you come off of Friday night (a 4-1 win over Hamilton) and you praise your hockey club and you give them accolades on how hard they played and how hard they worked," Spott said. "Then they come in to a game like this today and theyre like boy were OK, we can just show up, put on our skates and play." David Broll picked up the winner as the Marlies (14-9-1) defeated the IceCaps (15-11-3) for the second time this season. With the loss, St. Johns saw their three-game win streak snapped. Carter Ashton and Brad Ross had the other goals for Toronto while Andrew Gordon and Brenden Kichton replied for St. Johns. "I said to our team after theres going to be games that well lose this year and Ill be OK with how we played, but theres going to be games we win where I wont feel too good and this was one of these games," Spott said. With goaltender Eddie Pasquale missing his second straight game due to a groin injury, Michael Hutchinson made his debut for the IceCaps Saturday. Hutchinson went 13-2-2 in 17 games with the Ontario Reign of the ECHL prior to being recalled Friday. Hutchinson made 17 saves in his first loss of the season while MacIntyre made 31 saves in the win. "We were really bad. Were starting to realize the way that we have to play," said MacIntyre, who received the game puck from Spott for the first time this season. "We just have to be more consistent, not so much with our effort, but with our mental game. I think our mental game, we kind of think that were a different team than we are. Malcolm Butler Jersey. quot; Broll beat Hutchinson short side at 7:52 of the third for his second of the season and the eventual game-winner. Gordon tied it 2-2 for St. Johns at 5:55 of the third, beating MacIntyre with his 10th of the season. Ashton, who was assigned to the Marlies on Saturday by the Leafs, gave Toronto a 2-1 lead, short-handed, at 1:49 of the third period, beating Hutchinson with a shot from the slot for his fourth of the season. Ross got Toronto on the board, tying it 1-1, with 39 seconds remaining in the second, putting home the rebound off a T.J. Brennan point shot. The IceCaps opened the scoring 5:04 into the second period as Kichton picked up his sixth of the season, beating Drew MacIntyre with a screened shot. Kael Mouillierat had an excellent chance to give the IceCaps a 2-0 lead at 14:52 of the middle frame on a breakaway, but was robbed by the glove of MacIntyre. "He made a nice move, he kind of took it and tried to change the angle," said MacIntyre. "Thats such a tough play cause you dont know if hes going to come back. You cant take the bait totally. I was glad that I got my glove on it and that it didnt go on the ice because I kind of opened up." Marlies leading point-getter, Spencer Abbott, left the game at 14:42 of the first period after being hit by IceCaps defenceman, Zach Redmond, and falling awkwardly into the boards. Abbott, who has 25 points in 23 games, was seen favouring his right leg as he was helped off the ice. Spott would only call the injury a lower body one, saying Abbott would be re-evaluated. Toronto concludes its pre-Christmas portion of the schedule with a three-game road trip beginning in Rochester on Wednesday. St. Johns has an 11-day break returning to the ice Dec. 27 in Worcester. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '