NEW YORK - Sometimes a little bit of confidence goes a long way. Nike Shox Cheap Wholesale . Looking at the standings - where the Raptors sit atop the woeful Atlantic Division - wins in Dallas and Oklahoma City count just the same as less impressive victories over the 76ers and Jazz. Internally, those triumphs have meant everything to this young, impressionable Raptors team. Whether theyre facing a late-game deficit, protecting a lead, or staring down one of the leagues elite teams, the Raptors believe they can win. "It does give you confidence to know you went out and beat [some] of the best teams in the league on their home floor," Dwane Casey said before his team rallied back to defeat the division-rival Knicks, 95-83 at Madison Square Garden on Friday. "That should help us know that hey, you can do it." Having played 36 minutes of lackluster, uninspired basketball against an undermanned club that was nearly as lethargic, the Raptors looked like a team that believed, that knew they could flip on the switch when it mattered most. Trailing by as many as 12 points in the third quarter, Toronto held the Knicks to 5-of-19 shooting in the fourth, outscoring the home team 29-12 in the final frame. Once again, the Raptors showed supreme confidence in the face of adversity on the road. They found a way to win, a notable step for a franchise that has historically found creative ways to lose. "You definitely feel good once youre winning games," said DeMar DeRozan, who led the Raptors with 25 points, including eight in the pivotal fourth quarter. "You gain all the confidence game-in and game-out, especially playing all these teams, knowing we could beat them." "We understand were never out of the game until that last second runs out of the clock. It definitely helps, because last year we were in a ton of late-game situations we couldnt pull out. Wed kind of fold, get frustrated, let a big shot frustrate us. Now we dont let any of that frustrate us." The difference is noticeable. A year ago, the Raptors were 3-36 when trailing after three quarters. Two months into the season, they already have four comeback victories. Most impressively, Toronto is the NBAs third-best fourth-quarter team in terms of point differential. Outscoring opponents by 59 points in the final period, the Raptors rank behind Indiana and Miami, the cream of the crop in the Eastern Conference. “I think weve got some good closers," Kyle Lowry said after a 15-point, 11-assist performance, his 19th straight game with six or more dimes. "I think weve got guys who dont care about the moment, they just want to win games." Confidence has been the most crucial factor in the continued development of franchise centrepiece Jonas Valanciunas, who had a coming out party on the NBAs biggest stage Friday. Facing Tyson Chandler, one of the leagues toughest match-ups at his position, the Raptors sophomore registered a career-high 18 boards to go along with 16 points. Valanciunas was not fazed by the moment or his competition, he held his ground and played up to it as much or more than he has before. "JV just be all over the place," DeRozan said with a chuckle. "Sometimes weve just got to tell him to calm down. He just wants it that bad. Youve got to love having a guy like that on your team." Lowry has been as tough on the 21-year-old as anyone in the organization. Routinely reprimanding him after missed assignments or botched pick-and-rolls, even Lowry sees and applauds the growth of the Raptors prized second-year centre. "It just makes me proud because Im on him more than everybody but when he does well I congratulate him and I appreciate what he does," Lowry said of Valanciunas. "I just want to see him be the best player he can be." "Ill buy him dinner one day," the veteran point guard joked. For Valanciunas, it was a big night, whether he cares to admit it or not. The witty, albeit soft-spoken, seven footer refused to bite on questions regarding his individual performance after the game. "I was just playing my game, Im trying to help the team," he maintained. "Thats all I do every game." "Im not trying to show swagger or something. Im a simple guy and Im just trying to play hard." Like the sinking Atlantic Division itself, one of these teams was going to win this game and through three quarters, that seemed like a maddening thought. Both teams got off to a sluggish start, especially the Raptors, coming off a brief Christmas break earlier this week. Toronto shot 38 per cent from the field and committed 10 turnovers in the first half before tightening the screws in the third quarter and running away with the game in the fourth. "We were playing in mud in the first half," Casey said. "Our effort was there it was just one of those games where we couldnt get going and I think it was a little bit because of the break, coming back, trying to get things going. We turned it on in the second half and its good to be able to not play your best game and still come out with the win against a very powerful offensive team in New York." The Knicks are a sinking ship, desperately trying to stay afloat in the division for as long as injuries remain a viable excuse for their failures. Carmelo Anthony, the NBAs second-leading scorer, missed Fridays game with an ankle injury and will not travel to Toronto for the back end of a home-and-home set with the Raptors Saturday. In many ways, Fridays game was the epitome of what has become the leagues most ridiculed division. More often than not it was painful to watch. As the Knicks, last seasons division champions, were booed off their home court it became clear; these are two teams headed in opposite directions. One with more confidence than theyve had in some time, the other losing hope with each passing day. Nike Shox Clearance Wholesale . However, it wasnt a problem on Monday night. Evgeni Nabokov made 23 saves for his 56th career shutout in the New York Islanders 3-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Monday night. Nike Shox Sale Outlet . Mike Ribeiro had a goal and an assist as Phoenix held on to snap a two-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday. http://www.cheapnikeshoxireland.com/ .C. -- After a listless first half, the Washington Wizards used a big third quarter run to beat the Charlotte Bobcats Bradley Beal scored 21 points and the Wizards used a 17-0 run in the third quarter to take control of what had been a close game and beat the Bobcats 97-83 on Tuesday night.MIAMI -- The first airborne banner calling for Jeff Ireland to be fired flew over the Miami Dolphins stadium in 2011. Other similar signs followed, most recently in November, and on Tuesday those wanting him out finally got their wish. Irelands six-year stint as general manager ended with a brief announcement that he and owner Stephen Ross mutually agreed to part ways. The Dolphins said they would conduct an immediate search for a replacement to lead football operations. A late-season flop kept Miami out of the playoffs for a fifth consecutive year, and Ireland has long been considered the main culprit for the franchises failures. More than two dozen frustrated fans gathered outside the Dolphins complex one spring day in 2012 to protest the way the team was being run, with some holding signs that read "FIRELAND." He wasnt fired, but in the wake of last months meltdown, Ross considered hiring a football czar over Ireland and coach Joe Philbin. Ireland was opposed to such an arrangement. "Steve and I came to an agreement that the best thing moving forward for all parties would be to part ways," Ireland said in a statement. "Id like to thank Steve for all his support and kindness. Ive had the opportunity to work with some of the most amazing people during this time, and Id like to thank them all from the bottom of my heart." Ross said the decision regarding Ireland came after they had a series of discussions. "We both felt that it was in our mutual best interest to part ways," Ross said in a statement. "Jeff was a loyal and dedicated member of the Dolphins and we wish him and his family nothing but the best. Nike Shox Cheap Free Shipping. " Still to be determined is Irelands role in a locker-room bullying scandal that drew national scrutiny. The NFL has yet to release a report on its investigation into the case. Irelands departure follows Mondays firing of offensive co-ordinator Mike Sherman. Philbin will return for a third season, but other changes in his staff are possible. The Dolphins (8-8) would have made the playoffs if they had won one of their final two games against the Bills and Jets. Instead, they were beaten by a combined score of 39-7. Ross spent more than $100 million in guaranteed money last off-season to upgrade the roster, and the investment delivered only slight improvement from a 7-9 record in 2012. Ireland, a protege of Bill Parcells, was hired as general manager in 2008, and the Dolphins won the AFC East in his first season. But they havent been above .500 since, the longest such stretch in franchise history. Irelands personnel decisions have produced mixed results. This season, $60 million newcomer Mike Wallace had a career-low five touchdown catches, but free-agent acquisition Brent Grimes made the Pro Bowl. In 2012, Ireland drafted Ryan Tannehill, who shows signs of becoming the franchise quarterback Miami has sought since Dan Marino retired following the 1999 season. But Irelands 2013 draft picks played the fewest snaps of any team in the NFL, including overall No. 3 choice Dion Jordan, who had only two sacks all year. 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