Ken Doherty and Kilkenny’s Leo Fernandez are among the players involved in the morning session with Doherty facing David Gilbert while Fernandez plays Kurt Maflin.In the afternoon matches, Joe Swail goes up against Ding Junhui while Fergal O’Brien faces Ali Carter.
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error TORONTO >> In between grieving with his family over his mother’s passing, Lakers coach Byron Scott monitored his team in the past week.He watched the Lakers’ loss in Oklahoma City, fuming at the team’s defense. Scott listened to the radio when the Lakers scrapped to an overtime win in Minnesota. The Lakers hardly looked prettier once Scott saw them in person, a 94-83 loss to the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre featuring too many ugly images to watch. The Lakers (19-52) shot 34.5 percent from the field, as Jeremy Lin (18 points) and Jordan Clarkson (14 points) represented the team’s lone double-digit scorers. A 10-point second-quarter lead soon changed to double-digit deficits for much of the second half.“When our offense seemed to go down, so did our defense,” Scott said. “The guys started to get down on themselves.” Scott planned to sit Carlos Boozer and Jordan Hill to develop the younger frontline players, while opening the possibility their benchings would end either in Brooklyn (Sunday) or Philadelphia (Monday). Yet, Boozer became unavailable anyway, the Lakers’ veteran forward revealing he has nursed the flu the past two days. “I feel like (crap),” said Boozer, who will take antibiotics and rest. Scott also conceded Clarkson recording zero assists represented “one of the first things I noticed” on his box score that also featured 4-of-14 shooting. Then, Scott defended Clarkson.“That’s something that at a young age, he’s going to have to figure out on the fly,” said Scott. “He did get in the paint a few times and finish it off. But guys just didn’t make layups or they got fouled and went to the free-throw line. He was still unselfish and doing the right things. It just didn’t show up in the stat sheet.” Lin, who usually laments games that lacked ball movement, attributed the poor shooting numbers to good shots falling out of the basket. Clarkson described his play as only “OK” and conceded, “I’m still learning how to make plays.”“We were getting the looks we wanted,” Clarkson said. “We had opportunities at the rim. It was just one of those games where it wasn’t rolling for us.”All of which made for a pretty unpleasant experience on Scott’s first day back on the job. The Raptors (43-30) clinched the Atlantic Division after losing four of their past eight games. The absence of All-Star Kyle Lowry (back spasms) was hardly noticeable with Jonas Valanciunas (19 points), James Johnson (18), Bruno Caboclo (17), Amir Johnson (11) and Terrence Ross (10) filling the void. So many bizarre things plagued the Lakers’ offense, so much that they could not overcome a 46-40 rebounding edge. Scott considered Lin a “game-time decision” before tipoff after the Lakers’ guard reported “no progress” in his sinus issues he nursed in recent days. But he opened the first quarter with 10 points on a 3-of-5 clip, only to crash-and-burn with a 3-of-10 clip through 36 minutes.“Once I get going with the adrenaline and took some pain killers,” Lin said, “I go out there and play as hard as I can.”The Lakers’ health ailments extended elsewhere, beyond the obvious season-ending injuries to Kobe Bryant (right shoulder), Steve Nash (back) and Julius Randle (right leg) as well as Nick Young’s 16-game absence from a fractured left kneecap. read more