Raptors Hand Wolves 10th Straight Road Loss
Toronto 97, Minnesota 77
TORONTO, March 24 (Ticker) -- While the Minnesota Timberwolves appeared to be suffering from an offensive hangover, the Toronto Raptors remained focused.
Morris Peterson scored 21 points, Mike James added 18 and Chris Bosh had 17 as the Raptors rolled to a 97-77 victory over the Timberwolves, who have dropped 10 straight road games.
"I haven't won on my birthday since college, so it's good to play hard and get a win by double figures," Bosh said.
"I've been working on my shot all week and tonight I'm glad I was able to make some shots for us," Peterson said.
On Thursday, Minnesota suffered its ninth consecutive road loss, a 86-82 setback to New Jersey in which it made just 9-of-37 shots in the second half. The poor finish carried over into Friday as the Wolves fell into a 24-8 hole after the first period.
Minnesota shot just 21 percent (4-of-19) from the field with six turnovers as it set a franchise-record low for first-quarter points.
"I think it did (carry over)," Timberwolves Coach Dwane Casey said. "We had a little 'dead effect' in the first quarter tonight. I think once they smacked us in the face, we competed after that."
Toronto jumped out to a 19-4 lead as Bosh converted a three-point play with 2:43 left. The All-Star forward punctuated the period when he made a tough hanging layup while taking a bump from Kevin Garnett with 20 seconds left.
"Chris had 15 rebounds and 17 points against, arguably, one of the the greatest players (Garnett) to ever play at that position," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said.
Toronto maintained control thereafter to earn its eighth win in its last 11 home meetings with Minnesota.
"If you get that type of lead, the toughest thing is to maintain it," James said. "But we did which shows that as a team we're going in the right direction."
Garnett had 15 points and 12 rebounds and Mark Blount scored 13 points for the Wolves, who fell to 8-27 on the road. Among Western Conference teams, only Portland (6-30) is worse away from home.
"I'm out there sweating and working hard," said Garnett, who recorded his NBA-best 55th double-double of the season. "Continuing to work and compete is one of the most difficult things when you really don't have anything to play for other than your dignity."
With 13 games remaining, Minnesota is inching closer to missing the playoffs for the second straight year after a trip to the Western Conference finals in 2004.