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Raptors Use Defence To Tame Wolves For Third Straight Win
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BOX 

SCORE RECAP PHOTOS VIDEOS
FINAL SCORE
Timberwolves 88 94 Raptors
Jay Satur
December 8, 2009
Air Canada Centre
Toronto, ON
IT 

WAS OVER WHEN...

With the game deadlocked at 84-84 and 2:18 to play, Hedo Turkoglu intercepted an errant cross-court pass from Flynn and coasted the length of the floor for an easy dunk. Then on the ensuing possession following a timeout, Flynn missed a jumper and the rebound went to Chris Bosh, who hit Turkoglu with the outlet pass. Antoine Wright took a pass from Turkoglu in the corner and buried the three-ball (just the second in 21 attempts on the night for Toronto) and the lead was 89-84 with 1:03 to play. The Raptors maintained their lead with free throws, preserving season-high third straight win.

THE 

GAME CHANGER

Chris Bosh got the Raptors off to a solid start in this one, helping the Raptors to an early lead with eight first-quarter points. Six more came in the decisive fourth quarter, finishing with an improbable baseline reverse for the 'and 1' with just under six minutes to play. He finished with 21 points and 16 rebounds (five offensive) with three blocks and a steal.

His teammates took over the game from that point, but Bosh led by example throughout. Since the team's blowout loss in Atlanta last week, he's raised his game with averages of 25.6 points and 14.6 rebounds per game.

THE UNDERRATED RAPTOR

Give a lot of credit to Jarrett Jack for stepping up in the absence of the injured Jose Calderon and providing a spark on Tuesday.

Like almost all of his teammates, Jack had a rough night from the field, but left his mark on the game in other ways. Most notably at the line, where he made 11 of his 12 attempts. He drew some key late fouls and hit three of four attempts from the line in the final 30 seconds to keep the Wolves at bay. He'd finish with 17 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and two steals.

STAT OF THE NIGHT

Free throws became a huge factor favouring Toronto as the game wore on. In the second quarter, the Raptors continually got to the line where they made 14 of their 16 attempts -- numbers they'd duplicate in the fourth. By halftime they had made 19 free throws versus just eight for the Wolves.

The end result was a season high in free throws made (40) and attempted (48) for the Raptors. On a night when they shot 32.1 per cent from the floor and 9.5 per cent from three-point range, the charity stripe proved to be very generous for the home side on Tuesday.

THAT'S A RAP

"I think it is beautiful. I do because I wouldn't take away any of the shots we took. It just seemed like there was a lid on the basket. We told our guys in training camp, if you play good defence, even on nights you can't make shots or struggle making shots, you will stay in games long enough to find a way to win. Our defence kept us in it. We fought and didn't give them a chance to go on too many runs. We played very good defence holding them to 37 per cent and were able to stay in it long enough to find a way to win. I think it's a great win for us. - Jay Triano

3-GAME OUTLOOK

Wed., Dec. 9 vs. Milwaukee Bucks
8:00 PM ET (theScore, FAN 590)

GAME NOTES:
The Raptors travel to Milwaukee Wednesday night for their first of three matchups this season against Brandon Jennings and the Bucks. Last season the two teams split the season series 2-2. The Bucks also enter Wednesday's game coming off the first end of a back-to-back -- in their case a 98-89 road loss to the Celtics. That gave the Bucks eight defeats in their previous nine games after starting the season 8-3.
By 

The Numbers
11 Number of consecutive wins for the Raptors vs. the Wolves, the longest streak against any opponent
3 Number of consecutive wins for the Raptors -- a season-high
40 Number of Raptors free throws made on 48 attempts, also a season-high
26 Number of field goals made by the Raptors, a season low
0.16 3-point shooting percentage for the Raptors in their last three home games
They Said It...
DeMar DeRozan "It's like figuring out how to talk to a girl - you finally know what to say... I've got an infatuation with the line and I just want to get there. It's easy points, so why not?"DeMar DeRozan on getting to the free throw line
Kurt Rambis "I thought our defence was pretty good. They missed an awful lot of shots they normally make too, but you have to give our team credit." Wolves head coach Kurt Rambis on his team's defensive effort
Jarrett Jack "I think these type of wins build character and show character. When you are not playing the way you are capable of playing, you have to find a way, find something to gut out a win" Jarrett Jack on winning 'ugly'
Fantasy Alert
Kevin Love
SEASON STATS
15.7 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 58.3 FG%

Notes: Kevin Love posted another strong line off the bench in his third game back from a broken left hand. The second-year pro scored 18 points with seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.
DeMar DeRozan
SEASON STATS
8.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 0.7 APG

Notes: DeMar DeRozan continues his December thaw and posted double-digits in scoring for a fourth straight game (15). He went a perfect seven-of-seven from the free throw line and doubled his season average by pulling down six rebounds.