Game Preview: Raptors at Timberwolves
Toronto Raptors (31-13) @ Minnesota Timberwolves (29-18)
When: Saturday, January 20th, 9 P.M. ET
Where: Target Center
Broadcast info: TSN1/4, TSN1050
The Raptors last saw the Timberwolves in February of last season, falling 112-109 on the road. Toronto lost despite a 30-point effort from DeMar DeRozan as well as 20 points from Kyle Lowry. Timberwolves swingman Andrew Wiggins scored 31 points and Karl-Anthony Towns added 29 points and 14 rebounds as a Tyus Jones three-pointer with 19.5 seconds remaining sealed the win for Minnesota. The Raptors had a chance to tie the game, but a three-point attempt from Kyle Lowry was off the mark at the buzzer.
LEADING INTO TONIGHT'S GAME
Injury report: For Toronto, Fred VanVleet is listed as questionable with a right knee contusion. For the Timberwolves, the injury report is clear.
Winning in Minnesota: The Raptors would love to get a victory in Minnesota to snap their current two-game losing streak at the Target Center. Prior to Minnesota winning their home contests in the previous two seasons, the Raptors had gone 12-1 against the Timberwolves on the road.
From deep: The Raptors are 24-5 this season when they connect on at least 10 three-pointers in a game. They are 7-8 when they are held below 10 made threes, but managed to defeat the Spurs 86-83 despite being held to nine three-pointers on Friday. Kyle Lowry is leading the Raptors with 121 three-pointers this season while first-year Raptor C.J. Miles is next with 89 off the bench.
Back-to-back: Saturday's game will be a back-to-back for the Raptors, who came to Minnesota immediately following Friday's 86-83 home victory against the San Antonio Spurs. Toronto has had five back-to-backs so far and are 3-2 in the second game of back-to-back this season.
Two away: Jonas Valanciunas had another double-double in Toronto's victory on Friday, with 15 points and 11 rebounds. He already ranks second in franchise history for double-doubles with 118 for his career. Though he did not record a blocked shot against the Spurs, he is just two blocked shots away from tying Vince Carter for third (415) in franchise history.
Letting it fly: Though Kyle Lowry missed three games with a bruised tailbone, he hasn't shown any signs of rust in his return. With three games now under his belt since returning from the injury, head coach Dwane Casey said on Friday he was happy with the bounce his point guard has played with. In Toronto's previous two games, both victories, Kyle Lowry is shooting 8-for-19 from beyond the arc. On the season, he is shooting 39 percent from three, a career-best.