Game Preview: Raptors vs Timberwolves
Toronto Raptors (57-24) @ Minnesota Timberwolves (36-44)
When: Tuesday, April 9th 8 P.M. ET
Where: Target Center
Leading into tonight’s game:
- Injury report: For the Raptors, Patrick McCaw (sprained right thumb) is listed as out. For the Timberwolves, Robert Covington (arthroscopic surgery), Luol Deng (left achilles), Derrick Rose (arthroscopic surgery), and Jeff Teague (left foot) are listed as out. Jerryd Bayless (right ankle contusion) and Taj Gibson (strained left calf) are listed as questionable.
- Finishing strong: Tuesday marks the final day of the regular season for the Raptors. The team has already secured the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and a win in Minnesota would secure the second-best record in the NBA, trailing just Milwaukee (60-21). The Raptors have already set a new franchise record for road wins in a season, earning their 25th road victory against the Brooklyn Nets on Apr. 3. This is the fourth consecutive season that the Raptors have topped 50 wins.
- Recent history: This is the final meeting between the Timberwolves and Raptors this season. The Raptors earned a 112-105 victory against the Wolves on Oct. 24 at Scotiabank Arena behind a 35-point effort from Kawhi Leonard and a 13-point, 10-assist double-double from Kyle Lowry. Jimmy Butler — now with the Philadelphia 76ers — scored 23 points to lead the Wolves in the loss. While Toronto enters the game having won six of their last seven, Minnesota has lost three of their last five games, most recently a 132-126 decision to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
- One more: The Raptors need just one more three-pointer to reach 1000 made three-pointers for the first time in a single season. The team’s previous season-high was 968, set in 2017-18. A big part of the team’s success from beyond the arc has been Danny Green’s sharp-shooting ways. Green is shooting a team-best 46 percent from deep and has set a new season-high for made threes in his career, sitting at 197 made three-pointers with one game remaining in the regular season. Green is now third in franchise history for three-pointers in a season. Kyle Lowry holds the top spot with 238 made threes during the 2017-18 season, as well as the second spot with 212 threes during 2015-16.
- Efficiency rules: It would be hard to find fault with the play of Norman Powell and Pascal Siakam in Toronto’s 117-109 victory against the Miami Heat on Sunday. The duo combined to score 46 points on a ridiculous 15-of-17 field goals. While Siakam shot 8-for-10 from the floor, including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc, Powell was perfect from the floor, making all seven of his field goal attempts, including all four three-pointers.
- Team-high: Marc Gasol wasn’t the team’s leading scorer on Sunday. He wasn’t even one of the five Raptors to reach double figures in scoring, but his impact was felt on both ends of the floor as the Raptors defeated the Heat and Gasol was a team-high +23 in the eight-point victory. Gasol finished with eight points to go with a team-high tying 10 rebounds and a team-high seven assists in 33 minutes against Miami. With one regular-season game remaining, Gasol has recorded 348 assists this year, surpassing his previous season-high of 338, set in 2016-17.