Game Rap: Raptors 109, Timberwolves 112

Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com

IT WAS OVER WHEN

A three-point attempt from Kyle Lowry was off the mark at the final buzzer. Minnesota battled back from a 10-point halftime deficit and five-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter to earn a 112-109 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

CONNECTING EARLY

The Raptors continued the offensive success they had in Monday’s victory against the Clippers, shooting 60 percent in the opening quarter against the Timberwolves as they took a 33-25 lead after the opening 12 minutes. DeMar DeRozan led the way with a 12-point effort in his second game back after missing seven of eight with a sprained ankle. Andrew Wiggins led the Wolves, also scoring 12 points in the quarter.

CONTINUING IN THE SECOND Q

Toronto continued to hit shots in the second quarter, shooting 61 percent while holding the Wolves to 48 percent. Lowry scored 10 in the quarter as the Raptors took a 63-53 lead into the half. DeRozan led the Raptors with a 16-point half, while Wiggins led all scorers with 18 points in the half on 6-for-9 field goals in 18 minutes.

THIRD QUARTER FLIP

The tide started to turn in the third as Toronto’s field goal percentage dropped from 61 percent in the first half to 47 percent. After outscoring the Wolves in each of the first two quarters, Toronto was outscored 30-25 in the third as the Raptors struggled to contain Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns. They allowed the sophomore big man to score 13 in the quarter whileJonas Valanciunas scored 10 for Toronto. Thanks to Towns’ solid third, the Timberwolves halved their halftime deficit to go into the fourth trailing by just five.

WOLVES COMPLETE COMEBACK

Minnesota saved its best for last, shooting 56 percent in the fourth while holding the Raptors to just 21 points. Opponent reserves coming off the bench to make a difference late has been a problem for Toronto in recent games. On Wednesday it was Shabazz Muhammad to score 11 in the final frame while Towns added eight points and Wiggins scored seven. A Wiggins jumper gave the Wolves a one-point lead with 47.6 seconds on the clock. Although DeRozan would tie the game with a layup with 29.5 seconds remaining, Wiggins assisted on a huge three-pointer from Tyus Jones to put the Wolves up three and despite the final possession of the game in a one-possession game, Toronto was not able to connect at the buzzer.

RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME

DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points in his second game back from injury. He played 38 minutes and shot 12-for-25 from the floor, 1-for-4 from beyond the arc and 5-for-7 from the free throw line. DeRozan added four rebounds, two assists and a steal. It was the second consecutive game where he had scored at least 30 points.

UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME

DeMarre Carroll had a great showing against the Wolves, scoring 19 points on 7-for-9 field goals. Carroll was 4-for-5 from three, adding a team-high nine rebounds to go with two assists in 34 minutes of action. Jonas Valanciunas had a 16-point night on a perfect 7-for-7 field goals. Valanciunas was also 2-for-2 at the free throw line and added five rebounds and an assist in 26 minutes.

THAT'S A RAP…

“We play “sometime defence” and we can’t do that. We’re not going to be a good team if we play “sometime defence” and think we’re going to outscore [our opponent]. We shot 53 percent and we thought it was just going to be a tit for tat game. We didn't have the force, togetherness. One breakdown here, one breakdown there and you give them confidence. Until we collectively, together, play in our schemes, in our rotations and do what’s right, it’s one breakdown here, one breakdown there. We’ve just got to do it together.”
- Dwane Casey summing up another night with defensive issues

BY THE #’S

53…Percent shooting for the Raptors, 49 percent shooting for the Wolves.

14…Fast break points for Minnesota compared to just eight for Toronto.36…Both teams had 36 rebounds in the game.

13…Turnovers for Toronto, leading to 14 points for Minnesota. The Wolves turned the ball over eight times, leading to 13 points for the Raptors.

31…Points, five rebounds, six assists, two steals and a blocked shot for Andrew Wiggins on 11-for-19 field goals and 8-for-9 free throws. Karl-Anthony Towns scored 29 points to go with 14 rebounds, an assist, a steal and two blocked shots on 8-for-14 field goals and 13-for-13 free throws.

THEY SAID IT…

“They came out aggressive. They got some turnovers early. They got out in transition, got some easy buckets. They got to the free throw line, we put them on the free throw line. They got a lot of offensive rebounds and that sparked their offensive run.”
- DeMar DeRozan on the turning point in the second half

“It’s been old. Something’s gotta shake. Something’s gotta give. It’s not in the sense of doing something, it’s just we’ve got to figure it out within ourselves. When I say something’s gotta give, we all have to give in and figure out our defence, put ourselves on the line and hold each other accountable. We’re a good team but as of right now, we’re not a good team. We’re not playing like we’re a good team.”
- Kyle Lowry on defensive struggles and needing to play to the team’s potential

“We just all have to be locked in on the court. It can’t just be one guy doing one thing and four others doing something else. We’ve all got to be on one accord and understand what’s the game plan and stick to it. Understand the personnel as well. We’ve got to understand that’s a great offensive rebounding team. If we get stops, we have to get the rebound.”
- DeMar DeRozan on what needs to change defensively

“I think the biggest thing is we definitely got to get in and watch film, point it out, but at the end of the day it’s a want. Playing defence, you’ve got to want to do it. It’s not as glorious as scoring points all the time, playing defence is grit and grind. We’ve got to get guys who want to grit and grind and get out there and play defence.”
- DeMarre Carroll on digging in defensively

UP NEXT:

The Raptors return to Toronto to prepare for the Detroit Pistons on Sunday at the Air Canada Centre at 6 P.M. ET.

Game Highlights: Raptors at Timberwolves - February 8, 2017

Watch highlights from Wednesday's match-up between the Toronto Raptors and Minnesota Timberwolves.

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Game Highlights: Raptors at Timberwolves - February 8, 2017

Watch highlights from Wednesday's match-up between the Toronto Raptors and Minnesota Timberwolves.
Feb 8, 2017  |  04:32

Raptors Post-Game: Dwane Casey - February 8, 2017

Head coach Dwane Casey addresses the media following Toronto's 112-109 road loss against Minnesota on Wednesday.
Feb 8, 2017  |  02:05

Raptors Post-Game: DeMarre Carroll - February 8, 2017

DeMarre Carroll addresses the media following Toronto's 112-109 road loss against Minnesota on Wednesday.
Feb 8, 2017  |  01:46