Game Rap: Huskies 124, Wolves 110
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
DeMar DeRozan drilled a jumper off a Kyle Lowry assist with 1:32 remaining to put the raptors up 118-106 and force the Timberwolves into a timeout. After an up-and-down night offensively, things started clicking for Toronto in the fourth as they outscored Minnesota 36-21 en route to collecting a 124-110 victory.
The Raptors wore their blue and white Toronto Huskies uniforms for the second time this season. The uniforms honour the 70th anniversary of the Toronto Huskies first season. In addition to the uniforms, the team played on a blue and white Huskies court as well.
ANOTHER GAME, ANOTHER FRANCHISE-RECORD
During a timeout in the first quarter, a video played on the in-arena video board congratulating DeMar DeRozan for becoming the second player in franchise history to score 10,000 points as well as for earning the franchise-record for games played as he appeared in his 543rd game on Friday. DeRozan has appeared in more games for his original team than anyone else from the 2009 draft and is one of five players from his draft class still with their original teams.
ROLLERCOASTER FIRST HALF
With an early 7 p.m. tip-off time, the Raptors came out extremely slow to start the game. Minnesota led by 10 after the first quarter as Toronto shot just 33 percent while giving up 59 percent shooting to the wolves. Canadian Andrew Wiggins helped the Timberwolves to build their lead with an 11-point quarter. The second quarter was a role reversal, as Toronto outscored Minnesota 37-27, shooting 70 percent, and making 5-of-8 three-point attempts to get back into the game. Thanks to hot shooting from DeMarre Carroll and Kyle Lowry (nine and 10 points respectively, in the quarter), the Raptors were able to tie the game up at 59 at the halftime break.
PULLING AWAY LATE
The Raptors were unable to shake the wolves in the third, despite taking a nine-point lead a few minutes into the quarter. Minnesota led by a point going into the fourth, but Toronto found its footing offensively, outscoring Minnesota 36-21 to break the game open and pull away. The Raptors shot 55 percent in the final quarter, compared to 39 percent for the Wolves with Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan scoring 19 of Toronto’s 36 in the fourth.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kyle Lowry’s hot-shooting streak continues and he continues to make it all look easy and effortless. Against the Wolves, Lowry had a 25-point, 10-assist double-double in 38 minutes. He shot 8-for-14 from the floor, 5-for-7 from beyond the arc and 4-for-6 from the free throw line. He added two rebounds and a steal and the team was an absurd +27 when he was on the floor. DeMar DeRozan shook off a rough shooting start to finish with 27 points, eight rebounds and five assists in 37 minutes. Although he shot just 7-for-20 from the floor (12-for-13 from the free throw line), after an 0-for-6 start in that sluggish first quarter, DeRozan was 7-for-14 from the floor the rest of the way through.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Jonas Valanciunas posted a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double in 29 minutes of action. He shot 9-for-15 from the floor and a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line while adding an assist and a blocked shot.
THAT'S A RAP…
“We just picked it up. We kicked in our experience with how we have to win games. We can’t underestimate a team like [the Wolves] that plays extremely hard. They jumped out on us. We had to fight back the whole game and into the fourth quarter. We just tried to put everything together, execute on both ends and pull out the victory.”
- DeMar DeRozan on what changed in the fourth quarter
BY THE #’S
44…percent shooting from beyond the arc for the Raptors compared with 32 percent for the Wolves.
9…Turnovers for Toronto leading to 14 points for Minnesota. The Wolves turned the ball over 14 times, leading to 22 points scored by the Raptors.
25…Assists for the Raptors, 19 for the Wolves.
36…Bench points scored by Toronto, compared to 22 for Minnesota.
THEY SAID IT…
“We finally woke up and played in the fourth quarter but we can’t live like that and expect to do anything special. Now, we can be a good team, but we can’t be special if we allow things to happened that happened tonight in the first three quarters.”
- Dwane Casey on the team turning it on in the fourth Q
“I don’t know, honestly, I just shoot the ball. .. it’s not about anything, my teammates give me the confidence and my coaches give me the confidence to shoot shots. The way I work on my game … I was always tough on myself, so I always try to be the best I can at all times.”
- Kyle Lowry on all of the deep three-pointers he’s been hitting
“All-time best right now. Having such high regard with an organization with any type of record and only being 27 years old leading the franchise in stats or whatever it might be is definitely a blessing.”
- DeMar DeRozan on where tonight’s franchise record for games played ranks among his various Raptors franchise records
“I hope he keeps doing it. He’s playing amazing and hitting a lot of great shots for us. He’s a great shooter and he’s letting it fly with confidence. We’re going to continue to believe in him.”
- Cory Joseph on Kyle Lowry’s offensive output as of late
The Raptors head to Boston where they will take on the Celtics in a back-to-back on Friday at 7:30 P.M. ET.