Raptors Top Wolves, 111-104
The last time the Minnesota Timberwolves battled the Toronto Raptors, the team came out flat and ended up dropping the game in Toronto in mid-January.
Rick Adelman’s squad didn’t make the same mistake on Sunday night at the Target Center, but even with a solid effort and near triple-double from Kevin Love, the Wolves fell 111-104 to Toronto.
Wolves vs. Raptors
A big part of Toronto’s game was the 3-point shot. The Raptors hit an insane 58.3 percent (14-24) of their attempts from deep. Steve Novak had 15 points and all of them came from the 3-point line.
“The only shot he missed, he was all by himself,” Adelman said. “He can really shoot it… Tonight it seemed like whatever shot he got, he knocked it down.”
It was a battle throughout the majority of the game, and even though Minnesota trailed for the majority of it, it never felt like the Wolves were out of it until the end.
In the first quarter alone, there were seven ties and five lead changes. The game was knotted up 33-33 at the end of the first.
If you thought the first quarter was eventful, well the second quarter was something else. It didn’t start off great for the Wolves, as they allowed the Raptors to open on a 13-0 run. The Wolves responded with a 9-0 run of their own, though, and trailed 53-52 at half.
Love was on triple-double watch, scoring 14 points to go with eight assists and six rebounds at the break. The Raptors were led by DeMar DeRozan’s 13 points.
Things went down hill for the Wolves in the second half, though. A combination of the 3-point shooting and a fantastic second half from Kyle Lowry proved the be the difference. The Raptors outscored the Wolves 30-24 in the third quarter after starting in on a 7-0 run.
Minnesota was within 96-93 after a Shabazz Muhammad dunk with 4:18 left, but the Wolves weren’t able to maintain the momentum.
Love missed out on the triple-double, finishing with 26 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. Lowry, however, did not. The point guard finished with 20 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists.
Kevin Martin had 20 points for the Wolves, while Nikola Pekovic and Corey Brewer had 17 points each. Pekovic also had 11 rebounds. The Wolves shot 43.2 percent on the night.
DeMar DeRozan had a team-high 25 points for Toronto, while Terrence Ross, Amir Johnson and Novak had 15 points each. The Raptors shot 48.7 percent from the field.
The Wolves are now 31-31 overall.
“We have to do it better,” Adelman said. “We can’t hang our heads, it’s a good team we played. They’re playing really well. They have a lot of veteran players... We got beat.”
Leader of the Pack: Kevin Love
Love barely missed out on his second career triple-double. Love shot 4-of-9 from the 3-point line. His 26 points were a game-high. He also added a steal and a block.
He was a big part of the team’s explosive third quarter, scoring 12 points in the first 12 minutes.
Highlight of the Night
As he’s done all season, Brewer threw down a fastbreak dunk to tie the game at 19 with 4:21 left in the first quarter. That wasn’t the impressive part, though. Brewer then drew an offensive foul from Lowry as Toronto attempted to inbound the ball. The Wolves got back possession, which resulted in a Love layup to give the team a 21-19 lead with 4:01 left in the first quarter. Brewer continued his scrappy play all night and had a game-high six steals.
The Numbers Game
Raptors 111, Wolves 104
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“I mean, it’s just tough. I think tonight we was really trying. Hustling, playing defense… But they just had a great night from 3-point shooting. It’s really tough to play against them.” — Wolves center Nikola Pekovic on how hard it was to stop Toronto at the 3-point line.
The Wolves end their four-game home stand on Tuesday as they host the Milwaukee Bucks. The game is slotted for 7 p.m. on Fox Sports North and WCCO 830-AM