03/09 20:40 CDT Surging Raptors beat Timberwolves 111-104
Surging Raptors beat Timberwolves 111-104
AP Basketball Writer
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) --- Kyle Lowry had 20 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for
his fourth career triple-double, lifting the Toronto Raptors to a 111-104
victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night.
DeMar DeRozan added 25 points and seven rebounds and Steve Novak hit five
3-pointers for the surprising Raptors, who have won nine of their last 11 games
to climb to third place in the Eastern Conference standings. Toronto shot 58.3
percent (14 for 24) on 3-pointers.
Kevin Love had 26 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, and Nikola Pekovic
added 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves. Minnesota has started a
crucial four-game homestand with two losses in three games, and the team's
hopes of climbing from 10th in the West into the playoff picture are looking
The Raptors got some bad news early in the day when they learned Patrick
Patterson, a key member of the bench during their post-Rudy Gay trade surge,
would miss the next seven to 10 days with a sprained right elbow. But just as
they have done over the last two months, the Raptors found someone else to step
Novak had played less than 13 minutes over the last month, but he scored a
season-high in 18 minutes and Terrence Ross (15), Amir Johnson (15) and Greivis
Vasquez (12) all reached double figures in scoring as well to earn a tough road
The Wolves entered the game five games behind Dallas and Phoenix for the eighth
and final spot in the West. They've now lost two of the first three games of a
crucial four-game homestand.
They put up a fight in this one, trimming a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to
93-91 with five minutes to play. But Lowry drilled a 3-pointer, the Raptors
locked down the Timberwolves' offense with the kind of defense that has gotten
them this far and DeRozan finished the Wolves off with a 3-pointer from the
left wing to improve Toronto to 26-2 when leading after three quarters.
The Wolves' bench has struggled for much of the year, and it did again in the
first half on Tuesday. When Love sat down for a rest, the Raptors blasted
Minnesota with a 15-0 run to take a 46-33 lead. That prompted coach Rick
Adelman to go back to his star forward much earlier than he usually does.
Love ended the run with a jumper, controlled the glass and fed Pekovic three
straight times with pinpoint entry passes for easy buckets. He also drew a
charge and fed Dante Cunningham for a layup during a 17-2 run that gave
Minnesota a 50-48 lead.
DeRozan and Ross both went to the bench early in the third quarter when they
each picked up their fourth fouls and that's when Lowry took over. He was
tenacious in his attack, hitting two jumpers and feeding Vasquez for a 3 to put
Toronto up 75-68. He also played a big role in getting Wolves point guards
Ricky Rubio and J.J. Barea in foul trouble with his aggressive penetration.
The Raptors' reserves outscored Minnesota's 32-16 for the game.
NOTES: Love made four 3-pointers, including one in the third quarter that broke
Rashad McCants' franchise record for 3s in a season. McCants made 142
3-pointers in 2007-08 to set the previous franchise record. ... Barea had
another tough night, going 2 for 8 for five points. ... The Raptors recalled
Dwight Buycks from the NBDL's Bakersfield Jam on Sunday.