Timberwolves rally past Raptors
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Timberwolves completed their biggest comeback of the season to beat the Toronto Raptors 117-112 on Wednesday night at Target Center.Minnesota trailed by 18 points before a big second half lifted the Timberwolves to a ...
MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Timberwolves completed their biggest comeback of the season to beat the Toronto Raptors 117-112 on Wednesday night at Target Center.
Minnesota trailed by 18 points before a big second half lifted the Timberwolves to a win in their last game before the NBA All-Star break. Rookie center Karl-Anthony Towns scored a career-high 35 points and and guard Andrew Wiggins added 26.
The victory gave the Timberwolves (17-37) more wins than they had all of last season when they won just 16 games.
Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan matched Towns with 35 points, but it wasn’t enough for Toronto, which came into the game having won 14 of its previous 15. Guard Kyle Lowry chipped in 14 points and seven assists for the Raptors (35-17).
Towns added 11 rebounds, which gave him 30 double-doubles this season. He surpassed Kevin Love for the most double-doubles by a Timberwolves rookie. Love had 29 double-doubles during the 2008-09 season.
The Raptors finished the first half with 68 points, the most Toronto had in the first half of any game this season. DeRozan paced the Raptors with 22 first-half points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field.
Minnesota erased a 13-point halftime deficit with a 33-point third quarter, holding Toronto to 21 points in the quarter.
The Timberwolves tied it at 78 on a layup by guard Zach LaVine and took a brief lead in the third quarter. Minnesota got to the free throw line 37 times through the first three quarters, hitting 32.
The Timberwolves were playing short-handed as forward Tayshaun Prince was absent for a personal reason. LaVine started in Prince’s place and finished with 13 points and five assists. All five Minnesota starters scored in double figures.
NOTES: Timberwolves F Tayshaun Prince missed the game to be in Detroit on Wednesday night to attend the jersey retirement ceremony of his former Pistons teammate Chauncey Billups. Zach LaVine started in Prince’s place. ... Toronto coach Duane Casey was the Timberwolves’ coach for the 2005-06 season and part of the 2006-07 season. He entered Wednesday’s game needing one win to reach .500 in his career (242-243). “I couldn’t even tell you what my record is,” Casey said. ... Wednesday marked the last game for both teams before the NBA All-Star break. Minnesota returns to action on Feb. 19 in Memphis. Toronto’s next game is Feb. 19 at Chicago.