Kyle Lowery leads way as Raptors continue mastery of Timberwolves - InfoNews

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Kyle Lowery leads way as Raptors continue mastery of Timberwolves

Toronto Raptors' Amir Johnson goes up for a slam dunk past Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Love, centre, during first half NBA action in Toronto, Friday January 17, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch
January 17, 2014 - 6:40 PM

TORONTO - Kyle Lowry had 24 points as the Toronto Raptors defeated Minnesota 94-89 on Friday night and continued their mastery of the Timberwolves.

Toronto earned its 10th straight home win over Minnesota before an announced Air Canada Centre sellout gathering of 19,800. The Raptors have won 17 of the last 18 meetings between the two clubs and lead the all-time series 23-12.

Toronto (20-18), coming off 88-83 loss to Boston on Wednesday night, claimed a season-high sixth straight home victory. The last time the Raptors did that was Jan. 17-Feb. 10, 2010 when they won eight in a row.

Toronto wore its special Canadian Forces fourth jersey — camo green with black— as part of Armed Forces Night to improve to 10-8 at home this season.

Amir Johnson added 19 points for Toronto while Terrence Ross had 16 points and DeMar DeRozan scored 15 points.

Kevin Martin had 18 points for Minnesota (18-21), which has lost three straight and four of its last five to drop to 7-13 on the road. Kevin Love added 16 points.

A big key for Toronto was its long-range shooting. The Raptors hit on 11-of-24 attempts from beyond the arc — Lowry was 6-of-9 alone — while Minnesota was just 3-of-18.

However, it was Martin's three-pointer — his second but just Minnesota's third of the game — that helped the pesky Timberwolves pull to within 85-83 with just over a minute remaining. But DeRozan's basket gave the Raptors a 87-83 advantage.

Then, after Minnesota failed to convert on offence, Lowry cemented the win with a three-pointer with 14.6 seconds remaining for a 90-83 advantage.

Johnson had nine third-quarter points to help give Toronto a 69-61 advantage but it was Lowry's two three-pointers that put the Raptors ahead 67-53. They came after DeRozan converted a technical foul on Minnesota's Corey Brewer after he received his fourth personal foul.

But Jose Barea hit three straight field goals before Ross countered to put Toronto ahead 69-59 late in the quarter. Barea's two free throws put the Raptors' advantage to eight points heading into the fourth.

Minnesota ended the second quarter on a 9-0 run to cut Toronto's half-time advantage to 44-40. Nikola Pekovic anchored the late run with two field goals and a free throw en route to 11 first-half points while DeRozan and Lowry both added 10 points for the Raptors.

Toronto shot 44 per cent from the field (16-of-41) and held Minnesota to 39 per cent shooting (16-of-41). But the Raptors dominated from three-point range, hitting on 5-of-12 shots while Minnesota missed on all six of its attempts beyond the arc.

Toronto led 22-15 at the end of the first, hitting on 10-of-21 shots (47.6 per cent) from the field while Minnesota shot just 2-of-23 (26.1 per cent). The 15 first-quarter points was a season-low for a Raptors' opponent this season.

Toronto surged into a 12-2 lead with a 10-0 run early in the first before Minnesota pulled to within 17-15. But Ross's three-pointer and a field goal from Amir Johnson late in the quarter gave the Raptors their seven-point advantage.

NOTES — Former Raptor Rudy Gay had a season-high 33 points in leading Sacramento past Minnesota on Wednesday night . . . The Timberwolves came into Friday's game with a dismal 3-15 road record against Toronto all-time . . . Toronto's next game is Sunday afternoon hosting the Los Angeles Lakers. Minnesota returns home to host the Utah Jazz on Saturday night, a squad the've lost five straight games to . . . Minnesota went 0-2 against Toronto last year, with Love missing both games due to injury.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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