Minnesota Timberwolves 89 Final
Recap | Box Score
94 Toronto Raptors
Amir Johnson, PF Shot Chart 32 MIN | 7-11 FG | 4-6 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 19 PTS | +2

He played with this game with 20-lbs of stone tied to each knee. At least that’s what it felt like at times as Love muscled him on the boards with his center of gravity and strength. His length bothered Love enough to neutralize him in certain stretches.

Jonas Valanciunas, C Shot Chart 23 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 11 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | +18

Forget about scoring against Pekovic, the guy just does not give up space and JV’s not exactly fleet footed. When his pump fake worked, he was too late in noticing that it worked so I’m left to point to his rebounding and defensive positioning as a positive, both of which he did extremely well against some serious size.

Kyle Lowry, PG Shot Chart 34 MIN | 7-12 FG | 4-5 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 24 PTS | +5

Huge threes that kept Minny at bay. His gambling paid off early as it forced some turnovers but also hurt later in the game against Barea, who got the better of him in that third quarter stint. Always managed to disrupt the Minny set-defense with his penetration by going wide off the high screen and drilling right into the paint. Hit a huge three with 15 seconds left.

DeMar DeRozan, SG Shot Chart 40 MIN | 5-17 FG | 4-5 FT | 5 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 15 PTS | +3

Questionable shot selection all game long. I don’t mind if they’re not going in but they have to be shots that make sense to take. Fell in love a little too much with the jumper, maybe it was because of the refs swallowing the whistle, but he’s got to keep trying to do the right thing. Paid some of his debts with a drive and a short fade in the paint with the game hanging in the balance late.

Terrence Ross, SG Shot Chart 39 MIN | 6-14 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | +7

Huge. Showed a dribble-in/mid-range game with DeRozan struggling. The three wasn’t falling tonight and in the past that meant he might’ve been a non-factor offensively, but not tonight. We saw a confident Ross taking it off the dribble against Brewer, Martin and Co. with good effect. Encouraging signs.

Patrick Patterson, PF Shot Chart 21 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | 0

Massive again in the second quarter, and even more massive in the fourth when he made sure that the 5-7 point lead remained that with Vasquez quarterbacking. His movement is phenomenal – it spaces the floor and ensures that his man is not helping on anyone. The mid-range J was sweet again.

Chuck Hayes, PF Shot Chart 19 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -10

Was called upon to muscle with Love and Pekovic, and despite being out-sized, played his heart out. Given his talent level, role on the team, his defensive output and energy can only be considered huge.

John Salmons, SF Shot Chart 10 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +2

Excellent early but picked up a knock and didn’t return after halftime.

Landry Fields, SF Shot Chart 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -2

No idea he played.

Greivis Vasquez, PG Shot Chart 19 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | 0

Held his own in that critical early fourth quarter which is when Casey calls upon him, including hitting a massive three. Featured in the two-guard lineup with Lowry in the fourth.

Dwane Casey

His gamble of playing Vasquez in the fourth for extended minutes paid off, Lowry was fresh when he came back and ended up hitting that massive three with 15 seconds left. The Raptors did the little things right here – good inbounding plays against pressure, decent plays out of timeouts, consistent effort on defense. Casey did well.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Raptors gave up 10 offensive rebounds in the first half which ended on a 9-0 T’Wolves run. In the third, only 1. Adjustment made.
  2. Raps kept going under the screen for Rubio who struggled making his jumpers and ended up getting benched for Barea.
  3. Love’s line is 16/12 and Pekovic is at 13/6 – credit JV for Pekovic’s low rebound total. Love’s line is pretty sick, but there wasn’t a stretch in this game where he dominated and led the T’Wolves to any significant sort of momentum late on.
  4. Key stat: Raps 11/24 3FG, Minny 3/118 3FG. Secondary key stat which the Raptors overcame: Points in the Paint: Timberwolves 56, Raptors 30.

    At the end of the day, Raptors led end-to-end for the win.

  5. Kevin Martin – LOL!

  • john

    Another good 4th quarter W. Also, congratulations Kevin Martin, you’ve further solidified being my least favourite player in the league. We’ll send the memo to the players to be more careful not get their hands too close to your precious fucking face.

    • Roarque

      Does the League review those dives and issue $$$ penalties for unsportsmanlike play?
      You think his face is precious? Pretty fucking ugly if you ask me.

  • Duhduhduhrozan

    Boo ya. DD was tough to watch for most of the game, but that turn around jumper late in the 4th was so kobe-esque and clutch… it was beautiful.

    • morgan c

      you mean the little runner? either way, huge play. he struggled but i think zarar is a little too harsh. 5 assists and 5 boards is sick. played good d. he struggled, but man, if this is demar on a bad night damn – he’s become a straight up very good player.

      • Duhduhduhrozan

        nay sir, I most certainly do not, but I concur with the later part of your observation.

      • go for slim

        Kudos to Demar – sometimes the shots don’t fall, but to hit one with only a two point lead in the last minute after missing 6 – takes guts. Biggest shot of the game. Great stuff.

        • onemanweave

          Sorry, i can’t give kudos to Demar. He almost single-handedly shot Toronto out of the game. Nice clutch shot at the end, but without the brickfest it wouldn’t have been needed.

          • Chewwy No Matthew

            I also could do without the constant sulking when things don’t go his way. Body language is poor sometimes and that has to stop. Very bad shot selection tonight but this proves the Raptors can win when he has an off night.

        • Roarque

          No offence and DDR played well against double teams but the shot of the night has to be Lowry’s nail from behind the three point line with seconds left – no?

      • cdub

        the last 2 games his shot selection has been poor. 5 trips to the line doesn’t cut it either when he is bricking like that.

      • JayTeam

        The 5 assists is great to see, but 5 boards in 40 minutes is pretty average for an NBA wing – no?

    • Tanks-a-lot

      GAAAAAAAAAAAA

      The last thing any team needs is a chucker like Kobe.

  • CJT

    Great win. Good bounce back game, with strong defence chasing a very good shooting team off the 3 point line and contesting well on most possessions. Go Raps.

    • Danny Tam

      Not a good shooting team, a couple players that can drop a ton of 3s though.

      • oioi

        Rubio, love, barea, martin..they can shoot

        • Tanks-a-lot

          Rubio CAN’T shoot for shit. He can’t even make a lay-up.

        • Danny Tam

          No, they really can’t shoot. They are one of the worst shooting teams in the league (5th worst), they just shoot a high volume of shots.

        • Roarque

          Doesn’t Rubio remind you of Vasquez? Lots of attempts for very little scoring.

      • CJT

        I will rephrase, I high scoring team, not necessarily efficient I agree.

  • Ken Scott

    Minny just wouldn’t go away tonight got to give them credit for that…Petkovic is a beast…Wasn’t the prettiest game but compared to the brutal Boston game it wasn’t that bad…I’ll take it. Go Raps!

  • tonious35

    JV – if the game gets dirty and he can’t score a bucket, he tries to make ends meet by out-rebounding everyone. That’s character…. Imagine that if Bargs still stayed on this team….

    • unknown

      I’d prefer not to imagine that. I’d rather eviscerate any memories of Bargs being on this team.

    • Roarque

      Could I have a root canal instead? Please give me the root canal. Please.

    • #TankNation

      No…imagine if Bargs had that same kind of tenacity and aggressive mindset, as well as the work ethic for the game. That would be something truly spectacular to behold. But then again, that kind of dreaming is what eventually got Colangelo fired.

  • hotshot

    They need to have Psycho T back.

    • Roarque

      Absolutely but even saying that, Chuck Hayes and 2Pat are filling in nicely. Tyler H has been out quite a while – anyone know when he’s expected back?

    • From the bench

      He will be a welcome addition to the bench when he returns. At the same time, I feel like Hayes has put in some solid banging minutes and basically gives you what you would expect

  • FREEJV

    what was Demar doing out there today this guy still thinks hes Kobe Bryant sigh……

    • GetLicks

      You’re always bitching man. Give it a rest for once

      • FREEJV

        why you stalking my posts bro you mad?

        • GetLicks

          If thinking I stalk your posts makes you feel special and important, keep dreaming I guess. It’s just easy to notice that after every game, win or lose, you come on here with negative shit. You’re the one who’s mad ‘bro’. Weren’t you the same guy saying how Amir sucks last game and we should trade him? Mommy should really start sending you to bed earlier before you get all cranky.

          • FREEJV

            stop writing essays this isnt English class …..btw Demar played like shit you mad?

    • john

      His first bad game in how long? He was the only one keeping us in the game vs the Celtics on Wednesday fyi.

  • Tanks-a-lot

    How do I get my hands on a Camo Jersey?
    I did not see it available at the NBA store. Is it only offered at the ACC?

  • KRun

    I remember Landry out there – 1 min left in 2nd quarter, comes out and gets the ball stolen off him, leading to a fast break – or so I think. I only followed it on ESPN’s gamecast.

  • http://www.facebook.com/asifyouknow Al Asifyouknow

    Raptors coach said he rather not have Vasquez in the game in post-game comments..Incredible! That’s the way to pump a player up Casey!……I don’t know how his meaning was but that is what he told the press…wow just get rid of the guy why belittle the guy in public…Sorry coach you are classless…Just an opinion

    • john

      Can you blame him? I want him to give Buycks some run next game with the Kings.

      • http://www.facebook.com/asifyouknow Al Asifyouknow

        I think that is a good idea..

    • GetLicks

      No he didn’t. He said he’d rather have Salmons out there as a 2nd ball handler when Lowry is sitting. Relax and stop spreading misinformation

      • http://www.facebook.com/asifyouknow Al Asifyouknow

        I’m always relaxed….oh is that what he said ..I took it another way ..you see we all have opinions on how we see things…that is a good thing. Not a big Casey fan anyway..
        You already know the question and the answer was interpreted I rather have Salmon’s than…..Ball handlers ..well salmons is not a PG. Just saying..Poor statement but coach specially when a guy is struggling….hey coach bring back Augustine I understand he is putting up all star stats…

        • GetLicks

          The timing of what he was saying was a bit odd, but he meant he’s rather have Salmons in there than not having him in there. Casey likes having 2 guys that can handle the ball on the floor in close tight games.

        • Roarque

          John Salmons is playing the role of a point forward on the Raps and as such he can be a very valuable asset. If he’d only lose the strange facial growth. somebody get him some scissors,

          • http://www.facebook.com/asifyouknow Al Asifyouknow

            lol,,I agree cut that hair…

        • Chewwy No Matthew

          Augustine is not putting up all star stats and Vasquez. though struggling does continue to make great passes for easy baskets. No way I want to see Buycks out there at all, unless we are blowing somebody out.

  • keith

    Its funny how we think DD had a bad game with 5 rbs and 5 asst. Last year and earlier, it would be unreal if he collected ANY rbs or asst. Now we think he is struggling when he is off on his shooting but gets other stats too.

    Anyone who doesn’t see growth and development in DD is crazy. How many players in the league are averaging about 20/5/5 and are not good? Sure he has a lot more growth to go but he is not a bust like he was last year and years before. All he would be is a bulk, inefficient shooter. Now he is still mostly that but now we can expect him to NOT be a blackhole with the ball.

    There isn’t a superstar on this team but the starting five (and 2Pat) are really playing great team ball. If Masai can work the trade deadline just right, this team could be primed for a nice little run AND a strong future. They might not be a true championship contender but at least we aren’t watching god awful basketball.

    • Chewwy No Matthew

      I love Demar but you have to admit, he can’t shoot less than 50% on free throws like he did in Boston. He is doing much better in letting the game come to him but sometimes he starts to force really, really bad shots and tonight was one of those nights. If you noticed Casey sat him down for a few minutes in the fourth. I think that was a message from the coach to focus and play team ball. Also Demar has to stop sulking. He is too important to lose his focus if his shots are not falling.
      On the other hand, it is nice to finally see the Raptors still beat an opponent when Demar is not playing well. I know Demar will play a lot more solid games than bad ones but he has to stay positive and sometimes you can see the frustration.

      • monocled_gentleman_scholar

        These problems will be cured by playoff experience.

  • robertparrish00

    Nice to see gritty wins. Last year that would have been a lose. JV +18 in 23 minutes…hard to believe that is even possible.

  • Tinman

    Nice bounce back game. Didn’t want to lose two in a row.
    Like the fact that we are now 2 games above 500 at home.
    The TWolves are in a bad position. They should consider ditching assets and go with a rebuild.
    The team work their asses off on D and is establishing itself as on of the toughest.
    Demar shot selection was poor at best, but his game is becoming much more than scoring. He’s logging the most minutes on one of the stingiest defences. Another five assists tonight.
    Nights like these are great for JV. I thought he got outplayed tonight, but not outworked. It shows that he is still a work in progress, but he’s about as tough as we’ve had in the middle. Still only 21 and I am still unsure what his ceiling will be.

    • john

      They remind of the Raptors when Bosh was the main guy. A star who is a 2nd option on a contender due to lacking a killer instinct. A point guard who doesn’t play defense and is prone to injuries. Serially mediocre year after year.

  • Nils L.

    Kevin Martin doing his best “Lebroning” impression in that Vine clip?

    • john

      This was probably the worst flop he ever did against us, but it’s not the first. He has at least one blatantly obvious flop every time we play against him that the refs fall for. I’m surprised he hasn’t received a ton of fines for it by now (if any!). Whatever, I’m pretty sure Lowry evoked the same emotions in Wolves fans when Mbuh Moute “fouled” him on the 3 point line. I love Lowry, but you gotta admit that should’ve been a noncall. The reality is that officiating quality has gotten worse over the last two years. I can’t remember it being consistently this bad before the lockout.

    • mike, prague

      I think Kevin Martin had JV’s hand go right down his face, but it was a flop either way.

  • TheJonezTHC

    i would like to see anyone calling demar a chucker shoot a better percentage …..also if you know basketball you know he has to take shots even if they dont go in ….its a way of creating spacing and keeping the defense honest ….with that being said he did take some bad ones…..and with THAT being said he made the ones that mattered most WHEN they mattered most #raptorhatersbequiet

    • onemanweave

      No. He has to take good shots in context of the team offense even when they don’t go in. He’s a very good player. Tonight he was chucking — and sulking.

  • puffer

    DeMar gets D+ and Ross gets and A???? He missed five more baskets but collected 4 more assists. And Ross disappeared in the late 4th quarter. too big a discrepancy in grades. Your particular bias is showing.

    • arsenalist

      I may be completely wrong in my judgement which I can accept, but I don’t have a bias.

      • Tanks-a-lot

        Now that we are settling into the mode of expecting the Raps to play well the overall ratings are becoming better in a critical way.

    • Roarque

      No. Arsenalist holds DDR to a veteran’s standard. TRoss is still in diapers.

  • From the bench

    Great all around game tonight. Shout out to the bigs for holding down the fort in the middle. Despite the one sided whistle and the early foul trouble they played tough and refused to back down. As seems to be becoming the new trend, Lowry pulled out the onions in the fourth and closed the door with clutch 3’s and tenacious D. I know he is in a contract year but his kind of intensity has always been consistent and now he has the right motivation and coaching guidance. Keep it up Raps!

  • Carbon

    Fun game to watch, 3rd best defensive team beat the 2nd best offensive team.

  • Tanks-a-lot

    The reason why the Raps had so few fouls is because the T-wolves try not to foul.

    That’s probably, in part, why they have such a crappy defense.

  • Tanks-a-lot

    I heard on the opposing team’s broadcast that Salmons went out with an injured back

    Best wishes for him if that’s the case.

    • john

      Just back spasms. He should be good to go next game.

  • jlongs

    Tough watching Demar out there. Not only was he taking bad shots and bricking just about every one of them, but on a lot of those misses his guy ends up scoring on him on the other end. I get that his 5 rebounds and 5 assists don’t look too bad on paper, but he almost single-handedly cost them the game. His only redeeming factor was a double clutch turn-around fade away late in the game.

    It’s great though that Demar can have games like this and they still can find a way to win. Credit Lowry for most of tonight. Good “grind it out” win overall.

  • john

    Basically this team needs another center, a starting calibre SF, and an upgrade at backup PG. It’d be great to get Luol Deng here, but if he thought the Bulls offer was too low then I wouldn’t bother chasing him. Chandler Parsons might be a good guy to go after, although he’s a RFA. Has a 16.5 PER this season.

  • Maputo88

    Amir OWNS Kevin Love. 16/12 is poor ( in points) for KLove & its all because of Amir. KLove will probably say he had a”bad night” like did the last time he plyed in TO and did poorly. Gotta admit that KLove has Spidey web on his hands when he goes for rebounds though. I thought Amir was awesome.

    • http://www.probballreport.com/ Stephen Brotherston

      Love averages 25 & 13 so 16 & 12 is terrible (for him).
      Amir has scored 19 pts vs Love in each of their last 3 matchups at the ACC – Winner by decision AJ

  • Trace Fairley

    An A for Chuck Hayes? You must be kidding or you should wait til the euphoria after a win wears off before you write these things. 9 rebs in 20 minutes great, but most of those were of the landed in my zone variety. Defensively and offensively a complete liability. Way too undersized to apply pressure on a shot let alone hope for a block. He reminds me of the near useless kid on every team that always comes to practice and tries hard, so the coach plays him to set an example. I would rather see A Daye in there – at least he can reach the rim

  • tweed8

    ACC was rocking tonight. It was a good game to be at. I think Demar deserves a C, but maybe I’m biased. I’ve seen him with more energy – maybe needs some rest- but, these are the moments when experience needs to take over and you can see him trying to be that guy on the floor now.

  • GoingBig

    Glad to see Vasquez was not too squirrelly. Sometimes he gets too frantic out there.

  • database_666

    can someone say to derozan to stop mindless, so called ‘volume’ shooting? try penetrating to the basket, you do not have to score every time, you can also PASS the fucking ball off of the penetration. second, casey, the coach: why do you not put patterson in instead of fields when the score was so close and we needed a physical defender? casey did all he could to screw this game up like he did the boston one. if it wasn’t for lowry’s long range heroics, this would have been surely lost game.