Surging Raptors rout Timberwolves 122-107

TORONTO – Fred VanVleet took charge in the first half and Pascal Siakam took over in the second half as the Toronto Raptors won their third straight title.

VanVleet gave the Raptors a 122-107 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday to lead all scorers with 28 and scored 22 points before the break. Siakam completed his double-double with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists, 14 of which he scored after the break.

“We need multiple options and we need to take whatever the defense gives us,” said VanVleet. “I thought we had a good, balanced attack tonight and played well even when it didn’t work out.

“We were still looking for the right one and reading it right.”

Center Jakob Poeltl also recorded a double-double (35-36) for the Raptors, scoring 14 points and making 11 boards. His 12 of those points came in the first quarter, which benefited from his play on the VanVleet perimeter.

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However, Poeltl got into foul trouble and Toronto head coach Nick Nurse turned to Montreal native Chris Boucher for much of the second half. Boucher had 5 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks in 19 minutes.

Boucher, who usually guards swingmen for other teams, said: “They move much faster.

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“It was definitely fun to see that I was still able to do this.”

Nas Reid scored 22 off the bench for Minnesota (35-37) and lost three games in a row. Jaden McDaniels scored 18 points.

Timberwolves guard Nickale Alexander Walker from Toronto scored four points. VanVleet, who had to guard the Canadian for most of the 19 minutes of play, was impressed by Alexander He Walker.

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“His best basketball is ahead of him. He suggested that being on a third NBA team may have slowed him down. “We’ve got these opportunities, and you have to make the most of them.”

“You can’t choose when, where, or how you do it, but you can choose how you approach each day. Just be ready, and be ready when your number is called.” it’s finished.”

VanVleet and Poeltl became strong perimeter paint threats in the first quarter, scoring a combined 27 points and helping the Raptors lead 32-26 in the first frame.

Poeltl scored a season-high 12 points in the quarter. His all-time first-quarter record was 10 against the Washington Wizards on March 2.

OG Anunoby hit a buzzing 3-point shot to bring the sold-out 19,800 crowd to its feet and give the Raptors a 66-58 lead at intermission.

A drive-lead layup in the third with 4:16 left gave the Timberwolves the lead for the first time since 6:13 into the game.

The lead oscillated back and forth between Toronto and Minnesota for the rest of the third quarter, but the Raptors began to pull away thanks to a strong defensive sequence keyed by Boucher.

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He blocked Reed’s shot with 36 seconds left in the quarter and turned a pass from Siakam into a three-pointer. On the ensuing Timberwolves possession, Gary Trent Jr. stole the ball for an uncontested layup and a 94-85 Raptors lead heading to fourth.

“It felt like a pretty low-energy game. It was really quiet in the building,” said Toronto head coach Nick Nurse.

“There we set off the spark, the energy, and the run.”

Scotty Barnes made a layup in the fourth minute, forcing Minnesota into a timeout, leaving the Raptors with a 13-point lead.

Toronto didn’t look back after that and answered every time Minnesota scored. Poeltl’s jam with two hands, his first point since the first quarter, followed by Trent’s three-pointer gave the Raptors a 19-point lead and sent dozens of fans to the exit.

Coach Nurse also urged him to bring out some of his depth players, including Joe Wieskamp, ​​who had already played for Toronto’s G League affiliate, the Raptors 905, earlier in the day. rice field.

The Masked Man — Raptors rookie center Christian Koroko broke his nose late in Thursday’s 128-111 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Coloco was suspected before Saturday’s game, but he played nine minutes wearing a protective mask.

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UP NEXT — The Raptors travel to Milwaukee to face the Bucks on Sunday night.

Minnesota continues its road trip with a game against the Knicks in New York on Monday.

This report by the Canadian Press was first published on March 18, 2023.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

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