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Raptors capture 125-102 victory over Timberwolves

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TORONTO – Two nights after scoring 40 factors towards Boston, Pascal Siakam performed facilitator towards Minnesota — and it earned him the second triple-double of his profession.

Siakam had 12 factors, a career-high 13 assists and 10 factors because the Raptors received their fourth in a row and strengthened their maintain on sixth place within the Japanese Convention with a 125-102 win over the Timberwolves.

Requested in regards to the largest problem of being a excessive utilization two-way participant, Siakam mentioned with amusing: “You possibly can’t get drained. You possibly can’t get drained as a result of it’s loads, proper? It’s not like I could be out and simply not guard anyone.

“So that you’ve gotta guard, you’ve gotta even have the ball and attempt to make performs. However I get pleasure from it, man. It’s enjoyable. I’d slightly try this than sit within the nook. It’s enjoyable and I believe the extra I get on this place the higher I’m going to get.”

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Gary Trent Jr. had 29 factors whereas OG Anunoby poured in 22 in simply his fourth recreation again after lacking 15 with a fractured finger, together with 13 straight factors as a part of the Raptors’ key 30-13 run within the second quarter.

Scottie Barnes added 17 factors for the Raptors (44-32), whereas Valuable Achiuwa chipped in 13, Fred VanVleet scored 12, and Thaddeus Younger completed with 10.

With six video games left within the regular-season, the Raptors proceed to inch their method right into a post-season spot. Wednesday’s win pulled them even with Chicago for fifth, though the Bulls have the tiebreaker, and moved two video games forward of idle Cleveland.

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Toronto is seeking to keep away from the play-in path to the post-season by ending top-six within the convention.

However the Raptors obtained off to a sluggish begin Wednesday, trailing by 17 factors within the second quarter. Minnesota’s defence just about shut down Siakam.

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“It was double groups, they had been collapsing each time I drove,” he mentioned. “Each time down the ground every part was open, each time I had the ball.

“So, it was identical to choose whoever you need to cross it to as a result of they’re going to be open after which it’s as much as them to make the play. I simply figured it out.”

However the Raptors took a two-point lead into the halftime break and by no means regarded again.

The Raptors led 109-88 to begin the fourth and when Younger scored on a operating dunk with 6:11 to play, it put Toronto forward by 27 factors and introduced the bench gamers to their toes in celebration.

“(The gamers) mentioned he’s Thad Younger legs now,” coach Nick Nurse mentioned with amusing. “It’s good. I loved that one. It was a shock to me.”

“(Younger) has been trying type of bouncy previous couple of video games,” mentioned Trent Jr. “Tonight legs had been feeling tremendous good . . . he again.”

Nurse subbed off his starters with 4:14 to play to rousing applause from the capability crowd of 19.800 at Scotiabank Area.

Anthony Edwards led the Timberwolves (43-34) with 24 factors.

The Raptors shot 50 per cent on the night time, and went 18-for-36 from three-point vary.

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The T’Wolves smothered the Raptors 30-16 within the first half, at one level holding a 24-8 benefit

Regardless of 11 first-quarter factors from Trent Jr., the Raptors trailed 30-20 heading into the second.

D’Angelo Russell’s three-point capped a 10-3 run that noticed the T’Wolves go up by 17 factors lower than three minutes into the second. However the Raptors lastly discovered their groove, and Anunoby scored 13 straight factors in two-and-a-half minutes — three consecutive three-pointers sandwiched between a pair of dunks — to tie the sport 53-53 with 3:17 left within the half.

VanVleet linked on a three-pointer with 0.2 on the clock and the Raptors took a 62-60 lead into the locker-room at halftime.

The sport marked the primary journey to Scotiabank Area for Chris Finch. The T’Wolves head coach was an assistant with the Raptors final season, however as a result of they had been primarily based in Tampa, Fla., because of COVID-19 restrictions, he was by no means in Toronto.

“He obtained sunshine (in Florida) his complete tenure, in order that’s a primary,” mentioned Nurse. “We predict it’s an awesome metropolis and he’s a fairly a well-travelled or worldly man. I believe he would have loved it right here.”

Nurse and Finch are longtime mates, having coached within the British league collectively. In addition they coached Nice Britain on the 2012 London Olympics.

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The Raptors play in Orlando on Friday in one among simply two remaining street video games. They wrap up the common season in New York on April 10.

On Sunday, Kyle Lowry makes his long-awaited return to Toronto with Miami. The Warmth performed in Toronto on Feb. 1 — a 110-106 Raptors victory — however Lowry was on an prolonged go away for private causes and didn’t make the journey. No followers had been capable of be in attendance at that recreation anyway, because of crowd restrictions the results of COVID-19.

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed March 30, 2022.

© 2022 The Canadian Press