Raptors Notes | Timberwolves Notes | MacKenzie: No Rust From Ross In Return
Season Series: Raptors 1-0
In a January meeting against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Air Canada Centre, the Raptors pulled out a 94-89 victory. When the Timberwolves made a late push to get within two points with less than two minutes remaining, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry made tough baskets to clinch the win.
Toronto comes to Minnesota winners of its past two games and five of its past six. A victory could put the Raptors nine games above .500 for the first time in seven years. Friday’s victory against the Sacramento Kings moved them to 34-26 on the season and allowed them to match their win total of the 2012-2013 season with 22 games remaining.
What to Watch:
Terrence Ross’ shooting stroke: Since stepping into a starting role after Rudy Gay was sent to Sacramento in a December trade, Terrence Ross has showed why the team was confident in giving him an opportunity to show what he can do. Returning from a one-game absence because of an ankle sprain, Ross was fantastic against the Kings in Toronto’s victory on Friday night. Scoring a team-high 18 points, Ross connected on six of his eight attempts from beyond the arc.
Patrick Patterson as superstar reserve: Since his first day with the Raptors, Patterson has been a perfect fit. Over the past 24 games with Toronto, Patterson has become an invaluable player on the team. Raptors head coach Dwane Casey was effusive in his praise for him after Friday’s victory.
“I’ll tell you what, he’s been a godsend for us as far as stretching the floor,” Casey said. “Not only that, just his intensity, his work ethic, how hard how plays. He’s got a reputation around the league of playing hard. he’s one of our best pick and roll defenders because he uses his quickness and then he can go down and stretch the floor out. It’s a big plus, not a lot of guys can do that and he does an excellent job of doing it.”
Kevin Love doing it all: After having to contend with DeMarcus Cousins on Friday night, the Raptors will have their hands full again on Sunday, this time with Kevin Love. Love is averaging 26.5 points, 13.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game this season. Love’s scoring average is the highest of his five-year career, and is good for fourth in the league. He’s also shooting 38 percent from beyond the arc.
– “We’ve got to get Nando [de Colo] involved, we’ve got to keep Greivis [Vasquez] going and make sure we have some guys that can come in and spell them because we want to keep their minutes down as much as possible.” – Casey on wanting to get DeRozan and Lowry adequate rest after Toronto’s victory against the Kings. Look for him to try to get de Colo and Vasquez into the game against the Timberwovles.
– “He just knows how to play the game. Always in the right spot. A four that can stretch the court and hit threes for you like that, in today’s NBA that’s huge. He’s definitely a weapon for us. He’s always making the right play. Every game he’s getting better.” – John Salmons on what Patterson brings to the floor every night.
Raptors: Kyle Lowry (G), DeMar DeRozan (G), Terrence Ross (F), Amir Johnson (F), Jonas Valanciunas (C)
Timberwolves: Ronny Turiaf – right knee bone bruise (out)
By The Numbers: Raptors vs. Timberwolves
|2013-14 AVERAGES||2013-14 RANKINGS|
Last Time They Met: Raptors 94, Timberwolves 89- Jan. 17th, 2014