Timberwolves struggle to slow down Raptors in 122-107 road loss
Published in Basketball
As the Timberwolves trudge onward without Anthony Edwards for an indefinite amount of time, generating offense is likely to be an issue for them.
But slowing down Toronto on the other end of the floor was their biggest issue in a 122-107 loss on the road.
You might understand why the Wolves were a step slow all night — they got in late to Toronto after playing a double-overtime heartbreaker in Chicago on Friday. But the Wolves have no room for error left the rest of the season, and every loss is a hurtful one, no matter how understandable it may be.
Fred VanVleet got going early with 22 of his 28 points in the first half. Pascal Siakam was consistent throughout with 27 points. The Raptors shot 53% for the night. Naz Reid had an explosive night off the bench for the Wolves with 22 points while Jaden McDaniels pitched in 18 as the Wolves shot 46%.
The Wolves held up through the first two and a half quarters before fading toward the end of the third. Then the Raptors ran them off the floor in the fourth.
Coach Chris Finch inserted forward Taurean Prince into the starting lineup for the Wolves, who didn't have much trouble scoring early on. Prince finished 1-for-7 for four points.
The defensive issues were there early on for Minnesota as the Raptors shot 55% in the first half. Jakob Poeltl started by hitting his first five shots, then VanVleet took over.
He was 8 for 12 for 22 points in the first half, and perhaps the Wolves missed Edwards on defense, since he might have been able to help keep VanVleet in check. He helped Toronto build an eight-point lead at the half. Naz Reid provided a boost of the bench for the Wolves with 14 points. The Wolves shot 56% in the first half.
Reid helped bring the Wolves back in the third quarter to take a one-point lead, but the bench squandered all the momentum the Wolves had late in the quarter. Turnovers and missed shots led to an 11-2 spurt to end the third for the Raptors, who led by nine headed into the fourth.
Toronto was relentless and kept increasing its lead throughout the fourth as Finch pulled his starters with just over three minutes remaining.
The Star Tribune did not send the writer of this article to the game. This was written using a broadcast, interviews and other material.
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