Wig­gins helps Wolves stun Rap­tors, 112-109

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - JON KRAWCZYNSKI

MIN­NEAPO­LIS — An­drew Wig­gins scored 31 points against his home­town team, Tyus Jones hit a three-pointer with 19.5 sec­onds left and the Min­nesota Timberwolves beat the Toronto Rap­tors, 112-109, in Na­tional Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion ac­tion Wed­nes­day night.

Karl-An­thony Towns had 29 points and 14 re­bounds and Wig­gins hit 11 of 19 shots to help the Timberwolves snap a four-game los­ing streak. Min­nesota com­mit­ted just eight turnovers, and Shabazz Muham­mad scored 22 points off the bench.

DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points and DeMarre Car­roll hit all five of his treys and fin­ished with 19 points and nine boards for the Rap­tors, who led by 13 points in the first half. Kyle Lowry added 20 points and Toronto shot 53 per cent from the field, but Lowry missed a po­ten­tial ty­ing 3 at the buzzer.

The Rap­tors en­tered the night with a top-five of­fence, but coach Dwane Casey has been harp­ing on them to play bet­ter de­fence. They are just 10-14 af­ter a 22-8 start, weath­er­ing sev­eral key in­juries along the way to dip into third place in the East­ern Con­fer­ence.

Toronto shot 60 per cent in the first half, find­ing Car­roll for open three af­ter open three to take a 13point lead. But their de­fence couldn’t hold it.

Min­nesota fought back in the third quar­ter and led 71-70 mid­way through the pe­riod, and Wig­gins played some tremen­dous de­fence on DeRozan in the fourth to keep the Wolves in it. Af­ter forc­ing a tough mid-range pull-up, Wig­gins came back and hit a turn­around fall­away for a 106-105 lead with 47.6 sec­onds to play.

DeRozan tied the game at 107 on a tough drive through con­tact from Towns, but Jones drilled a three and Wig­gins hit two big free throws to help the Wolves hold on.


Jonas Valan­ci­u­nas, left, re­bounds against Min­nesota’s Karl-An­thony Towns.

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