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Game Preview: Timberwolves at Raptors
Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 6 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.
The Timberwolves are coming off a recent loss to the San Antonio Spurs at home 105-91. After holding a 10-point lead early in the game, the Wolves squandered the lead, as Karl-Anthony Towns did not have his usual night. While he finished with 14 rebounds, he only tallied 11 points, a mark short if his, and our usual expectations. Expect the man they call KAT to have a big rebound game tonight, as the Raptors sturdiest defenders down-low consist of Jonas Valanciunas, Patrick Patterson, and Pascal Siakam.
The Raptors are having another solid season, as they boast a 14-7 record. They most recently lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, 116-112. DeMar Derozan is playing at an all-star level, averaging 28 points per game early on this season. Kyle Lowry is also having a strong year, averaging 20.6 points per game to go along with 7.4 assists per game.
PG: Ricky Rubio #9
SG: Zach LaVine #8
SF: Andrew Wiggins #22
PF: Gorgui Dieng #5
C: Karl-Anthony Towns #32
PG: Kyle Lowry #7
SG: DeMar Derozan #10
SF: DeMarre Carroll #5
PF: Pascal Siakam #43
C: Jonas Valanciunas #17
Timberwolves: Nikola Pekovic – out (recurring ankle pain), Brandon Rush – questionable (toe)
Raptors: Jared Sullinger – out (foot surgery), Delon Wright – out (shoulder)
This will be the first time these two match up in the regular season thus far, one out of two times the Wolves will see the Raptors all season. Overall, the Wolves and Raptors have played each other 40 total times, with the Wolves only winning 13 of those matchups, losing 27 to the team from Canada.
The last time these two met was in February at Toronto, as the Raptors took the win 114-105 thanks to a game-high 31 points from stud guard DeMar Derozan. Cory Joseph also had a nice game for the Raptors, pouring in 18 points off the bench. Andrew Wiggins was the highest point-getter for the Wolves, scoring 26 points to go along with four rebounds. Gorgui Dieng also had some success, scoring 21 points in the loss.
Andrew Wiggins makes his return to his hometown and country of Toronto, Canada tonight. The former Rookie of the Year averages 23 points against the Raptors in his young career, and will look to have a big night tonight, having only scored 11 points in Minnesota’s recent loss to the Spurs. Wiggins’ usage percentage is also the highest against the Raptors over any other team, at 30.4 percent.
Radio: 830 WCCO-AM – Alan Horton (play-by-play)
(All stats found on nba.com, and basketball-reference.com)