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Game Preview: Timberwolves vs. Raptors
Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at 7 p.m at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The Timberwolves enter this game after losing 115-113 to the streaking Miami Heat at home Monday night, where Andrew Wiggins’ potential game-tying jumper wouldn’t fall at the last second. Minnesota is currently sitting at the 13 spot in the Western Conference, with a 19-33 record, and currently on a four game losing streak. They will look to get back in the win column tonight as Wiggins’ hometown team visits the Twin Cities.
The Toronto Raptors come into Minnesota winning two games in a row, as they are the current three seed in the Eastern Conference standings, having another solid season. The Raptors boast a 32-21 overall record, and are 4-6 in their last 10 games. DeMar Derozan leads the team in scoring, with 27.8 points per game, and will be Minnesota’s first priority on defense.
PG: Ricky Rubio #9
SG: Brandon Rush #4
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/season (recurring ankle pain), Zach LaVine – out/season – (Torn left ACL), Adreian Payne – out (illness), Kris Dunn – probable (hand)
Raptors: Delon Wright – out (shoulder), Patrick Patterson – knee (questionable)
The Wolves and Raptors last met on December 8 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, as the Raptors pulled out a 124-110 victory, outscoring Minnesota 36-21 in the final quarter of action.
The trio of DeMar Derozan, Kyle Lowry, and Jonas Valanciunas all scored 20+ points each, as the Wolves could not stop the three from anywhere on the court.
For the Wolves, Zach LaVine managed to find success, as the posted a game-high 29 points while adding six assists in 39 minutes played.
With Zach LaVine sidelined for the remainder of the season, the Wolves have brought in help by signing 26-year old Lance Stephenson to a 10-day contract. Going forward, it will be interesting to see how the minutes are distributed between Shabazz Muhammad, Brandon Rush, and Stephenson.
In his career, the 6’5 Stephenson has averaged 8.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3 assists per game.
TV: Fox Sports North – Dave Benz (play-by-play), Jim Peterson (analyst)
Radio: 830 WCCO-AM – Alan Horton (play-by-play)
(All stats found on nba.com, and basketball-reference.com)