James pushes Raptors past Timberwolves
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) – Mike James dropped in 27 points, including
the deciding basket with eight seconds remaining, as Toronto fought past the
Minnesota Timberwolves, 98-94, at the Target Center.
James shot 10-of-20 from the field and also contributed six assists for the
Raptors, who have won three in a row.
Morris Peterson was 4-of-4 from behind the arc en route to a 20-point effort,
and the team as a whole went 11-of-17 from three-point land.
Charlie Villanueva added 16 points in the win.
Kevin Garnett sprang for 23 points and gathered 19 rebounds for Minnesota,
which has lost four in a row and seven of its last eight. Trenton Hassell and
Ricky Davis donated 14 points apiece.
Toronto led for much of the contest and brought a 77-70 advantage into the
Minnesota, though, chipped away and came within three, 85-82, with about six
minutes remaining after Anthony Carter buried a three-pointer and Mark Blount
followed with a bank shot from the block.
The Raptors pushed their lead back to seven but the T’Wolves responded with a
6-0 burst, capped by Hassell’s jumper from the key, to make it 89-88 with
about 2 1/2 minutes left.
Toronto stayed in front and James delivered the final blow with eight seconds
on the clock, however, to seal Minnesota’s fate. Holding the ball with his
team up 94-92 and the shot clock winding down, James flew into the lane and
floated a finger-roll over top of the defense to make it a four-point contest.
James then hit a pair of free throws the next trip down to ice the game.
The Raptors came away from a tightly-contested first half with a 53-48
advantage after Jose Calderon drained a three-pointer with under a minute to
Peterson went 3-for-3 from behind the arc to lead all scorers at the break
with 13 points.
Garnett, meanwhile, had already posted a double-double with 14 points and 10
rebounds at halftime.
Minnesota shot 54.2 percent in the game to Toronto’s 50.7 percent, and
outrebounded its opponent 37-29…This was the start of a five-game road swing
for the Raptors. Toronto, which will also visit New York, Memphis, Dallas and
Miami on this trek, is 10-16 away from home this season…The Timberwolves,
who will close a five-game homestand against the Seattle SuperSonics on
Wednesday, are 14-12 in their arena this season…The Raptors improved to just
2-8 all-time in Minnesota.