Raptors beat Wolves 114-105 for 9th straight home win
TORONTO (AP) Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan turned it on when it mattered to give the Toronto Raptors a franchise record-tying victory.
The All-Stars combined for 20 of the Raptors' 27 points in the fourth quarter as Toronto pulled away late for 114-105 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.
''We executed. We got stops when we needed to and we got buckets when we needed to,'' said DeRozan, who scored 31 points.
''They fought extremely hard. Nothing came easy. We just tried to close it as best we could.''
It was the ninth straight home win for Toronto (38-18), matching a record stretch in 1999.
The Raptors will have a chance to better the mark on Friday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
With the game tied at 101 and just over 3 minutes remaining, first Lowry, then DeRozan hit 3-pointers from the corner to give the Raptors a six-point lead.
After Gorgui Dieng made it a four-point game, Lowry hit another 3 with 53 seconds to go to make it 110-103.
DeRozan followed Andrew Wiggins' basket that cut the lead back to five with another corner 3 to put away the game.
Lowry had 12 points in the fourth quarter and finished the night with 21, six assists and three rebounds.
Wiggins led the Timberwolves (18-40) with 26 points and added four rebounds and three assists. Dieng added 21 points, eight rebounds and three assists in playing a game-high 41 minutes.
''They hit some 3s. We struggled scoring the last couple of minutes there,'' said Wiggins.
Toronto outscored Minnesota 27-19 in the fourth quarter, stiffening a defense that had allowed the Timberwolves to shoot 55 percent from the field through three quarters.
The Timberwolves were just 8 for 21 (38 percent) in the fourth.
''We made some mistakes at the end and they made shots,'' said Ricky Rubio, who had 12 points and 12 assists. ''It was a good game.
''Especially at home, they're a tough team to beat. That's why they're the second-best team in the East. We have to be proud of the way we played.''
Toronto has won 12 consecutive games at home against the Timberwolves, the longest home winning streak against any team in franchise history.
''That team, they're good. They've got some talent over there,'' Lowry said of the young Timberwolves, who just prior to the All-Star break beat the Raptors 117-112 in Minnesota. ''When they get it together, they're going to be a force. They're good, it's as simple as that.''
Timberwolves: Rubio, who came into the night ranked fifth in the NBA with 8.8 assists per game, had 12. ... The Timberwolves shot 6 for 10 on 3s compared to 10 for 26 by Toronto.
Raptors: Toronto's bench had 40 points to 25 for the Timberwolves. ... The Raptors also led in points in the paint, 56-40. ... The Raptors are 28-10 when they score at least 100 points.
Former Raptors coach Sam Mitchell made his first trip back to Toronto as Timberwolves interim coach. He was bench boss of the Raptors for five seasons beginning in 2004-05, finishing with 174-228 record, the second-highest win total in franchise history.
The Timberwolves shot 50 percent from the field on the night and are 6-6 on the season when shooting 50 percent or better.
With 1:47 to go in the third, Terrence Ross was given a second technical foul and ejected after protesting a charging call as he went up court against Minnesota's Tyus Jones.
Since Jan. 6, the Raptors have won 17 games in a 20-game stretch for the first time in team history, according to Elias, and have the best record in the Eastern Conference over that stretch.
Timberwolves: Visit New Orleans on Saturday night.
Raptors: Host Cleveland on Friday night.