Wiggins helps Wolves stun Raptors, 112-109

Wiggins helps Wolves stun Raptors, 112-109

MINNEAPOLIS — That Andrew Wiggins came through with a huge night against his hometown team didn’t come as a surprise. That he did it with Lance Stephenson by his side certainly qualified as one.

Wiggins scored 31 points, Tyus Jones hit a 3-pointer with 19.5 seconds left and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Toronto Raptors 112-109 on 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, Shabazz Muhammad scored 22 points off the bench and Stephenson played the entire fourth quarter just hours after signing a 10-day contract.

“We were just searching,” a frustrated coach Tom Thibodeau said of going with Stephenson down the stretch. “The first half wasn’t good. We’ve got to keep working at it. Working at it, working at it, working at it. That’s our reality, and we’ve got to make it happen.”

DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points and DeMarre Carroll hit all five of his 3s 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 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 3 after open 3 to take a 13-point 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 quarter to keep the Wolves in it. After forcing a tough midrange pull-up, Wiggins came back and hit a turnaround fall-away 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 3 from the left wing and Wiggins hit two big free throws to help the Wolves hold on.

“We played ‘sometime’ defence, and we can’t do that.” Casey said. “We’re not going to be a good team if we play ‘sometime’ defence.”

TIP-INS

Raptors: Lowry made 6 of 19 shots, including 4 of 13 3-pointers. … PG Cory Joseph played 22 minutes, the second straight game he was Lowry’s backup after Casey bumped him down the pecking order. … Toronto lost for just the fifth time this year when shooting at least 50 per cent.

Timberwolves: PG Kris Dunn missed his fourth straight game with a bruised right hand. … Brandon Rush had a rough night, going 0 for 3 in 20 minutes and missing two wide open corner 3s and a breakaway layup.

STEPHENSON’S DEBUT

Stephenson started the season in New Orleans but was waived in November after needing surgery to repair a groin injury.

The guy they call “Born Ready” sure didn’t look like a player who had not played in a game in three months. He hit his first two shots and scored six points, grabbed two boards and had an assist in his first eight-minute shift.

Stephenson finished the game defending Lowry, and he hounded the All-Star into 2-for-8 shooting in the period.

“I thought I would be tired, but I’ve been working so hard and I wanted to be back so bad so I was ready and confident in myself,” he said. “Just try to take the smart shots. Don’t try anything crazy and just be solid. Coach had the trust in me and left me in.”

UP NEXT

Raptors: Toronto heads back home and gets a much-needed three-day break before hosting Detroit on Sunday night.

Timberwolves: Minnesota plays the fourth of a six-game homestand on Friday night against New Orleans.

Jon Krawczynski, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Lake Country approved rules for pot shops

District ready to deal with retail applications once pot becomes legal in Canada Oct. 17

Kelowna mayoral candidate’s sign set aflame

Bobby Kennedy’s sign was set on fire on Saturday morning

PHOTOS: Vernon Minor Football full of family fun

Three games against Kelowna Junior Sun Sunday, Sept. 23

Long awaited second power line in West Kelowna postponed

The power line was set to be completed in 2020 and will now be installed in 2025

Sunshine ahead for Kelowna

Your weekly forecast shows that the sun will shine again on Tuesday

Meet the Chef: Kai Koroll, executive chef at Block One restaurant

Koroll honours the terroir of the Okanagan in every dish he serves

Whitecaps see playoff dreams fade after 2-1 loss to FC Dallas

Goal in 87th minute seals Vancouver’s fate

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

Trans Canada now open west of Chase, ‘heavy delays’

Few details available about crash that closed Trans Canada Highway west of Chase Sunday, Sept. 23

Oliver to get new sheriff from graduating class

Oliver will be one of a number of B.C. communities to get a member of the recent graduating class

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

B.C. man fined $15,000, barred from trading securities for fraud

Larry Keith Davis used money from an investor to pay personal bills

Emergency crews investigate small sulphuric acid spill in Kootenays

IRM states a small volume of less than one cup and three dime-sized drips were leaked from carrier

Most Read