The Toronto Raptors will try to continue their recent dominance of the Minnesota Timberwolves when the two teams square off Friday at Target Center.
The Raptors handed the Timberwolves a 105-86 beating back on Nov. 4 at Air Canada Centre and have won three straight and 15 of the last 16 matchups between the teams. Minnesota, however, has taken nine of the 15 all-time meetings in the Twin Cities.
Toronto recently recorded an 88-78 triumph versus the Washington Wizards on Wednesday as DeMar DeRozan posted 25 points and Jonas Valanciunas scored a career-best 24 to lead the way. Kyle Lowry tallied nine points, eight rebounds and 13 assists for the Raptors, who trailed by 15 just before halftime before getting their act together.
"It's frustrating. We let teams jump out on us like that and we have to fight our way back," said DeRozan, who has scored 14 or more points in eight straight games. "We know we can play like we did the second half for 48 minutes."
The Raptors won for just the second time in nine tries and will begin a three- game road trip Friday against Minnesota, Milwaukee and Chicago. Toronto is 10-27 outside of Canada this season.
Raptors coach Dwane Casey will return to Minnesota, where he guided the Wolves from 2005-07. In injury news for the Raptors, forward Rudy Gay is questionable with a sprained ankle and scored just six points against the Wizards. He had 34 points on April 1 versus Detroit.
Wolves coach Rick Adelman will chase history on Friday. He will go for his 1,000th career victory in the NBA.
Minnesota has won two straight and three of four games, including Wednesday's 107-98 victory at Milwaukee.
Nikola Pekovic poured in a team-high 27 points and added eight rebounds. Ricky Rubio had 19 points, 12 assists and eight steals, while Derrick Williams scored 15 points for the Timberwolves, whose lead ballooned to 95-85 in the final period. A 10-2 run later on made it 105-93.
"I thought in the fourth quarter we were really after them (defensively)," Adelman said. "We got our hands on a lot of balls and had some good stops. We're starting to come together as a team now. Guys are responding and we know what we want to do."
Adelman's club, which has won two straight for the first time since December, will also host the Pistons on the quick homestand and is 18-19 at Target Center this season.