With both Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio out with injuries, the Minnesota Timberwolves didn't miss a beat in their season opener.
The Timberwolves look to stay unbeaten on the young season when they head north to face the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre.
Minnesota opened the season with a 92-80 win versus the Sacramento Kings, as J.J. Barea poured in a game-high 21 points and handed out five assists. Brandon Roy, who missed the entire 2011-12 season after he announced his retirement in March of 2011 because of knee issues, returned to the hardwood and scored 10 points to go with six assists and five rebounds.
Fellow newcomer Andrei Kirilenko added 10 points, five assists and seven rebounds in the T'Wolves' first home-opening win since 2009-10.
"The win is the most important thing for us," Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic said. "We played well in the preseason, so we just wanted to carry it to tonight. We just need to make sure we play defense all season long, and we certainly did that tonight."
The Wolves haven't won two in a row to start a season since 2006-07, the last time they prevailed in a road opener. Minnesota will play two straight and four of six games as the visitor.
Toronto is aiming to avoid its first 0-3 start since losing nine in a row to kick off the 2005-06 season.
The Raptors lost their season opener to Indiana at home, then dropped a 107-100 decision last night in the debut of the Brooklyn Nets. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan scored 28 and 25 points, respectively, for the Raptors, who got 13 points from Andrea Bargnani.
"We came out a little bit flat there (in the second half)," Raptors guard Jose Calderon admitted. "The positive part is we came back again. It was a nice thing to see."
If history has any bearing on Toronto's matchup with the Timberwolves, then the Raptors appear to be headed for their first win of 2012-13. The Raptors won the lone matchup, 97-87, last season and are 14-1 in the past 15 encounters with Minnesota.
Minnesota is winless in eight straight trips north of the border, last winning at Air Canada Centre Jan. 21, 2004.