Russell scores 16 points in 4th, Wolves beat Raptors 128-126

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — D’Angelo Russell scored 16 of his 25 fourth quarter points, Anthony Edwards had 23 and the Minnesota Timberwolves rallied to beat the Toronto Raptors 128-126 on Thursday night.

Kyle Anderson added 20 points and 10 rebounds for Minnesota, which beat Rudy Gobert and Austin Rivers and played the second straight game after a fourth quarter slump the night before in Denver.

The Timberwolves erased a 14-point deficit midway through the fourth with a rarely seen defensive effort from Minnesota, especially without Gobert having low impact. Toronto scored just seven points in the 9:46 final.

“I just think as a group we all held ourselves accountable,” Russell said. “We all had a few mistakes at the start of the game where we looked a little underhanded right to start, just using what you said as an excuse for us, arriving late and all that. Eventually we kind of locked ourselves in and tried to do what we’re supposed to do.

Scottie Barnes had 12 of his season-high 29 points in fourth for Toronto, which had won four of six. Fred VanVleet added 25 points and 10 assists for the Raptors. Toronto scored 62 points in the paint without Gobert to protect the rim and added 23 quick break points.

“Russell obviously threw them, kind of broke free,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “A few mistakes there in defense and then, I don’t know, we probably didn’t get enough quality looks from the attacking side either. And it was a shame for some of them because we made the right plays and we didn’t take the shot.

Edwards, who was 4 of 12 from the field for three quarters, tied the game at 124 with 3:56 left. Anderson’s runner in the lane gave Minnesota its first lead with 4:42 remaining in the first, and Russell added a pair of free throws.

OG Anunoby’s 3-point attempt with 0.4 seconds left was out of place.

“Encouraged that our guys have stepped up,” Minnesota coach Chris Finch said. “They didn’t have a lot of gas. They took a long time to find him. I think the key to the game was that we were able to keep scoring until we found a defensive rhythm.

The Timberwolves outscored Toronto 23-7 in the 9:46 final.

“We struggled to stop them all night,” VanVleet said. “They got hot and we sort of stalled a bit there the last two minutes.”

Russell was 4 of 4 of 3 down the stretch.

“It’s like, you saw ‘Bad Boys 2,’ when they like, ‘From now on, that’s how you shoot,'” Anderson said. “I would say when he lands punches like that, it’s the Lo we know and the Lo we love. So it’s a great moment. That’s what we need from him. I expect that from him every time we step onto the floor.


VanVleet continued his strong run, taking advantage of Gobert’s absence at the bottom by continuously going inside. He was also 4 of 6 from 3-point territory.

VanVleet had scored at least 33 points in each of the previous two games.


Raptors: VanVleet scored or assisted on Toronto’s last 16 points in the first half. … Joe Wieskamp, ​​on his second 10-day contract, saw his first action for the Raptors this season and was 3 of 3 of 3. … Barnes has scored at least 21 points in four of his last five games

Timberwolves: Gobert (right groin pain) and Rivers (left knee contusion) each missed their second straight game for Minnesota, which is still without Karl-Anthony Towns and Jordan McLaughlin due to longer calf injuries term. … The Timberwolves returned to town early Thursday morning from Denver. … Anderson added six assists, falling just short of another triple-double. He had a triple-double on Jan. 16 against Utah and was two assists off a Wednesday at Denver.


Raptors: hosts Boston on Saturday

Timberwolves: Host Houston on Saturday night.

COMFORTABLE: Spend the night in this Minnesota ‘igloo’ complete with hot tub

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