D’Angelo Russell scored 16 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, Anthony Edwards had 23 and the Minnesota Timberwolves rallied to beat the Toronto Raptors 128-126 Thursday night.
Kyle Anderson added 20 points and 10 rebounds for Minnesota, who defeated Rudy Gobert and Austin Rivers and played the second game of a back-to-back game after a fourth-quarter collapse the night before in Denver.
The Timberwolves erased a 14-point deficit midway through the fourth with a defensive display typical of Minnesota, especially without Gobert having a deep impact. Toronto only scored seven points in the final with 9:46.
Scottie Barnes had 12 of his season bests of 29 points in the 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 fast break points.
“Russell obviously got them going, shook them free a bit,” said Raptors coach Nick Nurse. “A few mistakes on defense and then, I don’t know, we probably didn’t get enough quality looks on the offensive end either. And with some of them it was too bad because we made the right games and then we didn’t take the shot.”
CLOCK | Russell leads Timberwolves past Raptors:
Edwards, who was four of 12 from the field through three quarters, tied the game at 124 with 3:56 left. Anderson’s runner in lane gave Minnesota its first lead since 4:42 in the first, and Russell added a pair of free throws.
OG Anunoby’s three-point attempt missed with 0.4 seconds left.
“Encouraged by our guys stepping up,” said Minnesota coach Chris Finch. “They didn’t have a lot of gas. It took them a long time to find it. I think the key to the game was that we could keep scoring goals until we found a defensive rhythm.”
“We struggled to stop them”
The Timberwolves beat Toronto 23-7, 9-46 in the final.
“We struggled all night to stop them,” VanVleet said. “They got hot and we faltered a bit in the last few minutes.”
Russell was four of four of three in the closing stages.
VanVleet continued their strong run, taking advantage of Gobert’s absence in the bottom by continuously going inside. He was also four of six from three-point territory.
VanVleet had scored at least 33 points in each of the previous two games.
VanVleet scored or assisted Toronto’s last 16 points of the first half.
Joe Wieskamp, on his second 10-day contract, saw his first action for the Raptors this season and was three-of-three-of-three.
Barnes has scored at least 21 points in four of his last five games
The Raptors host Boston on Saturday.