So that’s why they were so aggressive in pursuit of Corey Maggette.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Karl-Anthony Towns had 35 points and 11 rebounds, and the Minnesota Timberwolves came back from 18 points down to stun the Toronto Raptors 117-112 on Wednesday night.
Canadian star Andrew Wiggins scored 13 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter, including a jumper with under 2 minutes to go that gave Minnesota a 112-109 lead. Ricky Rubio had 19 points, eight assists and eight rebounds to outplay All-Star Kyle Lowry, and the Wolves used a huge advantage at the free throw line to close out a team that had won 14 of its last 15 games.
DeMar DeRozan scored 35 points for the Raptors, who head home to host All-Star Weekend beginning on Friday night. But Lowry was held to 14 points and seven assists while battling foul trouble, and the combination of Wiggins and Towns was too much down the stretch.
Minnesota set season highs with 43 free throws made on 53 attempts on the way to its largest comeback win of the season. The Raptors were whistled for 34 fouls compared to 21 for the Wolves.
The Raptors looked to be cruising toward a highly anticipated weekend in Canada when they raced out to an 18-point lead in the second quarter. Then Lowry picked up his fourth foul, Jonas Valanciunas couldn’t handle Towns in the paint and the Timberwolves came all the way back to grab the lead early in the fourth quarter.
Raptors coach Dwane Casey emphasized before the game the need for a veteran group to hold it together for one more night before the party starts in Toronto. The Raptors were facing a Timberwolves team with the third-worst record in the West that was just blown out by lowly New Orleans in this building two nights prior.
When the Raptors got up big early, they may have relaxed a little bit and they found themselves in a fight for the final 9 minutes.
Rubio’s third 3-pointer gave the Timberwolves a 104-98 lead with 5:24 to play.
The Raptors fought back to tie the game with under 3 minutes to play, but Wiggins hit big shot after big shot a day before heading back to his hometown to play in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night.
Gorgui Dieng had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and all five Timberwolves starters finished in double figures.
Raptors: Their 68 points were their most in a first half this season. … Bismack Biyombo left in the second quarter after a nasty spill under the basket but was able to return in the second half. … The Raptors made 10 of 31 3-pointers to just 4 of 14 for Minnesota.
Timberwolves: F Tayshaun Prince missed the game to attend former teammate Chauncey Billups’ jersey retirement ceremony in Detroit. … Zach LaVine started in Prince’s place and finished with 13 points. … The Wolves again played without Kevin Garnett (leg), Nikola Pekovic (ankle) and Kevin Martin (wrist).
Raptors: Visit Chicago on Feb. 19.
Timberwolves: Visit Memphis on Feb. 19.
BOSTON (AP) — Isaiah Thomas had 36 points and 11 assists, including a fade away jumper that sent the game to an extra period, to help the Boston Celtics overtake the Los Angeles Clippers 139-134 in overtime on Wednesday night.
Boston played the second half without big man Kelly Olynyk. He left late in the first half with a bruised right shoulder.
The Clippers led by five late in regulation, but went without a field goal for more than three minutes.
The loss spoiled what may be Clippers’ forward Paul Pierce‘s final game in the Boston Garden. The 38-year-old played 15 seasons with the Celtics and was facing his former team for the eighth time.
The Clippers opened overtime with a four-point play by Redick.
After a Celtics miss, he was fouled again on a 3-point attempt, and connected on two of his three free throws to give Los Angeles a six-point lead.
Boston didn’t go away, and eventually tied it on a jumper by Evan Turner. Turner then put the Celtics in front 135-132 via a three-point play – his seventh straight point – with 1:33 left.
Both teams traded baskets, before Pierce came up short on a 27-footer that was rebounded by the Celtics.
Los Angeles had a chance to tie it up, and Jamal Crawford‘s long 3-point attempted nearly banked in before rimming out.
Los Angeles led 120-117 with 56 seconds to play in regulation after Thomas was fouled on a driving layup. He missed his ensuing free throw, but it was rebounded by Sullinger. He connected on the first of his two free throws to trim it to 120-118.
Following a pair of free throws by Redick, Thomas gave the Celtics life again with a teardrop jumper.
Paul missed a long jumper with the shot clock winding down on the Clippers next possession, but Jae Crowder was called for a loose ball foul with 23.3 remaining
Jordan misfired on both ensuing free throws, and Thomas tied it with fade away jumper.
Paul had a good look at a jumper that would have won it regulation, but it bounced off the side of the rim at the buzzer.
Clippers: The Clippers did not have a field goal for the final 3:29 of regulation. … Paul had 10 points and five assists in the first quarter. It was the 37th time in his career he’s had at least 10 points and five assists in a quarter. That’s the most in NBA since 2005-06.
Celtics: Improved to 10-3 in the second game of back-to-backs.
The game itself went about how you’d expect one between a title contender and a high lottery team to go — the Cavaliers 120-111 win over the Lakers was never really in doubt.
LeBron had 29 points on the night, and Kyrie Irving had 35. Kobe finished with 17 and got a standing ovation from the Cleveland crowd.
Just another magical day in the Valley of the Sun, where clearly Jeff Hornacek was the problem….
During an early timeout in the Suns’ game at Golden State, Markieff Morris tried to explain something to Archie Goodwin, who is seated. This conversation gets heated quickly, and teammates eventually have to step in and separate the two teammates.
The Suns have shopped Morris around as the trade deadline approaches, this isn’t going to help his value.
After the game, Morris said the two are close (which is true) and this was just like two brothers having a fight — they will get over it quick.