Minnesota at Toronto

Ford's 28 points spark division-leading Raptors past Timberwolves

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

TORONTO -- T.J. Ford has the Toronto Raptors in first place in the Atlantic Division, even without Chris Bosh.

Ford scored 28 points and Anthony Parker added 19 to lead Toronto to a 100-97 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

The Raptors are 6-4 without Bosh (sore left knee), their leading scorer. He isn't expected back until Jan. 3 when Toronto hosts Phoenix.

"With Chris being out I think the team really depends on me," Ford said. "They are looking for me to put up points and take the shots and continue to put pressure on the defense. Right now I'm just in a groove."

Toronto is 8-3 at home, where it will play four of its next five.

The Raptors returned home after going 2-2 on a West Coast trip as Ford averaged 20 points and 9.3 assists. Ford had seven assists and finished 12-for-18 from the field against Minnesota.

"Just look at what Ford did the last couple of weeks on the West Coast. He's torched everybody he's gone up against. I mean, you can't coach speed, that's something that he's blessed with," Minnesota coach Dwane Casey said.

The Raptors acquired Ford from Milwaukee after new general manager Bryan Colangelo declined to re-sign Mike James in the offseason.

James had a chance to tie the score with 8.2 seconds left after he was fouled on a 3-pointer, but missed one of his three free throws.

Kevin Garnett then missed a 3-pointer that would have tied it in the final seconds.

James said Ford had a solid game. They work out together in Houston during the summer.

"T.J. played well. He came out aggressive and never let up," James said.

James was booed when he was introduced before the game.

"I thought it was cute," James said, smiling.

Garnett had 24 points and James 20 for the Timberwolves, who are 0-5 against Toronto since former Minnesota player Sam Mitchell became coach of the Raptors.

Minnesota's Randy Foye said his team couldn't contain Ford.

"It's like he's running in circles," Foye said. "When you think he's trying to find a seam to pass it, he'll pull up and shoot a fadeaway jump shot, so it's tough to guard him."

After Ford's jumper gave Toronto a 95-91 lead with 29.1 seconds left, he took a charge and the game became a free-throw contest for Toronto.

Parker had a chance to give the Raptors a six-point lead with 25.6 seconds remaining, but he missed both free-throw attempts.

After Foye made a fast-break layup to trim Toronto's lead to two, Jose Calderon made one of two free throws for the Raptors to make it 96-93 with 18.9 seconds left.

James' quick layup cut Toronto's lead to one, but Ford made two free throws to give Toronto a 98-95 lead.

Ford fouled James as he attempted a 3-pointer, but James couldn't tie it from the foul line. Parker made two free throws to make it 100-97 with 7.7 seconds left, and Garnett missed a 3-pointer.

Parker's fadeaway jumper with 9:13 left in the fourth gave Toronto its first lead since the first quarter.


  • James is having an inconsistent season. "I've played good a few, played bad a few, but I started this way in Toronto last year," said James, who averaged a career-high 20.3 points and 5.8 assists last season with the Raptors.
Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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T.J. Ford is pumped against Minnesota, scoring 28, assisting on seven and shooting 12-of-18.  (AP)
T.J. Ford is pumped against Minnesota, scoring 28, assisting on seven and shooting 12-of-18. (AP)
Minnesota (12-14) 2426262197
Toronto (13-16) «22242529100
MIN:K. Garnett 24 Pts
MIN:K. Garnett 9 Reb
MIN:K. Garnett 6 Ast
TOR:T. Ford 28 Pts
TOR:J. Garbajosa 10 Reb
TOR:T. Ford 7 Ast
Players of the Game

T. Ford

K. Garnett

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M. Blount, C415-90-082210
K. Garnett, PF407-1810-1196424
R. Davis, SG375-163-474514
M. James, PG328-122-315420
T. Hassell, SF161-30-00232
M. Jaric, PG376-92-223115
R. Foye, PG233-91-23038
C. Smith, PF142-20-06124
T. Hudson, PGDid Not Play
M. Madsen, CDid Not Play
B. Wright, SGDid Not Play
E. Griffin, PFDid Not Play
J. Reed, SFDid Not Play
R. McCants, SGDid Not Play
Totals 37-7818-2236232497
J. Garbajosa, C434-120-010438
A. Parker, SF387-112-540219
R. Nesterovic, C324-72-251010
T. Ford, PG3212-183-447128
J. Graham, SF203-40-06236
A. Bargnani, PF294-120-08249
F. Jones, SG201-52-40024
J. Calderon, PG165-93-404213
K. Humphries, PF91-11-11123
D. Martin, PGDid Not Play
M. Peterson, SGDid Not Play
P. Sow, PFDid Not Play
C. Bosh, PFDid Not Play
U. Slokar, PFDid Not Play
P. Tucker, SGDid Not Play
Totals 41-7913-20382119100
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