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Toronto at Minnesota

Hot-shooting Raptors make easy work of Timberwolves

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Toronto Raptors learned their lesson about overlooking so-called lesser teams.

Two nights after allowing the last-place Los Angeles Clippers to rally and win in Toronto, the Raptors clearly didn't overlook the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Andrea Bargnani scored 16 points and Jose Calderon had 15 points and 10 assists for his second consecutive double-double to help the Raptors beat the Wolves 105-82 on Sunday night.

"We can't just show up and expect to win," All-Star Chris Bosh said. "Sometimes you look at some teams' records and you just think you are going to show up and get crowned the winner. It doesn't work like that."

With five Raptors in double figures and their top two point guards combining for 23 assists, Toronto was a model of offensive efficiency. The Raptors drained the life out of the Wolves and their fans with a perimeter-oriented offense -- their swishes amplified through the building by the backboard microphone.

"(Friday) was a tough game," Bargnani said. "We played good almost the whole game, then lost at the end on very bad luck. We did a good job to stay focused as they came back today."

Calderon -- who's had at least 10 assists in five of his last six games -- and T.J. Ford combined for more assists than the Timberwolves as a whole. Bosh added 14 points for the Raptors, and Ford had seven points and 13 assists, his highest totals since returning to the lineup from injury Feb. 4.

"We just tried to get everyone involved," said Calderon, who has 19 double-doubles this season. "We just tried to find the wide open guys and not force it. ... Everybody made the extra pass, that's how we beat this team tonight."

As in Friday's loss, the Raptors built an early lead before allowing the Wolves to pull even in the second quarter. This time, though, Toronto responded with timely buckets and aggressive defense.

Antoine Walker's 3-pointer with 1:18 to play in the second quarter tied it at 45. But Calderon answered with two 3s to swing the momentum that Toronto carried into the next half.

"Calderon knocking down shots like that is a big momentum changer for them," Corey Brewer said. "They just kept adding it; kept getting momentum and knocking shots down."

Al Jefferson scored 18 points for Minnesota, which has played well as of late despite owning the league's second-worst record.

Jefferson entered the game averaging 30.2 points and 15 rebounds in his last six games in Minneapolis. But Toronto threw multiple defenders at Minnesota's big man, and the Wolves offense sputtered two nights after taking league-leading Boston down to the final seconds. Jefferson and Marko Jaric were 13-for-22 from the floor, but the rest of the Wolves went 19-for-56.

"I didn't see this coming," Wolves coach Randy Wittman said. "I thought our guys would respond after even a tough loss like that."

The Raptors shot just over 50 percent from the floor. They have shot at least 50 percent in their last four wins since Jan. 25. In their three losses, they've shot under 44 percent.

After trading big runs in the first half, Toronto established control in the third quarter, outscoring Minnesota 20-8 to build a comfortable lead that the Wolves never threatened the rest of the way.

Notes

  • Timberwolves G Rashad McCants left in the second quarter with a sprained right ankle and is day-to-day.
  • Toronto is 12-2 when shooting better than 50 percent.
  • The Raptors have won seven consecutive games against Minnesota dating back to 2005, representing their longest current win streak against an opponent.
  • Former Timberwolves C Rasho Nesterovic scored eight points for Toronto. Nesterovic, who Minnesota drafted with the 17th pick in the 1998 draft, will play a back-to-back against his other former team -- San Antonio -- on Monday.
Copyright 2015 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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Jose Calderon (4-of-4 from the floor) finishes the game with 15 points, 10 assists.  (Getty Images)
Jose Calderon (4-of-4 from the floor) finishes the game with 15 points, 10 assists. (Getty Images)
Scoreboard
Toronto (27-22) «29222628105
Minnesota (10-39) 2522142182
TOR:A. Bargnani 16 Pts
TOR:C. Bosh 9 Reb
TOR:T. Ford 13 Ast
MIN:A. Jefferson 18 Pts
MIN:A. Jefferson 9 Reb
MIN:S. Telfair 8 Ast
Players of the Game
MinnesotaToronto

A. Jefferson

J. Calderon
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
189315310

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Toronto
C. Bosh, PF355-124-592014
A. Bargnani, PF315-103-660416
A. Parker, SG305-130-023110
J. Calderon, PG264-45-5310115
J. Moon, SG184-40-01028
C. Delfino, SG273-90-09127
R. Nesterovic, C224-60-05158
T. Ford, PG222-63-341307
J. Kapono, SF186-100-020112
K. Humphries, PF81-52-22104
J. Graham, SF32-20-00024
D. Martin, PGDid Not Play
M. Baston, SFDid Not Play
J. Dixon, SGDid Not Play
J. Garbajosa, PFDid Not Play
Totals 41-8117-21433118105
 50.6%81.0% 
Minnesota
A. Jefferson, PF368-162-393318
S. Telfair, PG352-102-22846
R. Gomes, PF301-52-35124
M. Jaric, SF295-60-143211
C. Brewer, SF202-52-25126
R. Foye, PG274-100-02118
A. Walker, SF203-90-04018
C. Smith, PF153-52-35038
G. Green, SG132-54-43018
R. McCants, SG92-70-01014
G. Buckner, SG30-00-01100
M. Madsen, PF30-01-21001
T. Ratliff, CDid Not Play
M. Doleac, CDid Not Play
C. Richard, PFDid Not Play
Totals 32-7815-2042182082
 41.0%75.0% 
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