The new-look Minnesota Timberwolves ended one streak Saturday and will be out to stop another one Monday night when they visit the Toronto Raptors.
The Timberwolves, who made three trades and obtained eight players before Thursday’s trade deadline, stunned the visiting Los Angeles Clippers 142-115 in the first game with their new lineup to snap a 13-game losing streak.
They will be trying to halt Toronto’s franchise-record winning streak that stretched to 14 Saturday with a 119-118 home victory over the Brooklyn Nets. The defending champion Raptors did not make a deadline deal.
Another streak will be on the line. The Timberwolves have lost 15 in a row at Toronto.
“It’s only one game,” Minnesota coach Ryan Saunders said after beating the Clippers. “There’s going to be growing pains, there’s going to be nights that you don’t make 26 3s and you don’t have 39 assists. I understand that. But I also like that you can kind of see glimpses. … It makes you positive about what could be to come.”
The Timberwolves acquired D’Angelo Russell from the Golden State Warriors for Andrew Wiggins in the biggest move. Russell did not play Saturday because of a quadriceps contusion.
The Wolves also added Malik Beasley, Juan Hernangomez and Jarred Vanderbilt from the Denver Nuggets; Omari Spellman and Jacob Evans from Golden State; James Johnson from the Miami Heat and Evan Turner from the Atlanta Hawks.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 22 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists for Minnesota on Saturday. Beasley had 23 points and 10 boards, Johnson had 15 points and holdover guard Jordan McLaughlin had 24 points and 11 assists.
The Timberwolves, who have been among the worst 3-point shooting teams in the league, had seven 3-pointers from Beasley alone against the Clippers.
“We showed ourselves tonight,” Towns said. “We can’t expect anything less from each other on a nightly basis. This has to be the standard.”
They will have another test Monday when they visit the Raptors, who continue to win despite injuries and the loss of Kawhi Leonard as a free agent to the Clippers during the offseason.
The Raptors had to work to extend their winning streak against the Nets, blowing an 18-point third-quarter lead before eking out the victory on a go-ahead free throw from Pascal Siakam with 22.9 seconds to play. The Nets missed shots by Caris LeVert and Joe Harris to end the game.
The Raptors were without Kyle Lowry, who suffered whiplash late in the third quarter against the Indianapolis Pacers Friday night.
Marc Gasol (hamstring) and Norman Powell (hand) continue to be out.
With Lowry out, rookie Terence Davis II made his second career NBA start and tallied 20 points and eight rebounds.
“Obviously it’s not a textbook way to close out a game, but when you have a long winning streak like that there will be different types of ways to finish it,” said Raptors guard Fred VanVleet who scored 10 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter.
The Raptors matched a season-low with seven turnovers Saturday, none in the fourth quarter.
Toronto defeated Minnesota 122-112 on Jan. 18 at Minneapolis in the only previous meeting between the teams this season.
–Field Level Media
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