Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/4/12
TORONTO -- A flurry of Timberwolves turnovers allowed the Toronto Raptors to maintain their dominance over Minnesota. The Wolves gave the ball away 24 times, leading to 33 Toronto points, in the Raptors' 105-86 win Sunday. It was the 15th victory for Toronto in the past 16 meetings between the teams, and the Raptors have defeated the Wolves nine consecutive times at the Air Canada Center. The Raptors (1-2) took the lead in the first quarter and gradually increased it. Toronto committed 11 turnovers, which led to just 14 points for Minnesota (1-1). "The first half is where we got killed, 16 turnovers, you can't do that on the road, you can't succeed, and you opened up the door for them," Minnesota head coach Rick Adelman said. "We hung in there, we got it down to three, I don't know how many times, six at the end of the third quarter, and then we just let the flood gates open in the fourth quarter." Raptors coach Dwane Casey agreed the turnovers were key. "It was huge," he said. "We talked before the game about having a defensive focus. We have not taken that step where we have to go defensively. I thought we took a little step forward tonight." Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan led the Toronto attack with 22 points each. Alan Anderson came off the bench to score 18, and Andrea Bargnani added 10. Lowry said, "The first win is always the toughest one. We've got to build off that." Andrei Kirilenko led Minnesota with 17 points, and Nikola Pekovic added 15. Derrick Williams, J.J. Barea and Chase Budinger scored nine apiece for the Wolves. Toronto took a six-point lead into the fourth quarter and had the margin up to 12 when Anderson sank a 3-pointer with 8:46 to play in the game. Ed Davis stretched the lead to 14 on a jumper with 8:13 to go, but Minnesota's Alexey Shved responded with a 3-pointer. When DeRozan hit two free throws with 3:40 to play, the Raptors led 98-85. DeRozan was at the line again with 3:05 to play and hit both free throws for a 100-85 Toronto lead, and Anderson hit a 3-pointer to increase the margin to 18. "It feels good," DeRozan said of the win. "We were still beating ourselves up over the first two games that we thought we should have had. We just have to learn from our mistakes and come back later." The Raptors took a nine-point lead into the second half and had it up to 11 when Toronto rookie Jonas Valanciunas scored his first two points of the game. The Wolves whittled the deficit down to five points on a pair of free throws by Brandon Roy and a reverse layup by Williams with 8:21 to play in the quarter. DeRozan responded with a 3-pointer for Toronto 20 seconds later. The Timberwolves whittled the lead down to five with two minutes to go in the third on Budinger's layup, but Lowry came back to hit a turnaround jumper. The Raptors led 79-73 after three quarters following Davis' layup with six seconds left. Lowry scored nine of his 15 first-half points in the second quarter as the Raptors took a 56-47 lead into the intermission. DeRozan scored 10 before the break. Minnesota committed 16 turnovers leading to 27 points in the first half, including nine leading to 17 points in the second quarter. The Raptors made three turnovers leading to two points before halftime, all in the first quarter. Kirilenko led the Wolves with 10 points in the first half. Barea had nine points in the half. "I thought we kind of lost our composure with the turnovers," Kirilenko said. "It was too many turnovers. You can't win the game when every guy loses three or four balls. We have to work on this a little bit, especially because it wasn't forced turnovers. We just threw them away." The Raptors led 25-24 after the first quarter, with DeRozan leading the scoring with eight points. Kirilenko led all scorers in the opening 12 minutes with 10 points. The biggest lead by either team in the quarter was four points. "I thought we had trouble in the second and third quarters," Casey said. "We came out and put them on the line too much. We were playing with our hands too much instead of our feet. That created a problem for us. We have to get better with that. We have to play with our feet," Barea did not play after taking a knock to the face while making a layup during the second quarter. "My face hurts, I've got a couple of cuts in my mouth," he said. "But other than that, I'm all right." NOTES: DeRozan signed a four-year, $38 million contract extension that was announced after Wednesday's season-opening loss to Indiana. ... The Wolves were again without forward Kevin Love (fractured right hand) and guard Ricky Rubio (left knee). ... The Wolves, who won their season opener 92-80 over Sacramento on Friday, are in Brooklyn on Monday to the play the Nets before returning home Wednesday to play the Orlando Magic. ... The Raptors, who lost 107-100 at Brooklyn on Saturday, play again Tuesday at Oklahoma City. They play the next night in Dallas.
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