Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
Records: Raptors (27-14), Timberwolves (15-26)
Where to Watch
Date: Jan. 18, 2020
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
TV: SN1 (Canada), FSNTH+ or NBA League Pass (USA)
Location: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
Following a big win over the Washington Wizards, the Raptors hit the road for a matchup with the Timberwolves.
The Timberwolves enter Saturday's contest with a 15-26 record on the season, giving them the third-worst record in the Western Conference. They've struggled with injuries all season long, although two-time All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns returned from a 15-game absence on Friday.
In his return, Towns scored a team-high 27 points in 28 minutes. He shot 9-for-21 from the field and 3-for-9 from the 3-point line in a two-point loss to the Indiana Pacers.
Wiggs and KAT continue to click 👀 pic.twitter.com/wCvnsEntMw- Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) January 18, 2020
Towns is now averaging 26.5 points, 11.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists on the season. He ranks second among centres in scoring, eighth in rebounding and fourth in assists.
It's still unknown if Towns will play against the Raptors, but if he does, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka will have their hands full trying to slow him down. Being the engine that makes the Timberwolves go, Towns will undoubtedly be at the top of Toronto's scouting report.
Towns might have a tough time keeping up with Gasol and Ibaka on the other end of the court, though. In the two games he's played since returning from injury, Gasol has looked more like the Marc Gasol of old with averages of 17.5 points, 5.5 assists and 5.5 rebounds. He's coming off of a season-high 20 points against the Wizards, a game in which he tied his career-high with six made 3s.
Ibaka is also coming off of a strong stretch of games. With Gasol on the sideline, Ibaka recorded a double-double in eight straight games between the end of December and the middle of January, the longest such streak of his career.
If the Raptors can continue to get that sort of production from their centres, they might be able to offset Towns' brilliance.
For the Raptors, Fred VanVleet (right hamstring strain) is questionable.
The Timberwolves have not yet submitted their injury report.
- Andrew Wiggins has career averages of 23.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists against his hometown Raptors. The only team he has a higher career scoring average against is the Cleveland Cavaliers, who drafted and traded him.
- Norman Powell hasn't skipped a beat since returning from injury, posting 23.7 points on 64.3 percent shooting from the field in his last three games.
- In Toronto's win over Washington, Terence Davis tied his career-high with 23 points.
- The Timberwolves currently rank 23rd in offence and 15th in defence.
- The Raptors currently rank 13th in offence and 2nd in defence.
- The Timberwolves recently made a trade with the Atlanta Hawks, moving Jeff Teague and Treveon Graham for Allen Crabbe.
- There's reportedly a possibility that Crabbe makes his Timberwolves debut against the Raptors.
Last Time They Played
Date: April 9, 2019
Score: Raptors 120, Timberwolves 100
Raptors: Kawhi Leonard - 20 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block
Timberwolves: Andrew Wiggins - 16 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks
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