Wednesday, March 22, 2023

NBA Preview: Minnesota Timberwolves (35-36) at Toronto Raptors (34-36)

When the Toronto Raptors take on the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night, they will look to win for the seventh time in a row at home and their third in a row.

After defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder by a score of 128-111 on Thursday, the Toronto Raptors will try to win all three of their home games to complete a sweep.

The Timberwolves fell 139-131 in twofold extra time to the host Chicago Bulls on Friday. Due to a sprained right ankle, Minnesota lost Anthony Edwards in the first quarter and he did not return. He had eight points and eight minutes of action.

Edwards will be reevaluated on Saturday, Timberwolves mentor Chris Finch said post-game.

This was Minnesota’s fourth defeat in their last five games.

In the Raptors’ victory over the Thunder, Pascal Siakam scored 25 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, and provided eight assists, while Jakob Poeltl scored 16 points and pulled down 12 rebounds.

Fred VanVleet, Scottie Barnes, O.G. Anunoby, and all five Toronto starters scored at least 20 points. O.G. Anunoby added 17 points. 23 were added by Gary Trent Jr. from the bench.

Despite shooting 9-for-19 from the field on Thursday, Siakam had been in a bit of a slump recently, scoring just 12 points in each of his previous two games.

Precious Achiuwa did not participate in the game on Thursday because Christian Koloko played 12 minutes off the bench. However, Koloko was listed as questionable for Saturday after suffering a broken nose during the match.

Friday marked the beginning of a three-game road trip for the Timberwolves, who lost a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter before Chicago won the marathon game.

Mike Conley scored 28 points and was 8-for-12 from three-point range to lead Minnesota. 25 rebounds came from Jaden McDaniels.

When Edwards landed awkwardly after jumping while passing the ball late in the first quarter, he sustained an injury.

Finch was not aware of Edwards’ absence.

Rudy Gobert, a Minnesota center, scored 21 points, grabbed 19 rebounds, and blocked five shots before fouling out in the first overtime.

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