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Raptors ride home win streak into matchup with Wolves

Mar 16, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43) controls the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second half at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Raptors will pursue their third straight victory — and the seventh in a row at home — when they play the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night.

The Raptors will aim to complete a sweep of their three-game homestand after defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder 128-111 on Thursday.

The Timberwolves fell 139-131 in double overtime to the host Chicago Bulls on Friday. Minnesota lost Anthony Edwards in the first quarter due to a sprained right ankle, and he did not return. He played eight minutes and scored eight points.

Edwards will be reassessed on Saturday, Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said post-game.

The setback was Minnesota’s fourth in five games.

The Raptors got 25 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists from Pascal Siakam and 16 points and 12 rebounds from Jakob Poeltl in their victory over the Thunder.

All five Toronto starters scored in double figures, with Fred VanVleet and Scottie Barnes each putting up 19 points and O.G. Anunoby contributing 17. Gary Trent Jr. added 23 off the bench.

“I always say you’ve got to take what’s there, right?” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “Some nights it’s a very equal-opportunity thing, some nights it isn’t so much depending on the coverages. But I thought everybody had their moments (Thursday), all the way through.

“Those six guys really all produced, shot a pretty good percentage. Good number of assists, which is good, low turnovers. So there was a lot of good, good stuff there.”

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

“He had a few of the hard-driving baskets, a few spin moves all the way to the rim,” Nurse said. “Five offensive rebounds, so he’s in there trying to find a bunch of different ways to score. … and I thought he did a good job of stepping into some threes that maybe he wouldn’t take normally.”

With Christian Koloko playing 12 minutes off the bench on Thursday, it meant that Precious Achiuwa did not play. However, Koloko sustained a broken nose for the game, and he was listed as questionable for Saturday.

The Timberwolves stumbled in the opener of a three-game trip on Friday, squandering a 10-point, fourth-quarter lead before Chicago won the marathon contest.

Mike Conley led Minnesota with 28 points, shooting 8-for-12 from 3-point range. Jaden McDaniels added 25 points.

Edwards was injured late in the first quarter when he landed awkwardly after jumping while throwing a pass.

“I saw the whole play — he came down on (Nikola) Vucevic’s foot,” Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said. “Those are always super painful. It went completely over. We knew it was real, and I knew it was going to be bad.”

Finch did not know how long Edwards would be out.

“Ant’s a tough kid, man, super tough,” Finch said. “Had the (walking) boot on (during the game) already.”

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

“He was awesome,” Finch said. “Offensively, he was a huge-impact guy just rolling, sealing, fighting for offensive rebounds, keeping things alive.”

–Field Level Media

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