NBA Game Summary - Minnesota at Toronto
(Wednesday, December 27th)
Final Score: Toronto 100, Minnesota 97
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - T.J. Ford scored a season-high 28 points and also dished out seven assists to lead the Toronto Raptors past the Minnesota Timberwolves, 100-97, in a tightly played contest at Air Canada Centre.
Anthony Parker netted 19 points while Jose Calderon came off the bench to contribute 13 for the Raptors, who have won six of eight games.
Radoslav Nesterovic donated 10 points, while Jorge Garbajosa scored eight points and had 10 boards in the win.
Kevin Garnett scored a team-high 24 points, with 19 coming in the second half, as Minnesota saw its brief two-game winning steak halted and fell two games below the .500 mark.
Mike James added 20 points and Marko Jaric scored 15 points for the Timberwolves. Ricky Davis had 14 points while Mark Blount was the fifth Minnesota player in double figures, contributing 10 points and eight rebounds in a losing effort.
The Raptors opened the fourth quarter going on a 9-2 run, capped by Parker's jump shot, to take an 80-78 lead with 9:13 remaining in the game.
The back and forth battle continued, but Minnesota missed a couple of key shots down the stretch and Ford's running jumper gave Toronto a 95-91 lead with 29 ticks to play.
James then tiptoed up the baseline and made a driving layup with 11.9 seconds remaining for the Timberwolves, but Ford made both his free throws after being fouled by Davis to give the Raptors a three-point lead with 11 seconds to play.
James hit on two of three free shots but Parker followed by making both of his attempts at the line and Garnett's potential game-tying jump shot fell short at the buzzer.
The Raptors finished the game shooting 52 percent from the floor, while Minnesota made 47 percent of its shots. Toronto also won the battle of the boards, 38-36.
Both teams played it close early on, with the Timberwolves holding a 24-22 lead heading into the second quarter thanks to a slam dunk by Craig Smith with four seconds remaining.
Minnesota carried a 50-46 margin into the break after shooting 52 percent (22- of-42) in the first half.
The Timberwolves opened a four-point lead, 61-57, at 7:47 in the third after Davis' jump shot. Ford and Garbajosa answered with back-to-back shots for the Raptors to even the score before James' trey put Minnesota back in front, 64-61.
Minnesota closed out the third quarter on an 8-3 run to take a 76-71 lead into the final stanza. Garnett started the spurt with a couple of free throws before he was fouled again at 1:31 and made one of two from the charity stripe. Parker's three-pointer pulled Toronto within one, but Garnett and Randy Foye capped the scoring with consecutive shots, sandwiching Garbajosa's missed jumper at the other end.
Toronto has won five straight games against Minnesota...The Raptors are 8-3 at Air Canada Centre this season and are the only team with a winning record at home in the Atlantic Division...The Raptors have gone 643 games with at least one three-ball, a record they broke last year and continue adding on to...Minnesota is 6-12 when they score less than 100 points.
12/27 22:25:14 ET