Game notes:

  1. How about DeMar DeRozan hitting two key triples down the stretch? The first three was well-contested by Wiggins, but DeRozan nailed it to put them up 6. Then the drive and kick by Lowry sealed it, when he dropped the wide-open look to go up 8. It’s not the norm by any means, but it’s incredible that 7 seasons in, DeRozan still continues to show signs of improvement. 31-4-4 was dope.
  2. Kyle Lowry is the nervous, heady, brave ball of energy that makes this go. He gambled a bit too much and was a saloon door on defense, but look how he stepped up when it counted. 12 points in the fourth, including the pull-up 3 over Towns, and the corner 3 to bail out a hopeless possession, then that setup for DeRozan.
  3. Smart move by Dwane Casey to pull his starting frontcourt after 2 minutes of absolute horseshit in the third. After giving up 58 in the first half, the Raptors immediately allowed a 9-0 run. The bench came in, stopped the bleeding, and Raptors recovered.
  4. Yet another horrible game by Luis Scola, but whatever, he was checking a dude 15 years younger than him.
  5. It was borderline inexcusable how poorly James Johnson played tonight. I have some hope for him as maybe a smallball four, but he just showed such unforgivable decision making tonight. That gamble on the and-1 to allow the Timberwolves to tie in the fourth was horrendous. He was a team-worst -18.
  6. Terrence Ross was rightfully ejected for nearly throwing the ball at the ref. But what led up to it? Three, THREE flops by Tyus Jones (a freaking rookie), in consecutive possessions, including two on Ross’s drive. You never see Ross act out, ever. He had to have been really wronged, and he was.  
  7. Ross was having a decent game, with an especially strong stretch in the second quarter. His absence thrust Norman Powell into spot duty, and I thought the rookie looked alright. Made two defensive plays, including a heady steal on LaVine. Still needs to either shoot the three, or go all the way to the hoop. No half measures.
  8. Speaking of no half measures, Patrick Patterson had another stinker offensively. Way too many looks at 3 being passed up. But his defense? Brilliant. Plus-minus god, that man is. Where is the Canadian Michael Lewis to profile this dude?
  9. Timberwolves remind me of the early Thunder years, where they were sloppy, but would occasionally reel out stretches of magic. With Andrew Wiggins being aggressive, Karl-Anthony Towns doing scary guard stuff at 7-foot (switching hands for driving layups, blocks, everything), you can really see a future dynasty.
  10. Loved that Jack Armstrong practically coached the team through the broadcast for the second half. He’s got a little Hubie Brown in him as a broadcaster and I love it.
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