TORONTO (AP) — Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 15 rebounds, DeMar DeRozan scored 21 and the Toronto Raptors won their 11th straight home game over Minnesota, beating the short-handed Timberwolves 105-100 on Wednesday night.
Terrence Ross added 15 points and Patrick Patterson had 14 as the Raptors won for the third time in five games. They spoiled the Toronto debut of 2014 top draft pick Andrew Wiggins, who grew up in the city’s north suburbs.
The Raptors have won seven straight meetings with Minnesota and haven’t lost at home to the Timberwolves since dropping a 108-97 decision on Jan. 21, 2004.
Toronto guard Kyle Lowry left with just under five minutes to go in the third quarter after injuring his back on a hard fall. He did not return.
Kevin Martin led the Timberwolves with 37 points, and Chase Budinger had 19.
Hampered by foul trouble in the first half, Wiggins wasn’t much of a factor in becoming the 15th Canadian player to face the Raptors. He finished with 15 points, six in the fourth quarter.
Ricky Rubio returned to Minnesota’s starting lineup after sitting out the previous two games with a sore right ankle, but the Timberwolves were reduced to eight healthy bodies for the third straight game when center Justin Hamilton was ruled out with an illness.
Budinger’s jump shot cut it to 98-96 with 2:44 left but DeRozan answered with a jumper and Amir Johnson stole the ball from Rubio, then fed Lou Williams for a fast-break layup as Toronto opened a 102-96 edge with 1:27 to go.
Gorgui Dieng responded with a layup, but a 3-pointer by Greivis Vasquez with 55 seconds left ended Minnesota’s comeback hopes.
Wiggins’ Toronto debut drew more than 30 reporters to the morning shootaround, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper attended the game. The country’s top politician was invited into the Raptors’ locker room before the game, where he posed for a photo with Lowry, general manager Masai Ujiri and team president Tim Leiweke.
With coach Flip Saunders away from the team to be with his ailing father in Cleveland, assistant coach Sam Mitchell was in charge of the Timberwolves. Mitchell, Toronto’s head coach from 2004-08, said Saunders is expected back for Thursday’s game at New York.
Timberwolves: F Kevin Garnett (left knee) and C Nikola Pekovic (right ankle) were sidelined for the fourth straight game, while G Gary Neal (right ankle) missed his third straight. Minnesota was also without Canadian Anthony Bennett (right ankle) and long-term absences Robbie Hummel and Shabazz Muhammad.
Raptors: Ross returned to the starting lineup after leaving Monday’s win at Indiana with back spasms. … Martin’s 18 points in the first were the most by a Raptors opponent in any quarter this season. … Valanciunas had a season-high 16 rebounds against San Antonio on Feb. 8. His career high is 21, set last season.
Timberwolves: Visit the New York Knicks on Thursday night.
Raptors: Visit the Chicago Bulls on Friday night.
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