Towns gets Ricky's Wolves to raise their heads

The pivot scores 7 of his 20 points in a fourth quarter in which the Raptors almost came back. The Wolves snap a four-game losing streak. Good Ricky.

Towns-gets-Ricky's-Wolves-to-raise-their-heads

The Minnesota Timberwolves are back on the winning track and that's news this season. This time they did it after four consecutive defeats and in an outing that historically they are especially bad. The Toronto Raptors had 16 straight wins against the Wolves, the longest streak against any rival. Although, technically, the curse of Toronto has not ended for Minnesotans, since the triumph came in Tampa, the city where the Canadians are playing their home games this season. The Wolves flag has not been flown in Canada since January 21, 2004.

We suppose that today little will matter to a team for which any victory is cause for celebration. This also came against a team that was clearly ascending, after a six-game road trip away from home with a positive balance (4-2). But the Raptors, this time, once again remembered those from the beginning of the year, those who little resembled the great team of recent years. Kyle Lowry was the only one who took pride in putting back a game that had been dead since the third quarter when a 2-17 run put the visitors 79-91 up. The point guard scored 12 of his 24 points in a final quarter, which he tried everything. "He went to the personnel line 12 times, so you can imagine how hard he tried to get us there," said his coach, Nick Nurse.

The Raptors, who tied the contest relatively early in the fourth quarter, found themselves at a disadvantage again after a fresh away rush. But the truth is that they reached the end of the match with options to win. However, in his last possession Paskal Siakam was going to miss a shot (answered by Jaden McDaniels) and the rebound was going to be taken by Jordan McLaughlin, who would make two free throws to seal the victory. Before all that, Karl-Anthony Towns was going to be essential. The pivot was not going to sign a monstrous statistical line (20 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks), but he was going to be right when it was most needed. 7 of his 20 points were to come in the final 12 minutes. As a very curious fact, even for those who regularly follow the Wolves, Towns was going to finish the game with 2 triples for a total of 522 in his entire career, which makes him the player with the most triples scored in the history of his franchise, above Andrew Wiggins.

Apart from Towns, the key for the Wolves was that this time they did have company on offense. The third worst team in percentage in shooting from the field (43.9%) went tonight to 52%, with Malik Beasley as the prop, something that is no longer news. The guard averages 24.6 points in the seven games he has played in February. "He's opening up the court for me. I haven't played with a shooter like him in a long time," Towns explained after the match. He was referring to the 6 triples scored by his partner, who had just scored another 7 in the previous match. Ricky Rubio, who started again in the absence of D'Angelo Russell due to injury, played a good game (16 points and 5 assists), with a great success from the triple (50%). With his 5 basket passes, the Spaniard is already the 83rd maximum assistant in NBA history.



Photos from as.com
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