NBA: VanVleet hits 29 in return as Raptors topple Timberwolves

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jan 19 2020 11:52 AM

Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) dribbles the around Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jarrett Culver (23) in the first half at Target Center. Jesse Johnson, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Fred VanVleet scored 29 points in his return from a hamstring injury and Kyle Lowry added 28 points as the visiting Toronto Raptors used a third-quarter charge to earn a 122-112 victory Saturday over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Norman Powell scored 20 points and Pascal Siakam added 14 as the Raptors continued to get their regulars back on the court. Powell and Siakam returned from injury last weekend. Marc Gasol returned Friday. VanVleet was the latest to see the court again after missing the last five games.

Jarrett Culver scored 26 points and Robert Covington added 22 as the Timberwolves lost their fifth consecutive game. Karl-Anthony Towns scored 12 for Minnesota in his second game back from a 15-game absence because of a sore knee.

Andrew Wiggins had a triple-double in the defeat, scoring 18 points with 10 rebounds and 11 assists.

The Wolves led by as many as nine points on multiple occasions in the second half as they appeared to be the team benefiting from the return of key regulars. The Raptors started to rally late in the first half, trailing 62-58 at the break.

The improved play continued into the third quarter as they opened their first double-digit lead of the game at 81-71 with 4:36 remaining in the period. The lead ballooned to 20 points at 110-90 with an 11-0 run.

VanVleet looked as if he never missed a game, shooting 11 of 16 from the field and 7 of 8 from 3-point range. His seven made 3-pointers were a career high. Lowry's production was nearly identical as he went 10 of 17 from the field and 5 of 8 from distance.

Serge Ibaka added 12 points for the Raptors, while Toronto shot 51.6 percent from the field as a team and 37.1 percent from 3-point range.

The Raptors stumbled through a 4-7 stretch that started just before Christmas Day, but have now won three consecutive games for the first time since a five-game winning streak that started in mid-December.

Allen Crabbe, who was acquired by the Wolves from the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday, did not play because of illness.

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