Healthy at last, Raptors flash their full potential against Timberwolves

MINNEAPOLIS — So that’s what the real Toronto Raptors look like.

They didn’t have a ceremony when Fred VanVleet strolled out to centre court at the Target Center as part of the starting lineup, but they could have.

For the first time this season, the Raptors didn’t have single player injured. In what has been a season-long game of whack-a-mole, where one player’s return to health would seem to trigger another going down, VanVleet was able to take the floor after missing five games with a pulled hamstring and not have his presence mean the Raptors owed the universe a groin pull, or a fractured finger tip.

Moreover VanVleet was able to do it in style as he scored a game-high 29 points on 11-of-16 shooting in his 29 minutes of court time as Toronto cruised to a 122-112 win against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

His return seemed to spark Kyle Lowry as well, as the Raptors engine added 28 points. Combined Lowry and VanVleet were 12-of-16 from three. And all of that came without cutting into Norman Powell’s hot streak as he scored 20 points in 25 minutes off the bench.

The Raptors third-straight win improved their record 28-14 with their next game coming Monday afternoon against …read more



Jordan Poole’s career night lifts Warriors over Magic, snaps losing streak

SAN FRANCISCO — Hands raised in the air, Warriors guard Jordan Poole turned with a grin to celebrate a buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Tonight, he had several reasons to smile.

Poole’s career night helped lift the Warriors to a 109-95 win over the Magic at Chase Center Saturday evening and snap a 10-game losing streak. After stepping back into the 3-pointer, he gave the Warriors an 11-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.

However, the Warriors (10-34) almost celebrated too early. One game after relinquishing a 19-point lead in Thursday’s loss to the Nuggets, Golden State gave up a 13-point, third quarter lead after the Magic (20-23) opened the final period with a 20-8 run capped off by center Nikola Vucevic’s dunk to take a one-point lead with 4:43 to go.

The Warriors ended the game with a 19-4 run by playing stout defense, moving the ball and getting to the rim. Orlando scored only two points in the final 4:07.

For the Warriors, the win snaps the team’s worst losing streak since the 2001-02 season and provided an encouraging sign of progress.

Following Thursday night’s collapse, the Warriors remained poised and executed late in a game they were missing stable contributors in forwards Draymond Green (left index finger sprain) and Glenn Robinson III (ankle).

After starting the game in a 13-0 hole, the Warriors didn’t make their first shot until Poole made a 3-pointer with 7:10 left in the first quarter to spur a 21-4 run to take the lead. Poole, the No. 28 pick in June’s draft who spent the first half of the season as the league’s worst rotation shooter, is in the midst of the best stretch of his career.

With 21 points on 8-for-19 shooting (4-for-10 from 3-point range), three rebounds and two assists in 28 minutes, Poole has scored in double-digits …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


Maple Leafs loan Timothy Liljegren, Adam Brooks to Marlies

The Toronto Maple Leafs have loaned defenceman Timothy Liljegren and forward Adam Brooks to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies.

The @MapleLeafs have loaned forward Adam Brooks and defenceman Timothy Liljegren to the @TorontoMarlies (AHL). #LeafsForever

— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) January 19, 2020

The move comes following the Leafs’ 6-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in their final game before the all-star break.

Liljegren made his NHL debut Saturday, playing 10:40 and registering a shot on goal. The 20-year-old was called up from Marlies on Jan. 14 after putting up 24 points in 33 AHL games this season.

In six games with the Leafs, Brooks registered three assists while averaging 7:51 of ice time. The 23-year-old also has 16 points in 20 games with the Marlies this season.

…read more



VanVleet scores 29 in return as Raptors beat Timberwolves

MINNEAPOLIS — Fred VanVleet from a hamstring injury to score 29 points and the Toronto Raptors beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 122-112 on Saturday night.

Kyle Lowry added 28 points and seven assists while Norman Powell scored 20 points off the bench for the Raptors, who have now won three straight games.

Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins recorded his first career triple-double. He had 18 points, a career-high 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Rookie Jarrett Culver had 26 points for the Timberwolves, who have lost five straight.

VanVleet’s injury sidelined him for five games before Saturday. He was 11 of 16 from the field and 7 of 8 from 3-point range in 28 minutes.

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Toronto took a five-point lead into the fourth quarter thanks in large part to Lowry’s efforts in the third. Lowry scored 17 points in the quarter to erase a four-point halftime deficit.

The Raptors pushed the lead to as many as 22 in the fourth. Serge Ibaka and Norman Powell each had six points off the bench during a 21-6 stretch to open the period.

Saturday was the second night of back-to-back games for both teams. Toronto beat Washington 140-111 on Friday, while Minnesota lost 116-114 at Indiana.

Minnesota got big first quarters from Wiggins and Culver. Wiggins had 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting and added five assists in the quarter. Culver led Minnesota with …read more



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