MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Doynell Marshall's sharp shooting made the
Toronto Raptors a winner in Minnesota for the first time in
Marshall made six 3-pointers and scored 22 points, leading the
Raptors to a 100-91 victory over the Timberwolves on Monday.
The Raptors beat the Timberwolves for the first time in
Minnesota since entering the NBA in the 1995-96 season. They were
0-8 before Marshall, the Timberwolves' first-round draft choice in
1994, shot 6-of-8 from 3-point range and scored 11 points in the
fourth quarter to hold off a late rally by the Wolves. Toronto
snapped an 11-game road losing streak overall, one shy of the club
"I just fell into a groove early, and even when I missed, I
still felt good -- I didn't miss by much," Marshall said.
Rafer Alston and Chris Bosh worked the pick-and-roll to near
perfection as the Raptors raced out to an 18-point first-half lead.
Alston scored 18 points and had 15 assists, while Bosh posted 19
points and 11 rebounds for Toronto, which has won four of five.
"I want Rafer to frame that stat sheet," Raptors coach Sam
Mitchell said. "Fifteen assists, two turnovers, but only three
3-point attempts. That's the thing we're trying to get him to
understand. He's getting better at it. He's listening. As quick as
he is, he has to keep pressure on the defense by turning that
corner. When he turns that corner, most of the time good things
Wally Szczerbiak led the Timberwolves with 25 points, and Kevin
Garnett added 20 points and 14 boards for Minnesota, which fell to
3-7 in January.
"When you're going through difficult times, you have to always
keep in mind that things could be a lot worse," Garnett said. "At
this point, patience is the only thing we have to grasp. We've just
got to continue to work hard."
Minnesota jumped out to a 13-6 lead, but the Raptors surged
ahead with a 24-7 run. Bosh and Alston combined to shoot 9-for-10
in the first quarter as Minnesota struggled to shut down Toronto's
Toronto built its lead to as much as 18 in the second quarter
thanks to a major disparity in 3-point shooting. The Timberwolves
missed their first 12 3-pointers and were 0-for-7 from behind the
arc in the first half, while the Raptors hit 6-of-8 3s in the first
"That was the difference in the game," Szczerbiak said. "We
were 1-for-16 on our 3s and they were 10-for-20. That's a tough
discrepancy to overcome."
Minnesota rallied in the third, getting within a basket twice,
with the help of consecutive goaltending calls on the Raptors
during an 8-0 run. Szczerbiak scored on three straight possessions
late in the quarter to make it 70-68, but Bosh slammed home an
offensive rebound and hit two free throws as Toronto extended its
lead back to six after the third.
Minnesota finally connected on a 3-pointer with 6:09 left in the
game. Eddie Griffin's shot rattled around the rim and fell, cutting
Toronto's lead to 81-80. But Jalen Rose scored on consecutive
possessions and Marshall later hit 3-pointers on back-to-back
possessions to seal the victory for the Raptors.
"You just can't dig a hole like that. You can't give up 58
points in the first half because you have to exert so much energy
to try to make it a game again," Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders
said. "(Marshall) made seven shots, and six of them were 3s. If he
misses those, it might be a different game. But he made big
Minnesota played without point guard Sam Cassell, who
missed his sixth straight game with a strained hamstring, and
center Michael Olowokandi, who sat out the second game of his
four-game suspension after a Jan. 14 fight in Denver. ... Mitchell
played 10 seasons for the Timberwolves and is the franchise leader
in games played with 757. ... Bosh posted his eighth straight
double-double, tying a team record last set by Marshall last
February. Meanwhile, Garnett posted his 35th double-double in 37
games this season.