The Raptors were lagging behind with a 16-point gap at the break and was fated to suffer yet another bad day at the Air Canada Centre, then in came DeMar Derozan and Kyle Lowry to ward all of that off.
They started well, leading with 5 points during the first quarter only to equal their worst opening 24 minutes of the season, trailing at the break at 58-42.
Coach Dwayne Casey said that he felt like he has been screaming at his team over the last few weeks, and today was no different.
“Our guys know they didn’t play well the first half,” Casey said. “It shouldn’t take me going in at halftime jumping up and down and challenging them, ‘Who do you want to be?’
The message was received loud and clear. The Raptors rallied, and lit up the scoreboard with four 3-pointers and a 24-2 run for a 12-point lead. Spectators roared as Bismack Biyombo stole the ball off Brook Lopez and set up Cory Joseph for a dunk and a 14-point lead.
DeRozan scored 25 points while Lowry added 23 and nine assists to keep the team trenched and shake a loss to the Rockets on Sunday and improve to 42-20.
The Spurs are back on track after a rare loss to the Pacers, with LaMarcus Aldridge taking 29 points off the Timberwolves in their 116-91 win.
He even showed Wolves hot-shot rookie Karl-Anthony Towns that he’s not immune to getting dunked on, smashing in a one-handed dunk early in the game as the young man tried to block him at the rim.
The Wolves went into the game injury plagued, losing Kevin Garnett (leg), Nikola Pekovic (foot) and Nemanja Bjelica (foot), and were looking tired in their fourth game in five nights.
Andrew Wiggins had 23 points and eight rebounds for the Timberwolves. Karl-Anthony Towns had 19 points and nine boards, and Zach LaVine scored 15 points.
“They need to remember these losses though,” Wolves’ interim coach Sam Mitchell said. “If you’re ever going to get better, if you’re ever going to win, you have to remember the times where you got your butt kicked.”