Raptors' Rapid Recap - Toronto Raptors 111 - Minnesota Timberwolves 100

-That sound you just heard was that of the monkey exiting the building.  Yes, the Toronto Raptors got a win at last, a 111 to 100 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.  Yes, it was the hapless T-Wolves that they beat, but hey, a win is a win and there was lots to be happy about in this one.

-Let's start with Jose Calderon.  While he only had six points, he dished out a career-tying 19 assists and was absolutely instrumental in getting this win.  He played the part of the maestro in the orchestra, seamlessly weaving passes in and out of the Minny defenders (term used loosely), finding cutting teammates time and time again.  As a result, the Raps shot 55% and had 35 assists on 46 field goals.

-But the excellence extended beyond Jose as Amir Johnson, Sonny Weems and DeMar DeRozan all turned in great performances.  Amir in particular stood out, offering up 19 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks on the night.  He also was a perfect 3 of 3 from the free-throw line and 8 of 10 from the field.  Without him, a good chunk of Jose's effort would certainly have gone to waste.  And as mentioned, Sonny and DeMar looked like their old "dynamic duo" for the first time in ages.  Both played very complete games and finished with 36 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists between them on some very solid shooting from the field.  DeMar in particular stood out as he didn't get to the free-throw line once on the night, but was a very efficient 10 of 13 shot-wise.

-For Minny, once Michael Beasley went down with an ankle issue, there just wasn't enough scoring to keep up with the Raps.  They held their own in most other categories, and 12 of 30 shooting from long-range kept them within striking distance until very late, but 41% shooting wasn't enough to send TO to their 14th straight loss.

-With their 14th win, Toronto's schedule toughens up again unfortunately so there isn't much time to celebrate.  The encouraging thing though was Jay Triano's tight, mostly 8-man rotation did a great job tonight collectively, something that hadn't been the case during the recent losing streak.  And even though Andrea Bargnani's 30 points came off of a rather inefficient 26 shots, it was still important for him to find his shooting stroke to a certain extent once more.  With games against clubs like the Clippers, Heat, Spurs and Blazers on deck in the next couple weeks, this club will need a lot more performances like tonight's.

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