Toronto Raptors forwards Landry Fields, right, and Jonas Valanciunas, center, battled for the ball against Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic during first-half action in Toronto on Sunday.
Nathan Denette, Associated Press
TORONTO 105, WOLVES 86 Up next: 6:30 p.m. today at Brooklyn TV: FSN (830-AM)
Raptors put a serious beating on Barea, Wolves
- Article by: JERRY ZGODA
- Star Tribune
- November 5, 2012 - 9:10 AM
TORONTO - Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman doesn't much look like a guy given to crystal-ball gazing or numerology readings, but that doesn't mean he can't be clairvoyant.
Somebody asked him before Sunday's 105-86 loss at Toronto about what it was like to coach new Raptors guard Kyle Lowry when both worked in Houston.
"He's a pain," Adelman deadpanned after a dramatic pause just for effect, "and I'm afraid he's going to be a pain tonight, too."
Pain was the prescient prognostication Sunday night.
Backup Wolves guard J.J. Barea felt it from the bruise on his face and the cuts in his mouth after a whack in the head knocked him out of the game after less than eight minutes because he experienced "concussion-like symptoms."
His Wolves felt it all night in a different way, from the disappointment of a 24-turnover game -- 16 in the first half alone -- in which Lowry headlined a bigger, faster, more physical Raptors backcourt that seemingly both scored the ball and stole the ball at will.
Lowry, whom Adelman coached for two-plus seasons in Houston, scored 22 points, barely missed a shot (8-for-10) and had three steals. Starting backcourt mate DeMar DeRozan likewise scored 22 and had three steals for a Raptors team that won its first game after starting the season with losses to Indiana and Brooklyn.
"He's a very good player," Adelman said of Lowry, whom he watched blossom into an NBA starter with the Rockets. "He really gets them going."
Even Minneapolis' own Alan Anderson -- the former DeLaSalle star back in the NBA to start a season at age 30 after four seasons overseas -- provided an 18-point performance off the bench, causing Toronto coach Dwane Casey to note, "He is the man, he played like a man."
The Wolves played like a team missing three important parts of its offense.
"The first half was when we got killed," Adelman said. "You can't do that on the road and expect to succeed."
The Wolves lost Barea early in the second quarter and played starting shooting guard Brandon Roy less than 22 minutes on a night when he again struggled to keep up with an NBA regular-season game pace.
He had five of the Wolves' 24 turnovers, all in a first half when he also didn't attempt a shot. He finished 0-for-3 and scored four points.
"I think I'm being a little too unselfish, and I'm looking to make too many plays," Roy said."I need to help this team by trying to be aggressive and scoring the basketball. Now with J.J. out, I have to score the ball to help us out."
The Raptors used a 12-2 run late in the first half to build an 11-point lead. When the Wolves got within a basket late in the third quarter, Toronto used a 13-3 burst that ended the third and started the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.
Wolves starter Andrei Kirilenko played just a minute in that fourth quarter and Roy not at all. Adelman emptied his bench in the final four minutes with his team trailing by 13 when he went with a small lineup that included Will Conroy and Malcolm Lee in the backcourt and rookie Alexey Shved as the presumptive small forward.
"I think we kind of lost our composure, too much turnovers," Kirilenko said. "You can't win the game when every guy loses three, four balls. We have to work on this a little bit. In the second half, they over-hustled us, all the loose balls they got. We lost J.J., we can't control that.
"Obviously, it is affecting the team. But it's part of the job. We didn't respond well. We have to be more together and keep playing."
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