Minnesota (28-40) at Toronto (25-43)

Cloudy Currently: Toronto, ON
Temp: 59° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Fri Mar 24, 2006
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Toronto Raptors seek their fourth consecutive win over the Minnesota Timberwolves as the teams meet at Air Canada Centre.

Toronto is just 9-11 in the all-time series, but is 7-3 at home, where it has won three of the last four between the teams.

The Raptors are tied with the Orlando Magic for 11th in the Eastern Conference, 7 1/2 games behind the Philadelphia 76ers for the eighth and final playoff spot with 14 games remaining.

The Raptors haven’t made the playoffs since 2001-02, when they lost to the Detroit Pistons in the first round. Since then, they have gone 115-199 and finished no higher than fourth place in the division.

Toronto will play the rest of the season without 37-year-old center Antonio Davis, who was waived Thursday after appearing in just eight games for Toronto since being acquired from New York on Feb. 3.

Davis, a member of the 2001-02 team and the franchise’s all-time leading rebounder, had missed the last 12 games with a back injury. He is in the final year of a contract that pays him nearly $14 million.

In a 110-96 loss to Boston on Wednesday—just the Raptors’ second defeat in six games—Mike James scored 31 points and Chris Bosh added 24, 11 rebounds and eight assists.

Toronto closed within five points at 91-86 midway through the fourth quarter before the Celtics responded with a game-breaking 10-3.

“This is definitely disappointing,” said Raptors swingman Morris Peterson, who went 4-for-17 from the field and had 10 points. “We just can’t seem to get over the mountaintop. When you get outrebounded, they get to the foul line more and shoot better, they deserve to win.”

Bosh, the team’s leading scorer (22.8 points per game) and rebounder (9.3) this season, is averaging 14.2 points and 7.4 boards in five lifetime games against the Timberwolves.

Minnesota was denied a three-game winning streak against playoff-caliber teams, squandering a big lead in Thursday’s 86-82 defeat to the New Jersey Nets. The Timberwolves, who had beaten Sacramento and Miami, led by as many as 16 points in the second quarter, but scored just 32 second-half points in losing their ninth straight road game.

Minnesota is just 8-26 on the road this season, better only than Portland’s 6-30 mark in the Western Conference.

Kevin Garnett had 24 points and 11 rebounds, and Marcus Banks and Mark Blount each added 18 points.

Garnett, who has reached double figures in points in 314 consecutive games since being held to six in a 104-90 win over Denver on April 17, 2002, is averaging 21.0 points and 9.7 rebounds in 20 lifetime games against the Raptors.

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