Garnett also had five blocked shots as he came within two assists of his fourth triple-double of the season.
“That’s KG,” said Toronto forward Jerome Williams, who had 12 points and 13 rebounds. “Five blocks, 19 points, 15 boards and $120 million later … He did a good job for them tonight.”
Garnett’s performance helped coach Flip Saunders notch his 300th career win in seven-plus seasons, all with Minnesota.
“I think the 300 wins is a good accomplishment,” Saunders said. “To be able to still be a playoff contender after all these years, despite the player loss, that’s not bad. But we have to keep winning.”
Garnett shot 8-of-19 from the field to lead four Minnesota scorers in double figures. Center Rasho Nesterovic joined Garnett in registering a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Minnesota avenged an embarrassing 105-91 loss at Toronto eight days ago and improved to 7-1 all-time on Martin Luther King Day. The Raptors have lost four in a row and 22 of 26.
Garnett scored five points during a 21-2 run bridging the third and fourth quarters, turning a 57-56 deficit into a 77-59 lead with 8:17 to go.
“We hit a cold stretch when our play went real flat,” Toronto coach Lenny Wilkens said. “We were right in the game and then we missed some shots.”
Minnesota expanded its lead to 21 points before Toronto used a 18-2 spurt to close to 86-81 in the final minute.
Raptors guard Voshon Lenard returned from a sprained left ankle to lead the Raptors with 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting in a reserve role.
“Voshon was big for us,” said Raptors guard Morris Peterson, who scored 13 points on 3-of-5 3-point shooting. “He knocked down some shots, big shots, and really kind of took some pressure off of us.”
Toronto, which has been besieged by injuries, had 11 players in uniform for the first time since January 3. Forward Damone Brown was the only active Raptor who did not play.