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Timberwolves-Raptors Preview

AP - Sports

The Toronto Raptors will try to atone for a subpar performance when they return home from a brief trip. A matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves might help.

The Raptors will attempt to add to their dominance over the Timberwolves with another high-scoring performance at Air Canada Centre as they seek a sixth consecutive home win Friday night.

Toronto (19-18) averaged 108.0 points and made 43.0 percent of its 3-pointers while sweeping a three-game homestand, but couldn't carry its high-scoring ways to Boston on Wednesday.

The Raptors shot 38.5 percent and their rally from a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter fell short in an 88-83 loss. They were outrebounded 58-44 and allowed the Celtics to pull down 19 offensive boards, the most by an opponent this season.

"I think we're still sitting where we want to be. I don't think there's a team in the NBA that won't have a stinker or a bad loss," forward Steve Novak said. "It doesn't excuse the lack of energy we had coming out today, but there are games that are going to happen like this in an 82-game season.

"You've got to brush it off because we have another game Friday."

Toronto is seeking its first six-game home win streak since an eight-game run Jan. 17-Feb. 10, 2010. The Raptors will also try for their 10th consecutive home victory over Minnesota (18-20) and 17th in the last 18 overall matchups.

The Timberwolves are among the highest-scoring teams in the league at 107.1 points per game, but they've had trouble slowing down opponents. They're giving up 102.7 on the season and have allowed 104.3 over the past 14 games.

They've also given up 105.1 points per game in their last 16 road contests, though they had earned back-to-back wins away from home before a 104-86 defeat at San Antonio on Sunday.

Minnesota fell 111-108 to Sacramento at home Wednesday.

"We're so hands-off defensively," coach Rick Adelman said. "It almost takes an act of Congress to foul somebody. You have to get after people in this league."

The Timberwolves nearly rallied from a nine-point deficit in the final 1:45 but the Kings' Rudy Gay hit a key 3-pointer with 20 seconds to go. Minnesota is 0-11 in games decided by four or fewer points.

"I keep saying we're better than our record indicates but until we go out there and win games in a row and beat teams that we feel we're supposed to beat, we won't go anywhere," said forward Kevin Love, who had a team-best 27 points to top the 20 mark for the first time in four games. "We definitely need to start winning."

Love missed the two matchups with the Raptors last season due to injury, with Minnesota losing both.

Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan averaged 23.5 points in those games while shooting 54.1 percent.

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