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Timberwolves rally in fourth to down Toronto

The Wolves trailed by 14 points midway through the fourth quarter before D’Angelo Russell brought the team all the way back.

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kyle Anderson (5) celebrates his shot with forward Jaden McDaniels (3) on Jan. 19, 2023, at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kyle Anderson (5) celebrates his shot with forward Jaden McDaniels (3) on Jan. 19, 2023, at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Matt Krohn / USA Today Sports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Timberwolves had a lot working against them Thursday at Target Center.

Thursday’s tip against Toronto was Minnesota’s second in 22 hours — with the first coming at altitude in Denver, where Minnesota lost to the Nuggets in a game that went down to the wire. Wolves players didn’t get back to their Twin Cities homes until the wee hours of the morning Thursday.

Minnesota also was again severely short-handed against the Raptors, with Karl-Anthony Towns, Jordan McLaughlin, Rudy Gobert and Austin Rivers sidelined with injuries.

It was a tough set of circumstances under which to compete. But that can be life in the NBA amid a grueling 82-game regular season.

And sometimes, amid difficult stretches, those are the games you just have to find a way to win. Minnesota found a wild way to do just that.

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The Timberwolves trailed by 14 points midway through the fourth quarter before a flame-throwing session from D’Angelo Russell brought the Wolves all the way back, and Minnesota closed the deal late for a 128-126 victory. Russell scored 16 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter.

Russell hit three straight 3-pointers in the middle of the frame to resuscitate Minnesota’s chances. Then Anthony Edwards buried a three-ball to complete the comeback and knot the game with four minutes to play.

Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam drives to the basket while Minnesota Timberwolves guard D'Angelo Russell (right) defends on Jan. 19, 2023 at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam drives to the basket while Minnesota Timberwolves guard D'Angelo Russell (right) defends on Jan. 19, 2023 at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Matt Krohn / USA Today Sports

With the game tied and 10 seconds to play, Russell drew a foul on Fred VanVleet with his patented rip-through move to get to the free-throw line. He buried both attempts to put Minnesota in front. Russell scored 16 points in the quarter.

On the ensuing possession, Toronto generated an open look for O.G. Anunoby, who clanked the potential game-winning 3-point attempt. It was one final stop for the Wolves in a frame in which they delivered a lot of them.

Minnesota stoned Toronto’s isolation-heavy late-game offense, forcing a number of difficult shots. Toronto scored just seven points over the game’s final 9 minutes, 45 seconds.

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“We just all were on a chord, I think everybody was talking, one through five,” Russell said in an on-court interview. “That’s what it’s got to look like for our group to be successful.”

Edwards had 23 points and Kyle Anderson added 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for Minnesota, which snapped a two-game losing skid. Jaden McDaniels scored 18 points and Jaylen Nowell had 13.

Scottie Barnes led Toronto with a season-high 29 points.

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Field Level Media contributed to this report.

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