Raptors Squander Opportunities in Disappointing Loss to Wolves
Pascal Siakam has not been able to figure things out in the clutch.
With the game on the line, Siakam missed a game-tying layup as the Toronto Raptors fell to the Minnesota Timberwolves by a score of 116-112 at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
With the win the Wolves snapped their four-game skid over the Raptors. On Sunday evening, six Minnesota players finished the game in double-digits, including point guard Ricky Rubio who helped spark a game-defining 7-0 run in the fourth quarter which would ultimately sink the Raptors.
“I know my game hasn’t been what I expect and I’m the first one who will be judgmental with that,” Rubio said. “But I know it’s a process, and you’ve got to trust it. It takes time and this group really helped me as well when things weren’t going my way to keep the spirit up. That’s really important.”
Meanwhile, Kyle Lowry led the way for the Raptors with 24 points, while both Norman Powell and Fred VanVleet added 22 points of their own. Siakam, had himself a poor shooting night but still finished with 18 points, eight boards, and six assists on a night where the Raptors once again were without the services of OG Anunoby and second unit spark plug Yuta Watanabe.
“It sucks. Like, really sucks,” said Lowry following the disheartening loss. “We had an opportunity and we had to make a push at the end. We understand that we can’t have those games given away. We’re three games under .500 and we could be six games over .500. It’s that small of a difference.”
As the offence continues to come together, the Raptors will need to find answers on the defensive end of the floor. Granted, without one of the better perimeter defenders in the league it is difficult, but with the 16th ranked defensive rating, the Raptors must find away to weather the storm in Anunoby’s absence and revert back to their signature defensive tenacity.
Things don’t get easier from here as the Raptors will see the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers in four of their next five games.