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Raptors Hilights From Win In Minnesota

Tyler Hansbrough 2Raptors Head Coach Dwane Casey took advantage of the lack of TV coverage in Minnesota on Saturday to use 16 different players against the Timberwolves and under the circumstances, pull out an unexpected 104-97 victory.

The referees handed out 60 personal fouls in this game, 35 to the Raptors and sent Minnesota to the free throw line 50 times. Toronto added to their own woes by touching the ball after scoring a basket 4 times resulting in 3 technical foul shots as this is a point of emphasis during preseason. Toronto also turned the ball over 26 times making the eventually victory even more improbable.

However, the Raptors defense held the Timberwolves to just 36.4 percent while hitting on 50 percent of their own attempts. D.J. Augustin, who had only hit 1 shot before the game in Minnesota, was 3-6 for 8 points and the struggling Landry Fields hit 3-4 shots for 9 points. Austin Daye almost doubled his minutes played to-date in the preseason and hit on 2-3 three-point attempts to lead the Raptors in scoring with 12 points in 16 minutes.

The Raptors starters all played 20 minutes or less to give everyone else a chance. Only Steve Novak didn’t play and Casey mentioned Novak had a sore hand after practice back in Toronto.

For those on the Tyler Hansbrough watch, the Raptors rough and ready defensive power forward continued to show his offensive prowess with 11 point in 14 minutes on 5-7 from the field.

Quincy Acy got to play 16 minutes in Minnesota after impressing everyone at the end of the game against New York and the high energy combo-forward was a game high +13 as he continue to take full advantage of whatever opportunities he receives. Even Afrobasket MVP Carlos Morais finally got a chance, playing 12 minutes and hitting on 1-2 three-point attempts.

Casey has indicated he will not be cutting back his preseason rotation until the last couple of games. This will give the Raptors organization two more chances to evaluate the players fighting to get noticed.

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.