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DeRozan scores 21, Valanciunas has 15 and 15 as Raptors hold off Timberwolves 105-100

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TORONTO — Early in his career, missing 10 of 14 shots would have been too much for DeMar DeRozan to take.

Now he's found a better outlet for his frustration: contribute any way you can.

Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 15 rebounds, DeRozan scored 21 and the Toronto Raptors won their 11th straight home game over Minnesota, beating the short-handed Timberwolves 105-100 on Wednesday night.

DeRozan went 12 for 12 from the free throw line and added seven rebounds, four assists and two steals as the Raptors won for the third time in five games after losing nine of 10.

"It really doesn't bother me now like it used to when I missed shots," DeRozan said. "I used to get frustrated. Now I know I can do other things, trying to get steals, getting rebounds, moving the ball. That helps a lot."

Terrence Ross added 15 points and Patrick Patterson had 14 as the Raptors spoiled the Toronto debut of 2014 top draft pick Andrew Wiggins, who grew up in the city's north suburbs.

Hampered by foul trouble in the first half, Wiggins wasn't much of a factor in becoming the 15th Canadian player to face the Raptors. He finished with 15 points, six in the fourth quarter.

"It felt welcoming," said Wiggins, who got a loud cheer during pregame introductions. "I already love playing in Toronto, I already loving playing where I'm from. Even though we didn't win the game, I still feel appreciated, and had fun."

Wiggins picked up two fouls in the first quarter, then was called for a charge 20 seconds after returning in the second, and headed back to the bench.

"He's got to learn how to play in foul trouble and he was guarding a great player in DeMar," Minnesota assistant coach Sam Mitchell said. "I thought in the second half he did a much better job of keeping himself in the game and still playing good defense."

The Raptors have won seven straight meetings with Minnesota and haven't lost at home to the Timberwolves since dropping a 108-97 decision on Jan. 21, 2004.

Toronto guard Kyle Lowry left with just under five minutes to go in the third quarter after injuring his back on a hard fall. Lowry was moving gingerly as he left the locker room, and asked a team staffer to pick up his bag and shoes from the floor.

"One of those things where he hit the floor and tweaked his back," coach Dwane Casey said. "We have to see where he is tomorrow."

Kevin Martin led the Timberwolves with 37 points, and Chase Budinger had 19.

Ricky Rubio returned to Minnesota's starting lineup after sitting out the previous two games with a sore right ankle, but the Timberwolves were reduced to eight healthy bodies for the third straight game when center Justin Hamilton was ruled out with an illness.

PHOTO: Minnesota Timberwolves Andrew Wiggins' mother Marita Payne-Wiggins, left, and father Michael Wiggins, right, gesture towards the bench to their son while playing against the Toronto Raptors during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, March 18, 2015 in Toronto. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)
Minnesota Timberwolves Andrew Wiggins' mother Marita Payne-Wiggins, left, and father Michael Wiggins, right, gesture towards the bench to their son while playing against the Toronto Raptors during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, March 18, 2015 in Toronto. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

Budinger's jump shot cut it to 98-96 with 2:44 left but DeRozan answered with a jumper and Amir Johnson stole the ball from Rubio, then fed Lou Williams for a fast-break layup as Toronto opened a 102-96 edge with 1:27 to go.

Gorgui Dieng responded with a layup, but a 3-pointer by Greivis Vasquez with 55 seconds left ended Minnesota's comeback hopes.

"They made some tough 3s, some timely 3s, and just broke our back," Mitchell said.

With coach Flip Saunders away from the team to be with his ailing father in Cleveland, Mitchell took charge of the Timberwolves. Mitchell, Toronto's head coach from 2004-08, said Saunders is expected back for Thursday's game at New York.

Wiggins' Toronto debut drew more than 30 reporters to the morning shootaround, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper attended the game. The country's top politician was invited into the Raptors' locker room before the game, where he posed for a photo with Lowry, general manager Masai Ujiri and team president Tim Leiweke.


DOUBLE-FIGURE DEBUT

The only other Canadian player to score 10 or more points in his Toronto debut was Jamaal Magloire, who had 16 for the Charlotte Hornets in a victory on Nov. 20, 2000. Magloire now works as a player development consultant for the Raptors.

TIP-INS

Timberwolves: F Kevin Garnett (left knee) and C Nikola Pekovic (right ankle) were sidelined for the fourth straight game, while G Gary Neal (right ankle) missed his third straight. Minnesota was also without Canadian Anthony Bennett (right ankle) and long-term absences Robbie Hummel and Shabazz Muhammad.

Raptors: Ross returned to the starting lineup after leaving Monday's win at Indiana with back spasms. ... Martin's 18 points in the first were the most by a Raptors opponent in any quarter this season. ... Valanciunas had a season-high 16 rebounds against San Antonio on Feb. 8. His career high is 21, set last season.

MISTAKEN IDENTITY

Harper's official Twitter account posted a photo of the Prime Minister posing with Canadian stars Wiggins and Bennett, but it incorrectly identified Bennett as Lowry. The message was corrected and reposted before tip-off.

UP NEXT

Timberwolves: Visit the New York Knicks on Thursday night.

Raptors: Visit the Chicago Bulls on Friday night.

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Photo Gallery:
PHOTO: Minnesota Timberwolves' Andrew Wiggins (22) drives past Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan (10) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, March 18, 2015 in Toronto. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)
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