They put up a fight in this one, trimming a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to 93-91 with five minutes to play. But Lowry drilled a 3-pointer, the Raptors locked down with the kind of defense that has gotten them this far and DeRozan finished the Wolves off with a 3-pointer from the left wing to improve Toronto to 26-2 when leading after three quarters.
"Twenty games left, anything can happen," Love said. "We obviously have to go on some sort of a run. But if those other teams keep winning and pulling games out of their you-know-what, we're in trouble."
When Love sat down for a rest in the second quarter, the Raptors blasted Minnesota with a 15-0 run to take a 46-33 lead.
Love ended the run with a jumper, fed Pekovic three straight times with pinpoint entry passes and also drew a charge during a 17-2 run that gave Minnesota a 50-48 lead.
DeRozan and Ross both went to the bench early in the third quarter when they each picked up their fourth fouls and that's when Lowry took over. He was tenacious in his attack, hitting two jumpers and feeding Vasquez for a 3 to put Toronto up 75-68. He also played a big role in getting Wolves point guards Ricky Rubio and J.J. Barea in foul trouble with his aggressive penetration.
"We needed all of his assists. He did a good job getting in there, penetrating, finding people," Casey said. We needed all his rebounds, especially with the way they crash the boards. He just had an all-around game."
NOTES: Love made four 3-pointers, including one in the third quarter that broke Rashad McCants' franchise record for 3s in a season. McCants made 142 3-pointers in 2007-08 to set the previous franchise record. ... The Raptors' reserves outscored Minnesota's 32-16 for the game. ... Barea had another tough night, going 2 for 8 for five points. ... The Raptors recalled Dwight Buycks from the NBDL's Bakersfield Jam on Sunday.