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Timberwolves Head To Toronto To Take On Raptors

(Sports Network) - Two of the NBA's worst teams will meet for the second time in a week on Friday when the Minnesota Timberwolves head north of the border to take on the reeling Toronto Raptors.

The Wolves topped Toronto in Minneapolis last Sunday when Kevin Love collected his 33rd straight double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds as Minnesota ended a 12-game skid against the Raptors with a 103-87 rout.

Most recently, however, the Wolves were back on the wrong side of the ledger Wednesday when Zach Randolph posted 23 points and 13 rebounds as Memphis steamrolled Minnesota, 102-84, at Target Center.

Michael Beasley had 19 points and Love, the NBA's leading rebounder, just managed to collect his 34th straight double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who have dropped seven of their last eight contests overall.

"We were making a lot of bad decisions," said the Wolves' Anthony Tolliver. "They played pretty good defense but we just didn't make the extra pass. We didn't do much tonight and we paid for it."

Love also had a tooth knocked lose after an elbow from Randolph.

The Raptors, meanwhile, have lost 13 straight, the latest of which was a 100-87 setback in Atlanta on Wednesday. Amir Johnson led the team with 20 points and 13 rebounds while DeMar DeRozan added 16 points and Jose Calderon scored 11 and had 10 assists in the loss.

"We just got to keep working," said Toronto head coach Jay Triano. "We need to not hang our heads and keep going...No one is feeling sorry for themselves. We just got to get a win under our belts. As far as effort, guys are working as hard as they can."

The news off the floor for the Raptors was no better as the club announced that talented forward Linas Kleiza underwent arthroscopic surgery on Wednesday to address both a meniscal tear and chondral defect of his right knee, and is expected to miss nine to 12 months of action. Kleiza had appeared in 39 games this season, averaging 11.2 points, 4.5 rebounds.

In other news on the injury front, Toronto guard Jerryd Bayless left the loss in Atlanta with a sprained right knee and is iffy for tonight. Meanwhile, Minnesota's Luke Ridnour, who missed the Wolves' loss to Memphis due to personal reasons, remains doubtful.

Toronto hasn't lost 14 straight contests since a franchise-worst 17-game slide from Nov. 6-Dec. 9, 1997. This might be the team's best chance to stop the bleeding since Minnesota is a dismal 2-22 on the road this season.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.