Kevin Love spent the last few days saying he is the “best four in the game” apparently he forgot to tell Amir Johnson.
Amir gave an inspired defensive performance, bring a physical style that ended Love’s 20 point scoring streak and was an integral factor in the Raptors ending their three game losing streak against a better than advertised Wolves squad. Amir also added 19 points and 11 rebounds and showed that he will rise to the occasion when given a tough assignment.
Love and Minnesota’s other young rising star, Ricky Rubio, both had off shooting nights. Rubio missing seven of his nine shots (despite scoring 10 points in a foul fest) while Love went 3 for 16 and 5 for 10 from the free throw line in one of his worst games in recent memory. Rubio credited the Raptors tough defense for the bad shooting as the Raptors stayed in the paint and forced the Wolves to beat them from outside, which payed off.
Last nights big story was Ricky Rubio and Jose Calderon’s first NBA meeting. Calderon and Rubio finished with rather similar box scores; Calderon had 14 points, six assists and three rebounds in 40 minutes, while Rubio had 10 points, six assists and four rebounds in 29 minutes. After the game Calderon praised Rubio saying “Minnesota has an unbelievable player for the future. He’s going to be even better, this is just the beginning.
Andrea Bargnani had another solid game lifting the Raptors offense with 31 points while adding 9 rebounds in the near double-double effort. Leandro Barbosa also added 13 points off the bench.
The Raptors travel to Washington tonight, check back later for the preview.