Latest Minnesota sports
DeRozan, Lowry help Raptors beat Timberwolves 124-110
TORONTO (AP) ��� DeMar DeRozan had 27 points, Kyle Lowry added 25 and the Raptors handed the Minnesota Timberwolves their 13th straight loss in Toronto, 124-110 Thursday night.
Lowry was 5 of 7 from 3-point range and had 11 assists, and Jonas Valanciunas had 20 points and 10 rebounds for his team-leading sixth double-double of the season.
Zach Lavine scored 29 points for the Timberwolves, and Toronto-area native Andrew Wiggins had 25. Center Karl-Anthony Towns added 17 points and 11 rebounds, but was unable to halt Minnesota’s Canadian woes. The Timberwolves last won at the Air Canada Centre on January 21st, 2004.
Vikings trying to survive a season full of trials
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) ��� The Minnesota Vikings’ season began with an ambulance rushing to team headquarters to save the leg of their starting quarterback.
A blockbuster trade followed to get another quarterback in town just ahead of the season opener in hopes of keeping a championship window open only to have the offensive line decimated by injuries, their star running back go down with a knee injury and their offensive coordinator to walk away midseason with the offense struggling to get going.
And after all that, their head coach showed up to work this week with an eye patch after needing emergency eye surgery.
Few teams have faced more adversity this season than the Vikings (6-6), and their play on the field has reflected the chaos.
They started the season 5-0 thanks to an elite defense and Sam Bradford’s smooth transition from Philadelphia to Minnesota.
But they have lost six of their past seven games as they prepare to play the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, and have gone from Super Bowl hopefuls to holding on to their playoff lives over the past month.
Vikings’ Rhodes, Jags’ Ramsey among league’s best young CBs
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) ��� Minnesota’s Xavier Rhodes and Jacksonville’s Jalen Ramsey were nearly college teammates at Florida State. They would have made a formidable combination.
Rhodes and Ramsey have since emerged as two of the best young cornerbacks in the NFL, lock-down defenders in a league that puts a premium on slowing down high-powered passing games.
They’ll be on the same field for the first time Sunday when the Jaguars (2-10), who have lost seven in a row, host the Vikings (6-6), who have dropped six of seven following a 5-0 start. Because both offenses have been mostly unwatchable this season, the defenses have been forced to carry the load. Rhodes and Ramsey certainly have done their part.
A fourth-year pro, Rhodes has four interceptions and 11 passes defended this season. He was at his best against Arizona’s Carson Palmer three weeks ago, when he intercepted two passes and returned one 100 yards for a touchdown that turned out to be the difference.
The 6-foot-2 Rhodes surely will be matched against former Pro Bowler Allen Robinson, who is looking to return to form after three consecutive disappointing outings.
The Jaguars can say the same about the 6-foot-2 Ramsey, the fifth overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft. Although Ramsey is still looking for his first pick, he’s made an impact in every game.
FCS playoff matchup gives Bison chance to clear lone blemish
FARGO, N.D. (AP) ��� North Dakota State’s run of five straight Football Championship Subdivision titles has included four playoff victories over teams the Bison played in the regular season. Now the Bison have a chance to go 5-0 in second-chance meetings.
The 11-1 Bison host an FCS quarterfinal game Saturday against 8-3 South Dakota State, the only team to beat North Dakota State this season. The Jackrabbits edged the Bison 19-17 in October on a touchdown pass from Taryn Christion to Jake Weineke on the final play from scrimmage.
The Bison previously won repeat games against South Dakota State in 2012 and 2014 and Montana and Northern Iowa in 2015.