Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Blazers have just enough 3s, and at the end


MINNEAPOLIS — The Trail Blazers took advantage of Kevin Love's absence, outscored Minnesota 48-15 points on 3-point shots and held off the Timberwolves 102-97 Saturday night.

Portland finished its five-day trip with a 3-1 record.

The Blazers, who improved to 18-15, will be in the Rose Garden at 7 p.m. Monday to face Orlando.

Wesley Matthews (26 points), Nicolas Batum (26, all but two points in the first three quarters), and Damian Lillard (20) led the Blazers, who had too much punch and range for the Love-less Timberwolves (15-15).

Minnesota got bad news before the game when it was learned that star forward Love, from Lake Oswego, will be out indefinitely with a broken right hand. Love was hurt Thursday at Denver. He broke the third metacarpal. In mid-October, he broke the third and fourth metacarpals, forcing him to miss the first nine games of the regular season. Love will see a specialist this week to see how long he might be out.

The T-Wolves also were without starting point guard Ricky Rubio (back spasms).

Portland built a lead of 22 points in the third quarter, but Minnesota made a big run in the fourth period.

The Timberwolves pulled to within 91-87 with 5:15 remaining. Both teams then missed an array of shots before LaMarcus Aldridge banked in a 12-footer with 3:00 left and Matthews just beat the shot clock and drilled a 3 off the dribble with 1:57 remaining to boost the Blazer lead to 96-87.

Andrei Kirilenko answered with a 3 for the Wolves, and then Luke Ridnour sank two free throws at the 1:33 mark to cut the lead to 96-92.

Portland threw a full-court inbound pass to J.J. Hickson, but he missed a dunk, and Derrick Williams dunked for Minnesota at the other end.

Lillard missed a runner with one minute to go, but Minnesota point guard J.J. Barea threw the ball away on a kick-out pass after penetrating near the basket.

Aldridge got a turnaround basket with 37.1 seconds to go, giving Portland a 98-94 edge.

Williams drove for a basket that was waved off by a traveling call.

The Timberwolves fouled Matthews with 22.1 seconds left, and he made both free throws. After a missed 3 by Barea, Batum added two free throws.

Williams nailed a 3 for Minnesota just before the final buzzer.

Matthews said the Blazers got a little complacent down the end, "but it's tough to win on the road."

As for the trip, "Hey, we wanted all four. We've got a swagger about us."

But, he added, "We'll take three out of four."

Center Nikola Pekovic led Minnesota with 21 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Five other T-Wolves scored in double figures — Williams scored 18 points, Ridnour and Kirilenko each had 15, Barea had 14 and former Blazer Dante Cunningham had 10 points with 12 rebounds.

Portland made 16 of 24 3-point attempts, while Minnesota was 5 of 16. Batum was 5 of 6 from long range, Matthews 5 of 7 and Lillard 3 of 5. Luke Babbitt, Portland's leading bench scorer with six points, was 2 of 3 from beyond the arc.

Lillard and Aldridge each had six assists for the Blazers, and Hickson was the team's top rebounder with 11 to go with his two points. Aldridge had 14 points and 11 rebounds.