Blazers hang on for win in Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS The Trail Blazers found a way to hang on for a win Monday night.
Portland led by as many as 19 points but had to withstand two potential tying shots by Minnesota in the closing seconds of a 100-98 victory.
The triumph got the Blazers to 1-0 on a six-game trip that continues with a 5 p.m. PT Wednesday game at Dallas.
LaMarcus Aldridge (25 points), Wesley Matthews (22) and Damian Lillard (21) combined for 68 points on 28-for-45 field-goal shooting as Portland improved to 25-23, a half-game behind the No. 8 team in the NBA Western Conference, Houston. Aldridge added 13 rebounds, a game high.
Minnesota fell to 18-27, despite a team-high 23 points in 29 bench minutes including 17 fourth-quarter points by former Blazers forward Dante Cunningham.
Portland won in spite of 28 turnovers, an NBA season high.
Aldridge hit a key late jumper and then blocked Rubio's close-range jumper on Minnesota's next-to-last possession. The Timberwolves fouled Aldridge on the rebound, but he missed both free throws, giving Minnesota a final shot.
Cunningham took it, off the dribble from 19 feet, but missed.
The Blazers started well and led 25-18 after one quarter and 49-38 at the half.
Rubio had 10 of his game-best 14 points in the final quarter, and he scored 15 points.
For Portland, Nicolas Batum struggled again with his sore right wrist. He had more turnovers (seven) than points (four).