NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 25th
(All times Eastern)
Minnesota Timberwolves (21-21) at Portland Trail Blazers (32-11), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Trail Blazers snapped a two-game losing
streak last time out and will try to build some momentum Saturday night when
the Minnesota Timberwolves visit the Moda Center.
Portland had dropped back-to-back decisions on a recent four-game road trip,
but returned home Thursday night to knock off the Denver Nuggets, 110-105. It
was the Blazers' fourth consecutive home victory.
LaMarcus Aldridge dropped in a career-high 44 points, including eight clutch
free throws in the final 1:07. Aldridge pulled down 13 rebounds, recorded five
assists and scored the last 15 points for the Blazers, who avoided losing
three in a row for the first time this season.
"LaMarcus just keeps impressing everybody with what he's doing," Portland head
coach Terry Stotts said of his star center. "He was aggressive to the basket,
he made his jump shots, he made his free throws, he rebounded, he came up big
when we needed him."
Aldridge should have no worries on Thursday night when the All-Star reserves
Wesley Matthews chipped in 24 points, while Robin Lopez had 12 with nine
rebounds for the victors. Damian Lillard, who also has a great chance at an
All-Star berth, finished with 11 points.
Portland scored 28 points off of 22 Denver turnovers.
The Timberwolves have won three in a row since a three-game slide and improved
to 2-0 on a four-game road trip with Friday's 121-120 victory over the
Kevin Martin's go-ahead left baseline jumper with 8.4 seconds remaining sealed
the win for Minnesota, which evened its mark at 21-21 and pushed its road
record to 9-13 this season. Martin had 26 points and Kevin Love added 26 as
well to go along with 14 rebounds and eight assists. Love made 11-of-14 shots
from the foul line.
"Just a great win for our team, we've lost so many close games this year,"
Wolves head coach Rick Adelman said. "Kevin Martin made a big shot."
The Wolves shot 50 percent (47-of-94) from the field and received 22 points
and 14 rebounds out of Nikola Pekovic. Corey Brewer scored 15 points and Ricky
Rubio ended with nine and 12 assists.
Minnesota will close the road trip Monday at Chicago.
The Wolves won this season's only matchup with Portland, a 120-109 decision
back in December. That snapped a five-game winning streak for the Blazers, who
have taken 21 of their last 24 versus the T'Wolves and are 14-1 in the last 15
matchups in Portland.
01/25 10:43:34 ET
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