Final Score: Portland 100, Minnesota 98
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - LaMarcus Aldridge scored a game-high 25
points and grabbed 13 rebounds and Wesley Matthews added 22 points, as the
Portland Trail Blazers held on for a 100-98 win over the Minnesota
Timberwolves on Monday.
The Blazers led by 19 points at the start of the fourth quarter, but the
Wolves cut their deficit to 91-80 with just under five minutes left. Minnesota
then opened a 16-6 run, capped with J.J. Barea's falling layup, to pull within
97-96 with 36.9 seconds left.
Aldridge, though, buried a deep jumper over Nikola Pekovic nine seconds later.
Minnesota, though, pulled back within 99-98 six seconds later when Ricky Rubio
found Dante Cunningham in the lane for a slam.
The Wolves quickly fouled Luke Babbitt on the inbounds pass and he split the
Rubio then dribbled off nearly 14 seconds before firing up an off-balanced
jumper that was swatted away by Aldridge, who was fouled after corralling the
Aldridge, though, missed a pair of free throws to give the Wolves one last
chance to either tie or win the game.
Following a timeout, Rubio took the inbounds pass and dribbled to his right
before kicking it to Cunningham at the top of the key. Cunningham shook a
defender with a pump fake, but his jumper at the buzzer fell short and the
Blazers held on for the win.
Cunningham, who went 9-for-9 from the field in his last game, knocked down
11-of-17 shots en route to a season-high 23 points. Rubio added 15 points and
14 assists for the Wolves, losers in 12 of their last 14 games.
"I think, even though we turned the ball over a lot, we didn't let it bother
us. We just stayed in the moment and got the job the done," said Blazers guard
Damian Lillard, who finished with 21 points on 9-of-17 shooting.
Portland led 25-18 after the first quarter and took a 49-38 lead into the
break. The Blazers outscored Minnesota, 28-20, in the third period to take a
77-58 lead into the final frame.
"We had no urgency at the start (of the game), we came out and pretty much let
them do what they wanted to do," said Wolves coach Rick Adelman. "In the
fourth quarter, we turned it up and the energy was high. We got some turnovers
and made some shots, but when you get that far down it gets too hard to come
The Blazers shot 58.6 percent (41-for-70) from field goal range, but gave
up 33 points on 28 turnovers, the most turnovers from an NBA team this
season ... Pekovic scored 13 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in the
02/04 23:17:32 ET
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