Lillard leads Portland past Timberwolves
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Damian Lillard scored 24 points and J.J. Hickson added 18 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 109-94 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 17 points and pulled down eight rebounds, while Nicolas Batum and Meyers Leonard added 12 points apiece for the Blazers, who won for just the second time in their last 10 tries.
"I really like the demeanor we came out with in this game," Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said.
Derrick Williams scored a team-high 23 points and pulled down eight boards and Luke Ridnour added 18 points and six assists for the Timberwolves, losers in five straight.
"You go out with the right attitude, you keep busting your tail and eventually it'll pay off," Minnesota head coach Rick Adelman said.
Portland used a balanced scoring attack in the first quarter to take a 31-19 lead after the first 12 minutes. Leonard finished with six points, while Lillard, Hickson and Aldridge all finished with fifth points apiece.
Minnesota cut the deficit to 51-44 going into the break. Williams went 3-for-4 from the field in the second to help the Wolves outscore Portland 25-20.
The Blazers, though, shot 52.4 percent (11-for-21) in third to push their spread to 83-71 entering the final stage. A pair of Batum free throws with 4:26 left in the third gave Portland a 74-57 lead, but Minnesota closed the period on a 14-9 swing.
Portland quickly pushed its spread to 18 points just under four minutes into the final stanza, but J.J. Barea's layup ignited an 8-0 run to pulled within 100-90 with two minutes left, but the Wolves were held to just four points the rest of the way.
Portland completed its fifth season sweep of Minnesota in six years ... Portland has won 21 of the last 23 meetings with the Wolves ... Victor Claver scored 10 points off the bench for the Blazers ... Dante Cunningham scored 16 points and Barea added 14 for Minnesota ... Wolves guard Ricky Rubio just missed out on a triple-double with 12 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.
03/03 02:10:06 ET