T-Wolves douse Blazers with big first half
Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - The Minnesota Timberwolves used a huge first half en route to a 120-109 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Nikola Pekovic poured in 30 points with nine rebounds, while Kevin Love had a double-double with 29 points and 15 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who snapped five-game losing streak against Portland.
Kevin Martin contributed 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting in the win.
Damian Lillard had 36 points and LaMarcus Aldridge registered 15 points with 14 boards in the loss, Portland's first in its last six games.
"Very good win for us," said Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman. "Terrific first half and they made their run and we were able to hold them off."
Ricky Rubio hit a reverse layup with just over four minutes left in the first quarter to spark a 21-4 run that stretched into the second quarter.
Minnesota led 31-22 after one and the Wolves scored the first 10 points in the second to take control with a 41-22 advantage. Love had nine points and three assists during the burst.
The floodgates opened later in the second when the Wolves went on a 17-2 run for a 62-30 lead. Pekovic scored the final two buckets in the spurt, including an alley-oop from J.J. Barea.
The Blazers went 5:18 in the second without a basket until Aldridge ended the drought with a three-point play.
Pekovic scored the final 9-of-11 points for the Wolves to enter halftime with a 69-43 lead.
"We didn't play very well in the first half," said Portland coach Terry Stotts. "We gave up too much in the first half and dug too deep of a hole."
Portland trailed 98-78 heading to the fourth, but rallied with a 13-1 run capped by a Nicolas Batum 3-pointer which pulled the Blazers within five, 114-109, with 46 seconds left.
Portland did not make a shot from there and the Wolves went 6-for-6 from the free-throw line to seal it.
This was the first of four games this season between the teams ... Barea scored 10 off the bench ... Minnesota shot 49.5 percent from the field ... Portland hosts New Orleans Saturday ... Minnesota travels to Los Angeles to face the Lakers on Friday.
12/19 00:51:34 ET