Lillard goes for 28, Trail Blazers down T'Wolves
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Rookie Damian Lillard scored a career-high 28 points on Friday night, as the Portland Trail Blazers outlasted the Minnesota Timberwolves, 103-95, at Rose Garden.
Wesley Matthews paced Portland with 30 points, while J.J. Hickson donated a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds to send the Trail Blazers to their fourth win in their last five games.
"I'm proud of the way we played," Matthews remarked. "We bounced back. We were down five at half and just kept fighting."
Kevin Love registered his second straight double-double with 24 points and 13 rebounds in the setback, Minnesota's fourth in a row.
"They shot the heck out of it," Minnesota coach Rick Adelman said of Portland. "They made every shot. Give them credit, they made shots."
Minnesota held a 55-50 advantage at the break, but Portland found its rhythm in the second half, shooting 61.1 percent from the field in the third quarter to take the lead.
The Blazers cut their deficit to one four different times in the third, but couldn't get over the hump until Lillard nailed a 3-pointer with 3:33 left in the frame to give Portland a 71-69 edge.
The teams exchanged buckets over the next three minutes before Nicolas Batum's triple sent the Blazers into the fourth with an 81-78 advantage.
Portland quickly pressed the lead to double-digits, as Matthew capped a 7-0 sprint with a running layup to give the home team an 88-78 lead with 9:15 left in the fourth.
The Blazers held Minnesota at bay from there, never letting the Timberwolves get closer than six the rest of the way.
Nikola Pekovic carried the visitors in the early going, as he netted 10 points in the first quarter to help Minnesota build a 33-28 edge after one.
Minnesota continued to front-run in the second quarter, leading by as many as 13 in the frame, but Lillard buried a triple with less than 10 seconds remaining to trim the lead to five heading into the locker room.
Love missed the first nine games of the season with a broken hand before returning to action on Wednesday ... Pekovic finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds for Minnesota ... Portland shot 53.8 percent (42-78) from the field.
11/24 02:13:09 ET