Lillard's 35 leads Portland over Timberwolves
PORTLAND, Ore. — Damian Lillard shook off a poor shooting start to score 35 points as the Portland Trail Blazers rallied for a 108-99 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves Thursday night at Moda Center.
CJ McCollum added 19 points and Jusuf Nurkic and Shabazz Napier 16 apiece for the Trail Blazers (36-26), who won their fifth straight game overall and 12th of 13 at home.
Karl-Anthony Towns scored 34 points and grabbed 17 rebounds for the Timberwolves (38-27), who had won two straight. Andrew Wiggins added 21 points for Minnesota.
Lillard missed his first nine shots from the field — six of them from 3-point range — but scored 22 points in the second half, sinking 7 of 10 shots. The Blazers outscored the Wolves 33-21 in the fourth quarter.
Towns had 21 points and eight rebounds as Minnesota took a 49-44 lead into intermission, but it could have been more. Portland shot .327 in the half, going 0-for-13 from 3-point range.
Portland scored the first seven points of the third quarter to go ahead 51-49. The Wolves climbed back to go on top 76-66 late in the quarter. The Blazers cut it to 78-75 heading into the final period.
Towns hit a pair of free throws to give Minnesota an 86-84 lead with 6:30 remaining. Lillard's jumper tied it at 86-86.
Al-Farouq Aminu, McCollum and Lillard sank consecutive 3-point shots, the latter giving Portland a 95-86 advantage with 3:01 to go. The Wolves got no closer than seven points the rest of the way.
The Timberwolves hit 10 of their first 17 shots but still led only 20-15. The Blazers finished 6-for-24 from the field — missing all 7 3-point attempts — yet trailed only 24-19 heading into the second quarter.
Minnesota extended the margin to 32-23. Portland closed to within 40-35, but the Wolves stepped it back up to 47-36. They settled for a five-point bulge at the half.