Aldridge guides Blazers over TimberwolvesApr 2, 2012 - 5:13 AM Portland, OR (Sports Network) - LaMarcus Aldridge outplayed fellow All-Star Kevin Love in the low post with a 26-point, eight-rebound effort, carrying the Trail Blazers to a 119-106 victory over the Timberwolves.
Aldridge sat out Portland's previous game with a sprained left elbow and looked well-rested as he hit 10-of-17 from the field and held Love to 7-of-16 shooting.
Nicolas Batum netted 24 points and Wesley Matthews added 18 for Portland, which has alternated wins and losses over its last eight games.
Love finished with 26 points and nine rebounds, but Minnesota lost for the third time in four games.
"It's definitely tough at this point. We just have to look to get better," said Love. "As far as tonight goes, we just needed a better defensive effort."
After playing to a 27-27 tie in the first quarter, the Blazers had eight different players score in the second stanza as they made 58-percent from the field and took a 57-50 lead into the intermission.
Batum and Aldridge sparked Portland in the third, combining for 24 points to push the margin to as high as 13. Batum netted 14 during the frame, including a four-point play that Aldridge followed with a dunk for an 81-68 cushion with under four minutes remaining.
Luke Babbitt beat the third-quarter buzzer with a runner for an 88-80 Blazers lead, then hit a three-pointer midway through the final frame to ignite a 9-0 run that extended the cushion to 103-87.
It was essentially a double-digit game the rest of the way.
"I don't know what they shot from the floor, but it couldn't have been that good because we went on a nice little run in the fourth quarter and once our crowd got into it, it was kind of over with," Trail Blazers forward J.J. Hickson said.
Raymond Felton contributed 10 points and 11 assists for the Blazers, who received 15 points from Hickson and 12 from Jamal Crawford...Derrick Williams and Luke Ridnour each scored 21 in defeat...Minnesota was trying to sweep the season series for the first time since 2004-05.
- MINNESOTA: 106
Apr 1 11:23 PM
- MINNESOTA: 106
End of Regulation
Apr 1 11:23 PM
- MINNESOTA: 80
End of 3rd
Apr 1 10:51 PM
- MINNESOTA: 50
Apr 1 10:12 PM
- MINNESOTA: 27
End of 1st
Apr 1 9:38 PM
- MINNESOTA: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Apr 1 9:14 PM
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