Lillard carries Blazers past TimberwolvesFeb 24, 2014 - 7:32 AM Portland, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - Damian Lillard scored 32 points and the Portland Trail Blazers used a strong second half to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves by a 108-97 margin on Sunday.
Lillard went 11-of-17 from the field and 5-of-8 from beyond the arc for the Blazers, who improved to 21-7 at home this season. Nicolas Batum added 22 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.
Wesley Matthews tallied 17 points for Portland, which outscored Minnesota by a 56-37 margin in the second half. Thomas Robinson donated 14 points and 18 boards.
"The second half was really exciting," said Blazers coach Terry Stotts. "I loved the energy that we played with. Defensively, it was a very good defensive second half. Obviously, the play of Thomas Robinson made a difference for us. Our attitude and our demeanor coming out of halftime is what made the difference."
Kevin Love ended with 31 points and 10 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Love's 10 straight games with at least 25 points and 10 rebounds is the most in a single season since Karl Malone did it 10 times in 1991-92.
"A night like tonight hurts a lot," Love said. "It's a reminder to us that we need all our guys back."
J.J. Barea and Dante Cunningham had 21 and 12 points, respectively, for Minnesota.
The Timberwolves led by as many as 11 in the first quarter and took a 34-26 lead into the second.
Minnesota went ahead by 18, 52-34, when Barea made two free throws with 5:16 left in the second frame.
The Blazers prevented the Timberwolves from pulling away by scoring the final eight points of the half. Batum's slam with 36.9 seconds remaining cut the gap to 60-52.
Minnesota's Chase Budinger opened the second half with a 3-pointer, but Portland responded with a 14-4 run. Lillard's 3-pointer with 7:44 left got the home team within 67-66.
The Blazers took a 74-73 lead on Batum's 3-pointer with 5:15 to go in the third frame. Minnesota went back in front, but not before Portland scored the final eight points of the period for an 84-80 edge.
The home team started the fourth on an 8-3 spurt that Will Barton capped with a slam. Prior to the dunk, Robinson blocked Corey Brewer's shot.
Minnesota got within 92-86, but the Blazers responded with eight straight points.
Minnesota has lost five straight at Portland ... Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge missed his third straight game with a groin injury ... Portland went 13-of-28 from beyond the arc, while the Timberwolves went 9- of-28 ... It was Love's franchise-best fifth straight game with 30 or more points.
Feb 23 11:23 PM
- MINNESOTA: 80
End of 3rd
Feb 23 10:46 PM
- MINNESOTA: 60
Feb 23 10:08 PM
- MINNESOTA: 34
End of 1st
Feb 23 9:36 PM
- MINNESOTA: 0
1st Quarter - 11:39
Feb 23 9:12 PM
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