Trail Blazers spoil Wittman's coaching debutJan 25, 2007 - 7:52 AM PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- Zach Randolph and rookie Sergio Rodriguez were in no mood to give Randy Wittman his first coaching win with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Randolph scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds and Rodriguez added 18 off the bench for the Portland Trail Blazers, who posted a 101-98 overtime victory over the Timberwolves.
Portland won for the fourth time in six games to spoil the debut of Wittman, who was hired Tuesday on an interim basis after Dwane Casey was fired following a 20-20 start.
"We knew that they were going to want to come out and get a win for their new coach," Randolph said. "They also had lost a few in a row so we knew they were going to go all out. We were able to keep battling and make a few plays at the end that got us the win. ... Everybody played hard and stuck it out."
"We just looked a lot more precise," Minnesota forward Kevin Garnett said. "I'm not taking away anything from (Casey), but (Wittman) did a lot more things to have movement and a lot of motion. Not just grabbing the ball and pounding it. We didn't run to many plays tonight and we were successful with it."
After Ricky Davis nailed a 3-pointer and Mark Blount added a jumper to give Minnesota a 94-91 advantage with 3:54 left in overtime, Jarrett Jack hit a long jumper for Portland with 2:29 left.
"We got contributions from everyone tonight and that's what we need in tight games like this," Jack said. "We never panic. We just go out there and run the plays that are called for us and what ever happens, happens. We all know that we can play in this league and believe in each other."
Garnett sank two free throws for the Timberwolves with 1:31 to play and Randolph hit a pair for Portland with 60 seconds left before Jack split Davis and Blount for a layup to give the Trail Blazers a 97-96 lead with 28 seconds to go.
Garnett followed with a spinning jumper from the right side of the lane with 20 seconds remaining before rookie Brandon Roy was fouled in the lane by Trenton Hassell eight seconds later.
"(I) knew that if I hung in there, I could eventually make some plays," Roy said. "I was able to get in the lane there at the end, got the pump-fake, and was able to get to the free-throw line. Fortunately, they fell for me just like they did for Zach and LaMarcus (Aldridge) in the fourth."
Roy made two free throws and after Davis missed a long jumper, Randolph hit a pair of foul shots with six seconds remaining.
Needing a 3-pointer to force a second overtime, the Timberwolves set up Garnett, who missed a 25-footer at the buzzer for Minnesota's fifth consecutive defeat.
"They denied Mike (Davis) to get the ball and again I know I can make threes and I'm capable of making that shot and I missed it," Garnett said. "We put ourselves in position to win the game."
"They (left) their hearts on the floor tonight," Wittman said. "We did enough to win the game but just couldn't get a stop at the end. There were seven or eight possessions at the end of regulation where all we needed was one stop and we win. We just couldn't get it."
Roy and Martell Webster scored 13 points each and Jack added 12 for Portland, which had a 52-40 rebounding advantage.
"Martell had another good night for us," Jack said. "I think he got himself going early by getting in the lane and getting some baskets down low. Once he got that going, he was able to get a little distance from his defender. Once that happens, he can do just about anything because he is such a good shooter."
Garnett scored 31 points and Davis had 23 for the Timberwolves, who dropped their third consecutive road game and are 8-13 away from home.
"I thought we were in position to win tonight," Davis said. "We battled the whole way, but we couldn't get the big defensive stop tonight when we needed it."
- ** CONFIRMED **
PORTLAND 101 FINAL
Jan 25 12:50 AM
END OF REG 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
MINNESOTA 22 24 22 19 87
PORTLAND 23 23 20 21 87 END OF REG
NBA MINNESOTA AT PORTLAND
HIGH SCORERS AFTER 4TH QUARTER
MIN - KEVIN GARNETT 25, RICKY DAVIS 20,
TRENTON HASSELL 10
POR - SERGIO RODRIGUEZ 18, ZACH RANDOLPH 14,
MARTELL WEBSTER 13
Jan 25 12:25 AM
PORTLAND 66 END, 3RD QTR
Jan 24 11:48 PM
PORTLAND 23 END, 1ST QTR
Jan 24 10:35 PM
- Timberwolves will not retain Newton, Kander May 20
- Klay Thompson has carried Warriors this postseason May 19
- Towns, Porzingis unanimously selected to All-Rookie 1st team May 19
- After lots of losing, 76ers hope to win big in NBA lottery May 17
- Blazers coach Terry Stotts agrees to 3-year extension May 16
- Timberwolves' Towns is unanimous Rookie of the Year pick May 16
- T-wolves will send Towns with Flip's ring for lottery luck May 16
- Defending champion Warriors expect tough task from Thunder May 16
- Weekend Sports in Brief May 16
- AP Source: Karl-Anthony Towns is NBA Rookie of the Year May 15
- Clarification: Stars fuel hope for mid-major prospects May 13
- Damian Lillard and Trail Blazers look to bright future May 12