for this game

Blazers target another win against T-wolves

Mar 7, 2015 - 3:21 PM ( - The Portland Trail Blazers will begin life without shooting guard Wesley Matthews and target a sixth straight win Saturday against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center.

Matthews ruptured his Achilles tendon in the third quarter of Thursday's 94-75 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. An MRI exam after the game revealed the ruptured tendon. Matthews averaged 16.1 points with 3.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 59 starts this season entering play on Thursday.

"I make that same cut a hundreds of thousands of times in my life," Matthews said. "I felt the initial pop. And you guys could probably tell on the replay. I looked back - it feels like someone's kicked you. I was praying. I was praying someone was back there."

The Trail Blazers were led by LaMarcus Aldridge in the win over Dallas, as the All-Star forward posted 17 points and 12 rebounds for his 31st double-double. Nicolas Batum ended with 15 points and 12 boards, while Damian Lillard added 14 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Blazers, winners in nine of the last 12 games.

"Our defense throughout the game was locked in as far as what we wanted to accomplish individually and collectively," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. "The defense really spurred our offense in the third quarter and helped us build a lead."

Robin Lopez finished with 13 points and seven boards in the win.

Portland, which improved to 25-5 in games decided by 10 or more points, is in the midst of playing eight of 11 games on the road and has a 15-13 record outside Rip City. It has won two straight and three of the last four games as the visitor.

The Timberwolves hope to salvage the finale of a four-game homestand Saturday and have lost four straight and seven of the last nine games, including Wednesday's 100-85 setback to the Denver Nuggets.

Andrew Wiggins scored 20 points, Gary Neal added 13 and Kevin Garnett posted 11 to go with six rebounds and a block. Ricky Rubio chipped in 10 points and handed out 10 assists for the Wolves, who shot 39 percent from the field and trailed by as many as 19 points (72-53).

Minnesota trimmed the deficit to 77-68 early in the fourth quarter on a Zach LaVine 3-pointer, but the Nuggets pulled away for good.

"We just didn't play enough with a sense of urgency," Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders said. "They were quicker to the ball."

Minnesota, which dropped to 8-24 in the Twin Cities, has the worst record in the Western Conference at 13-47 and is only 5-31 against conference opponents (3-18 at home).

After hosting the Trail Blazers, the T-wolves will start a four-game road trip Monday against the LA Clippers, Phoenix, Oklahoma City and San Antonio.

The Timberwolves are just 6-40 when allowing 100 or more points and will face a Portland team averaging 102.3 ppg. The Wolves are one of worst defensive units in the NBA, allowing 105.5 ppg.

The T-wolves and Blazers have split a pair of games this season and the Northwest rivals will meet again April 8 in the Rose City. The Blazers are 25-4 in the past 29 matchups between the teams.

Portland is 72-28 all-time against Minnesota.