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Trail Blazers, Timberwolves clash for a second time

Nov 14, 2006 - 2:07 PM Portland (4-3) at Minnesota (2-4) 8:00 pm EST

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) - One of the biggest early surprises in the NBA, the Portland Trail Blazers look to avoid consecutive losses for the first time this season when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday.

The Trail Blazers were picked to have the worst record in the league by many preseason publications but instead have won four of their first seven games and reside in second place in the Northwest Division.

Portland was getting good production from rookie Brandon Roy until he injured his left heel in a 92-91 victory over New Orleans on Friday. The 6-6 swingman was averaging 11.6 points, 3.4 assists and 2.8 rebounds in five games but sat out Sunday's 103-96 loss to Dallas with pain in his left heel. He could miss up to two weeks.

Fellow lottery pick LaMarcus Aldridge made his debut Saturday in a 103-96 loss to Dallas. The 6-11 forward scored 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds.

Aldridge helped the Blazers mount a late comeback as they trimmed a 15-point deficit to one with 2:21 to play, but Dallas sealed the win with a 9-2 run.

Zach Randolph and Jarrett Jack each scored 20 points for Portland, which for the fourth time this season fell behind by double digits.

Minnesota began this season with consecutive wins but has since lost four straight, including a 109-98 home defeat to Orlando on Saturday. Kevin Garnett had a season-high 28 points and 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves.

On November 4, Juan Dixon made a 3-pointer with 6.2 seconds left to lift Portland to an 88-86 home-opening victory over Minnesota, initiating the Timberwolves' slide.

Portland has won three straight games vs. Minnesota after losing the previous six.

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