NBA

Sat, Feb 8, 2014 - 8:00 PM ET
Game Recap
 

Aldridge leads Blazers past 'Wolves 117-110

Share This Story

   
 

MINNEAPOLIS (AP)

The banged-up Minnesota Timberwolves were just what the Portland Trail Blazers needed.

Having lost six of their previous 10 games, and with a date against first-place Oklahoma City looming on Tuesday, the Blazers took advantage of a Timberwolves team missing three of its best players.

''We felt that way even if they had all their guys,'' LaMarcus Aldridge said after scoring 26 points to lead Portland past Minnesota 117-110 Saturday night. ''If they had those guys, it definitely would've been different, but this was a must-win game either way.''

Aldridge scored 16 of his points in the second half and Wesley Matthews added 21 as the Blazers held off a tougher-than-expected Wolves team missing starters Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin.

Just minutes before tipoff, the Wolves announced Love - their All-Star power forward - would miss the game with a bruised left quadriceps sustained in Friday night's loss in New Orleans. Shortly before that, Martin was ruled out indefinitely with a broken left thumb, also suffered against the Pelicans. Combined with Pekovic, the trio accounts for an average of 60 points and 25 rebounds per game.

''It takes a little edge off the game,'' Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. ''We found out Kevin Martin wasn't going to play early and then Love wasn't going to play. I think that deflates the balloon a little bit, you kind of get yourself up for guys like that.''

But the Blazers knew they couldn't afford to let up against the scrappy Wolves, who trailed for most of the first half but led 82-75 with 1:50 to play in the third quarter. Corey Brewer led Minnesota with 26 points and Ricky Rubio scored a career-high 25.

Minnesota led 87-85 with 9:48 to play in the game before Portland went on a 13-1 run to put the game away. Minnesota pulled within 101-96 with 3:29 to play before Matthews scored five straight and Robin Lopez hit a layup to put the game out of reach.

The Wolves got 19 points from Chase Budinger, 14 from Dante Cunningham and a season-high 12 from rookie Shabazz Muhammad.

''It doesn't matter who's out,'' coach Rick Adelman said. ''The next guy steps up, that's how you have to approach it. You can't worry about who's not playing, worry about who is playing, and make the best out of the situation. I thought we played well tonight.''

Aldridge had six points during Portland's game-deciding 13-1 run in the fourth quarter. That run came with Rubio on the bench.

Rookie C.J. McCollum had a season-high 19 points and Nicolas Batum added 15 for the Blazers, who finished their four-game road trip 2-2.

''We were really counting on our bench tonight because I really wanted to rest the starters,'' Stotts said. ''They all played a lot of minutes last night and the first half the bench really gave us a boost. We were able to make a little ground with them in the game.''

Minnesota's key starters also got a rest - in their street clothes.

''It's tough having all of those guys out,'' Budinger said. ''Those are huge impact guys for us and we're hoping Kevin was able to go but he was really struggling and hurting. He tried to get himself going but just couldn't do it.''

NOTES: During halftime, Love told The AP he hopes to play on Monday night against Houston. ... The Blazers played a second-straight game without backup point guard Mo Williams, who left the team Friday for family reasons. Stotts did not have an update on when Williams might return. ... Adelman is assuming Pekovic will not return until after the All-Star break. ... Love bought a full-page advertisement in Sunday's Minneapolis Star Tribune thanking fans for voting him an All-Star starter. ''Just my way of paying tribute to the fans,'' he said at halftime.

Tagged: LaMarcus Aldridge, Timberwolves, Trail Blazers, Mo Williams, Kevin Martin, Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

NBA considering mid-season Vegas tournament? Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Adam Silver confirms the NBA has engaged in early conversations about the possib...

LeBron and Blatt 'will work together beautifully' Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt on LeBron James' decision to return to Clevelan...

LeBron's back and so are the Cavs Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Gary Payton weighs-in on LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..