Trail Blazers 102, Timberwolves 97

Getting ready to play his fourth road game in five nights,

Nicolas Batum said he felt sluggish during warmups Saturday night

at Minnesota.

”I was like, `Let’s play this game and get out of here,”’ he

said. ”I was tired.”

It was the Timberwolves, though, who looked and played how Batum

felt.

Batum and Wesley Matthews each made five 3s and scored 26 points

to lead the Portland Trail Blazers over the injury-depleted

Timberwolves 102-97.

”I got tired I think when I got 31 here a couple years ago,”

Batum said, recalling a 31-point performance at Minnesota in 2010 –

he had five 3s in that game as well.

”I was tired,” he said.

Imagine if he had actually felt energized.

The Blazers tied a franchise record with 16 3-pointers and

withstood a fourth-quarter rally by the Timberwolves to win for the

10th time in 13 games and finish their four-game road trip with a

3-1 record.

”If you shoot the 3 that well, you should probably win by more

than five,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said.

Nikola Pekovic led the Wolves with 21 points but left the game

in the third quarter because of a left hip strain. Only hours

earlier, Minnesota learned it lost star forward Kevin Love to a

broken right hand for the second time this season when an MRI

confirmed the injury.

The banged-up Timberwolves – who dressed only 10 players – also

played without point guard Ricky Rubio, who sat out with back

spasms.

Afterward, coach Rick Adelman bemoaned his team’s flat play in

the first three quarters before suddenly coming to life in the

end.

”The league doesn’t stop for you, there’s nobody coming over

the mountain for us, it’s who we’ve got right now,” Adelman said.

”And that’s what we have to do, and everybody has to step

up.”

The Blazers led by as many as 22 before Derrick Williams fueled

a 26-8 run with 18 points in the fourth quarter. His two-handed

dunk with 1:19 to play cut Portland’s lead to 96-94. Williams

rebounded a miss from Damian Lillard on the ensuing possession, but

J.J. Barea threw the ball out of bounds with 50 seconds left.

”I think we all just took it a little personal,” Williams

said. ”We’re down 20 points in the third quarter, and just a lot

of guys playing with a lot of heart in the fourth quarter. We’ve

just got to play like that all the time.”

LaMarcus Aldridge followed the turnover with a 13-footer to make

it 98-94. Williams appeared to score on a tip on the next

possession, but the officials waved off the score saying he

traveled.

Matthews and Batum each added a pair of free throws to seal the

win.

”I’ve been telling you guys this since the start of the year –

we’re resilient, we can play,” Matthews said. ”We’re good. We can

win. We’re a playoff team.”

NOTES: Portland last hit 16 3-pointers on April 15, 2011, at

Sacramento … Lillard had 20 points for the Blazers. … Batum has

hit at least three 3-pointers in 15 games this season. … Love

re-fractured his third metacarpal bone in the hand during the third

quarter Thursday night at Denver. The Wolves said they expect to

know more about a timetable for his return after he is examined by

a hand specialist in New York. … Pekovic had his fifth game with

at least 20 points and 10 rebounds this season … The Blazers had

not had a winning record on road trip of four games or longer since

going 3-1 from Oct. 27-Nov. 2 in 2010. … The Wolves scored a

season-high 36 fourth-quarter points.