Timberwolves edged by Trail Blazers
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) --Down to nine players during the second half, Portland turned to LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Fernandez.
Aldridge tied a career high with 36 points and Fernandez added a career-high 26 to help the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 107-102 Friday night.
"That's when they need from me right now," Aldridge said.
Aldridge went 15 of 22 from the field, scored six baskets on dunks off lob passes, and had 10 rebounds to help the Trail Blazers win their 13th consecutive game over Minnesota. The Timberwolves haven't beaten Portland since March 25, 2007.
Aldridge had a chance to set his career high late in the game, but missed two free throws after finding out he was on the verge.
"Some fan yelled it to me, and when they yelled it to me, I got tight and missed both of them," Aldridge said. "Next time, don't tell me."
Fernandez made four 3-pointers and had a season-high six assists. Wesley Matthews scored 21 points for Portland, which ended a three-game losing streak.
"It was important for me to be aggressive and go to the basket and not just focus on my shots," Fernandez said.
Michael Beasley scored 33 points to lead Minnesota, which lost its fourth consecutive game. Kevin Love had 19 points and 17 rebounds for the Timberwolves (6-21). Martell also scored 19 points.
Minnesota outrebounded Portland 49-37. Aside from Love, Kosta Koufos grabbed 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves.
Aldridge scored Portland's first 12 points of the game, and had 20 by halftime to stake Portland to a 61-54 lead. The Blazers couldn't shake pesky Minnesota during the second half, though. A four-point play by Fernandez and a dunk by Aldridge gave Portland a 94-84 lead, but Minnesota rallied to within four points when Beasley hit three free throws with 1:31 remaining.
The Blazers put the game away with 27 seconds remaining when Matthews hit a running 6-footer to give Portland a 105-99 lead.
Portland guard Brandon Roy sat out Friday's game with knee pain. The Trail Blazers announced earlier in the day that they planned to rest Roy until at least the Dec. 25 game at Golden State.
Friday's game took a toll on both teams. Minnesota's Darko Milicic hurt his ankle on the opening tip, and didn't return. Portland's Marcus Camby and Nicolas Batum suffered right shoulder injuries during the first half, and didn't return from the locker room after halftime.
Portland was down to eight players for the final three minutes of the third quarter when Matthews briefly went to the locker room with a leg injury.
NOTES: Webster returned to Portland for the first time since the Blazers traded him to Minnesota last June for draft picks. Webster missed the first 24 games of the 2010-11 season recovering from back surgery. ... The Blazers shot 64 percent during the first half (27 of 42). ... Minnesota is 1-15 on the road this season.
Updated December 17, 2010