Lillard’s big shots lift Blazers over Wolves
PORTLAND -- Damian Lillard scored 28 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out six assists as the Portland Trail Blazers downed the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves 113-105 Saturday night, Dec. 8.
Jusuf Nurkic contributed 22 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks, four assists and three steals as the Trail Blazers, who scored the final 10 points after trailing 105-103, won their second straight game.
Andrew Wiggins scored 20 points, Karl-Anthony Towns collected 19 points and 10 rebounds and Derrick Rose added 18 points and nine assists for the Timberwolves, who had won nine of their previous 12 outings.
Forward Robert Covington (knee) did not play for Minnesota.
Nurkic had 14 points and eight rebounds as Portland carried a 53-51 lead into halftime. Lillard added 11 points for the Blazers. Towns and Wiggins each scored 10 points for the Wolves.
Portland increased the margin to 73-63 midway through the third quarter. The Wolves used a 17-6 run to take an 80-79 lead. The Blazers took an 81-80 advantage into the final period.
Josh Okogie's 3-pointer pushed Minnesota ahead 93-91 with 7:34 to go. CJ McCollum's 3 pulled Portland back on top 94-93. The Wolves scored back-to-back baskets to go ahead 97-94, but Nurkic converted two free throws to bring the Blazers within 97-96 with 4:57 left.
Jeff Teague's trey increased Minnesota's lead to 100-96 with 4:31 to play. Towns followed with a pair of foul shots to up the difference to 102-96 with 3:53 remaining.
Lillard's three-point play closed the gap to 102-99 with 3:36 to go. McCollum scored on a reverse layup to make it 102-101 with 3:09 left and Lillard's step-back jumper gave Portland the lead at 103-102.
Towns knocked down a 3 to pull the Wolves back in front 105-103 with 2:22 remaining. Al-Farouq Aminu made a pair at the line to tie it at 105-105 with 1:41 to play.
Lillard buried a 3-pointer to give Portland a 108-105 led with 59.5 seconds left. McCollum followed with a 3 that increased the Blazers' edge to 111-105 with 24.9 seconds remaining. Lillard finished the scoring with two foul shots with 8.2 seconds left.
Portland jumped to a 29-20 lead, then settled for a 30-27 advantage after one quarter.
Minnesota tied the score at 37-37 four minutes into the second quarter.