Portland Rallies to Beat Timberwolves
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard finished with 35 points as the Portland Trail Blazers rallied to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 108-99 on Thursday night for their season-high fifth straight win.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 34 points and 17 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who lost their fourth straight in the Moda Center.
After struggling in the first half, Portland mounted a comeback in the second and pulled ahead 84-82 on Shabazz Napier's running jump shot with 8:07 left.
Al-Farouq Aminu and McCollum hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give Portland a 92-86 lead with 3:48 left. Lillard's 3 extended it and the Timberwolves couldn't catch up.
The teams split the season series 2-2.
"It's tough not to come out of here with a win — we would have loved it," Towns said. "Now we have to go out and get the next game. Learn from our mistakes."
The Timberwolves were playing their third game without Jimmy Butler, who had surgery on Sunday to repair a meniscal injury in his right knee. It isn't clear when he'll be able to return. Butler is the team's top scorer, averaging 22.2 points.
Portland shot just 25 percent in the first quarter (6 for 24). McCollum went 1 for 5, and the Blazers trailed 24-19.
Towns hit a 3-pointer that put Minnesota in front 47-36, but Lillard answered with his first basket from the field, a jumper, then added a driving layup and a free throw. The Blazers cut the lead to 49-44 at the break.
Towns had 21 points in the half, including 19 in the second quarter alone.
Wiggins added 21 points for the Timberwolves. Towns has had a double-double in a league-high 55 games this season.
Timberwolves: The Timberwolves waived forward Shabazz Muhammad before the game. "He wasn't playing as much as he would have liked and we told him we'd try to do the right thing for him," coach Tom Thibodeau said. Muhammad averaged 3.8 points and 1.4 rebounds in 32 games this season. ... The Timberwolves arrived in Portland early and Thibodeau was able to attend Portland's 116-99 victory over Sacramento on Tuesday.