PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland Trail Blazers broke open a tight game late in the third quarter and ran away to a 115-104 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night at the Moda Center.
Forward LaMarcus Aldridge scored 21 points to lead six players in double figures for the Trail Blazers (33-11). Guard Wesley Matthews added 18 points and guard Mo Williams came off the bench to score 16 for the winners.
Guard Kevin Martin bombed in 30 points for Minnesota (21-22), playing the second of back-to-back games after winning 121-120 on Friday night at Golden State. Center Nikola Pekovic added 23 points and 11 rebounds and forward Kevin Love had 15 points and 13 boards for the Timberwolves.
Trailing by eight points at halftime, Minnesota outscored Portland 14-6 to tie it at 71 early in the third quarter. Martin’s 3-pointer gave the Timberwolves a 79-78 lead, but Portland scored the final seven points of the quarter to take an 87-81 advantage into the fourth quarter.
A three-point play by Aldridge started a 7-0 run that extended Portland’s margin to 105-88 with 5:29 to play. Minnesota never got closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
With Matthews, Williams and forward Nicolas Batum each scoring 11 points, Portland took a 65-57 lead into the half.
The Blazers controlled play despite 1-of-10 shooting from 3-point range through intermission, owing a 42-22 edge in points in the paint. The Timberwolves were 6 of 8 from beyond the stripe in the half.
Minnesota took a 28-22 lead and then settled for a 29-27 advantage after one quarter behind Martin’s 10 points. The Blazers trailed despite 11 points, five rebounds and three assists by Batum.
Portland outscored Minnesota 16-4 in the first three minutes of the second quarter to go ahead 43-33. Williams scored 10 points during the run.
The Blazers extended the advantage to 49-37 before the Timberwolves cut the margin to 53-50 with four minutes left before halftime.
NOTES: The game featured a matchup of two of the NBA’s premier power forwards, Minnesota’s Kevin Love and Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge. “Two of the best forwards in the league,” said Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts, adding with a smile, “We have the best; they probably have the second best.” … Minnesota won the first meeting 120-109 on Dec. 18 at the Target Center. The Timberwolves led 62-30 in the second quarter in that game. … Minnesota coach Rick Adelman calls Portland “probably the best offensive team in the league.” The Blazers entered the night ranked first in scoring (109.3) and free-throw percentage (.824), second in 3-point percentage (.392), third in offensive rebounds (13.1) and assists (24.6), fourth in rebound percentage (.520) and 10th in field-goal percentage (.457). … After a 121-120 win at Golden State on Friday night, the Timberwolves were 1-11 in games decided by four points or fewer.
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