December 22, 2019 / 5:55 AM / a month ago

Lillard leads Trail Blazers past Timberwolves

EditorsNote: changes score reference in 10th graph

Dec 21, 2019; Portland, Oregon, USA; The sneakers worn by Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum (3) prior to a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Damian Lillard recorded 29 points and seven assists to help the Portland Trail Blazers post a 113-106 victory over the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night.

CJ McCollum added 26 points, and Kent Bazemore tallied 19 as Portland won its fourth straight game and ninth in its past 13. Hassan Whiteside contributed 16 points, 22 rebounds and seven blocked shots, and Skal Labissiere added 11 points and eight rebounds for the Trail Blazers.

Andrew Wiggins had 33 points and three blocked shots for Minnesota, which lost its 10th straight game. Jeff Teague added 18 points, eight assists and six rebounds off the bench, Shabazz Napier scored 18 points and Gorgui Dieng registered 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who were without Karl-Anthony Towns (knee) for the third straight game.

Carmelo Anthony (knee) sat out for Portland, which shot 42.6 percent from the field and was 13 of 35 from 3-point range. McCollum was 5 of 10 from long range.

Minnesota has lost in each of its past seven visits to Portland.

The Timberwolves shot 43.7 percent, including 15 of 37 from 3-point range.

The Trail Blazers held a 79-71 lead after Gary Trent Jr. drained a 3-pointer with 2:31 left in the third quarter before Teague got hot and scored Minnesota’s next 12 points.

Teague banked in a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to pull the Timberwolves within 83-80 entering the final stanza and then knocked down a 3-pointer to tie the score just 58 seconds into the fourth.

A short time later, McCollum and Bazemore each converted three-point plays to give Portland a 91-85 lead with 8:01 remaining.

Minnesota responded with an 8-2 run and tied the score on Napier’s 3-pointer with six minutes remaining. But Lillard hit a shot and McCollum knocked down a 3-pointer to give the Trail Blazers a 98-93 edge with 5:24 to play.

McCollum’s layup increased the margin to eight with 2:04 left. Minnesota later crept within 107-103 on a 3-pointer by Wiggins with 29.8 seconds to play before Trent and Lillard each made two free throws as The Trail Blazers closed it out.

Lillard scored 19 points in the first half as Portland held a 61-52 advantage.

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