Portland (32-33) at Minnesota (46-20)

Fair Currently: Minneapolis, MN
Temp: 62° F
  • Game info: 3:30 pm EST Sun Mar 14, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Portland Trail Blazers seek their third straight win over one of the Western Conference’s top teams when they meet the Minnesota Timberwolves.

After beating Minnesota 92-79 on Wednesday, Portland defeated the Sacramento Kings 83-81 on Friday.

The only team ahead of Minnesota in the West standings is Sacramento (48-17).

The Trail Blazers’ run comes after losing five of their previous six. Portland, trying to extend its streak of 21 consecutive playoff appearances, is two games behind the Denver Nuggets for the conference’s eighth and final postseason berth.

Theo Ratliff had 11 points, 11 rebounds and eight blocked shots to help Portland fend off the Kings.

“That’s my game,” Ratliff said. “I just go all out like a maniac out there on the court, block shots, get in their heads, get them thinking about me.”

This season, Ratliff has blocked 229 shots for a league-best average of 3.37 per game. In 15 games with the Blazers, he’s averaging 4.2 blocks.

Damon Stoudamire had 20 points and Zach Randolph added 17 points and 14 rebounds in Friday’s win.

Kevin Garnett had 20 points and 12 rebounds and Troy Hudson added 19 points off the bench to lead Minnesota to a 96-86 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.

Latrell Sprewell added 16 points as the Timberwolves won for just the third time in seven games.

“When our minds are right, we’re a tough matchup,” said Sam Cassell, who scored 17 points for Minnesota.

The Timberwolves maintained their two-game lead over the San Antonio Spurs in the Midwest Division.

Working Troy Hudson, Wally Szczerbiak and Michael Olowokandi back into the rotation after long injury absences hasn’t been easy for the Wolves, one reason for their recent struggles.

“There’s no question we’ve been very inconsistent over the last 10 days,” Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders said. “We’ve got to play with the same discipline and the same passion that we did tonight.”

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