Damian Lillard scores 32 as Trail Blazers defeat Timberwolves

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Damian Lillard finished with 32 points to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, 108-97. The Trail Blazers took quality shots in this one, going 40-83 (48.2%) from the field, including 13-28 (46.4%) from three-point range. Portland (38-18) has now won back-to-back games after defeating Utah Jazz on Friday.

Lillard went 11-17 (5-8 from three-point range) and 5-5 from the free throw line, in a good performance. Portland also got solid performances from Nicolas Batum with 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Thomas Robinson with 14 points and 18 rebounds. Kevin Love had another big game for Minnesota in the loss, scoring 31 points on 11-21 shooting (2-8 on 3-point attempts), in addition to going 7-9 from the free throw line. He also registered 10 rebounds. Dante Cunningham added 12 points and 6 rebounds.

In a showdown of strength versus strength, the rebounding battle favored Portland in this game. They proved once again to be among the league's elite on the offensive glass, finishing with an OR% of 30.8%. On the season, they rank second in that category (28.6%). The defense of Minnesota ranks fourth in the NBA at corralling rebounds with a DR% of 76.1%. Along with their eFG% of 56.0%, the Trail Blazers connected at a rate of 46.4% from 3-point range. On the season, they are 6-2 when they record marks above 55% and 40% in those respective categories. Conversely, the Timberwolves are 2-8 when allowing their opponents to reach those percentages.

This loss snaps a three-game winning streak for Minnesota, dropping them to 27-29 on the year.

Coming up, the Trail Blazers square off with the Denver Nuggets, who are 25-30 on the season. The Timberwolves meet the Phoenix Suns, currently sitting at 33-22 this year. The Trail Blazers came away with a win in two straight games against Denver. The Timberwolves are 0-1 versus Phoenix this season.

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