Nikola Pekovic put up 30 points and added 9 rebounds, while Kevin Love added 29 points and 15 rebounds to help the Minnesota Timberwolves defeat the Portland Trail Blazers, 120-109. The Timberwolves played an efficient game offensively, shooting 46-93 (49.5%) from the field and turning it over just 10 times. Minnesota (13-13) picked up the win after falling to Boston Celtics on Monday.
Pekovic finished 14-19 from the field, in an efficient offensive performance. Minnesota also got solid performances from Kevin Martin with 22 points and 5 rebounds, and J.J. Barea with 10 points and 5 assists. Damian Lillard had another big game for Portland despite the loss, scoring 36 points on 13-24 shooting (7-14 on 3-point attempts), in addition to going 3-7 from the free throw line. Nicolas Batum chipped in 20 points and 6 rebounds, Wesley Matthews finished with 16 points and 5 rebounds, and LaMarcus Aldridge put up 15 points and 14 rebounds.
As expected, Minnesota, ranked second in the NBA at avoiding errors (TO% of 13.3%) protected the ball well in this contest. Meanwhile, the defense of Portland continues to struggle forcing turnovers, with their opponents surrendering the fewest turnovers in the league (14.1%). The Timberwolves posted a sterling assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.70. This year, they are 4-1 when they exceed 2.50 in this metric. Conversely, the Trail Blazers are 4-1 when allowing their opponents to achieve such a stellar ratio.
This loss snaps a five-game winning streak for Portland, dropping them to 22-5 on the year.
Coming up next, the Timberwolves square off against the Los Angeles Lakers, who are 12-13 on the year. The Trail Blazers match up with the New Orleans Pelicans, currently 11-12 this season. The Timberwolves have a 1-0 record against Los Angeles this season.