When you see that the team with the second-worst record in the NBA is coming to play the Blazers at home, it’s instinct to think that it will be an easy win for the good guys. With the Timberwolves though, that’s not always the case. Of Minnesota’s 16 wins this season, two of them have come at Portland’s expense. This time, everything went as planned. The Trail Blazers, who led by as many as 28, cruised to a 116-91 win at Moda Center on Wednesday night.
Portland (specifically LaMarcus Aldridge) got off to another hot start. After staying home from the team’s trip to Brooklyn, LMA looked extremely well-rested. Aldridge went for 15 points and seven rebounds on 7-of-10 shooting in the first quarter alone. As a whole, the Blazers shot a whopping 57 percent from the field in the period, and led 29-19 heading into the second.
The Trail Blazers continued to play solid defense and shoot well throughout the second quarter, which will always yield good results. The Timberwolves shot just 32 percent in the first half, while the Blazers managed to stay at 50 percent. Portland took a 55-36 lead into the locker room behind LMA’s 18 points and seven rebounds.
For once, the Blazers actually managed to hold onto their lead, and never really allowed the Wolves to get close. The second half was nothing more than a formality. The Wolves played the Blazers fairly evenly in the third and fourth quarters, but with Portland’s huge lead, it didn’t matter. The Blazers’ starters got some well-deserved rest down the stretch, and the guys at the end of the bench got some good run. In the end, it was an easy win for the home team, and those are always nice.
LaMarcus Aldridge led the way for the Trail Blazers, finishing with 24 points and 13 rebounds on 10-of-16 shooting. Perhaps even more impressive? He played just 29 minutes. Robin Lopez also had a great night on the offensive end, scoring 18 points and grabbing six rebounds on 7-of-8 shooting.
With the win, the Trail Blazers move to 51-27 on the season and are now 32-8 on their home floor. More importantly, though, the Spurs are beating the Rockets, and the Grizzlies are blowing out the Pelicans, so Portland is still 1.5 games back of home-court advantage in the Western Conference.
- Shooting percentage: Portland 49% — Minnesota 38%
- Three point percentage: Portland 36% — Minnesota 27%
- Free throws: Portland 20-23 — Minnesota 24-29
- Rebounds: Portland 53 — Minnesota 35
- Assists: Portland 25 — Minnesota 16
- Points in the paint: Portland 38 — Minnesota 34
- Fastbreak points: Portland 12 — Minnesota 8
- Bench points: Portland 42 — Minnesota 15
- LaMarcus Aldridge now has 25 games with 10+ first quarter points, which is the most in the NBA.
- The Blazers held a team under 20 points in a first quarter for the tenth time this year.
- LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard joined Kyrie Irving and LeBron James as the only teammates with 1600+ points this season.
- CJ McCollum has scored in double digits in every game in April so far.