Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com reports that Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum was out to prove he was worth his large contract in his first visit to Minnesota after the Timberwolves signed him to a four-year, $46.5 million offer sheet in restricted free agency last summer.
"They (Minnesota) gave me my contract first," Batum told CSNNW.com. "So those people didn't even know me and I felt I should prove to them and the fans that I was worth it. It was good hearing, 'Why are you not here' and 'Why you not with us' and 'We need you.' That means I got some respect tonight."
But the start by Batum and his extra motivation was what got them going.
"A little bit [I was a motivated], we all know what happened this summer so I know people were waiting for it. Especially for this game. But, I'm just glad we got a win and got a 3-1 road trip. So I'm good with that."
Batum finished with 26 points, five rebounds, three assists and three blocks on nine-for-11 shooting in 38 minutes. He also hit five-for-six from downtown.
Last week, one national writer praised Batum for living up to his deal.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter