LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points and 13 rebounds, and the Portland Trail Blazers split the season series against the Minnesota Timberwolves, taking them down easily, 116-91 Wednesday night at Moda Center.
The extra rest certainly seemed to help the players who did not make the trip to New York. 22 of Portland's 29 points in the first period came from Aldridge (15), Nicolas Batum (5), or Chris Kaman (2). With the Blazers shooting 55% in the quarter, they quickly seized a ten point lead. Andrew Wiggins had 11 for Minnesota, but Portland held a 29-19 advantage after one.
Both teams were cold to start the second quarter, but Portland quickly heated up, while Minnesota stayed frigid. CJ McCollum led the Blazers with six, though seven Blazers scored in the quarter. One sequence defined the quarter for Portland. After driving to the lane, Batum tried to pass off to Kaman, only to have the pass deflected by Justin Hamilton. Batum saved the ball from going out by flinging it to half court, where Damian Lillard had to save it by flinging it back. Kaman caught the return from Lillard, passing to an open Batum who was just returning from his trip out of bounds, who hit a three. With Minnesota shooting just 30% in the quarter, Portland led by 19 at halftime.
During the quarter, Portland set a team record for most threes in one season with their 770th.
Portland seemed to go into cruise control in the third, advancing their lead to as large as 27. Lillard had nine in the period (six from the free throw line), and Robin Lopez added seven to pace the Blazers. Portland would lead by 22 after three.
The game in the fourth was never really contested. McCollum led the scoring with seven, Lopez had five more, and the bench was emptied onto the court by the six minute mark.
McCollum led the bench scoring with 13, his fifth straight game in double-figures. Lillard had 17 on 4-of-13 shooting. Lopez finished with 18 points and 6 rebounds. Arron Afflalo had four points on 1-of-7 shooting. One game after setting a career-high with 15 rebounds, Meyers Leonard had six points and ten rebounds.
Gameday Thread Comments of the Night
Tonight was a very relaxed game, and so were the residents of our Gameday Thread. Seriously, there was a discussion about Fall Out Boy. Here were some of the best comments (not about Fall Out Boy):
Could Chase Budinger any more successfully conjure an image of what someone named Chase Budinger would look like?
I had to Google his image to make sure he looked exactly how I imagined him to look, and he did.
by Blazin' in Sydney
Give Blake's minutes to Frazier.
by Roy Wonder
Come on, Stevie has been more than serviceable. Just don't let him inbound the ball!
Or manage a shot clock in 2009.
Portland's 51 wins so far this season are tied for ninth-most in the 45-year history of the Trail Blazers.— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) April 9, 2015
.@MeyersLeonard11 has hit double-figures in rebounds for the 2nd straight game. 1st time in his career he's done that in back-to-back games.— Jay Allen (@PDXjay) April 9, 2015
The Trail Blazers are now 40-8 (.833) this season when their opponents score fewer than 100 points. #PORvsMIN— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) April 9, 2015
Portland has now defeated Minnesota in seven consecutive home games, dating back to April 1, 2012. #PORvsMIN— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) April 9, 2015
Rolo, on his offensive mindset- "I just have to catch the ball, and then try not to screw up."— Mike Barrett (@blazermb) April 9, 2015
In five April games, CJ McCollum has averaged 15.6 points (3rd on team) on 31-for-55 FG (56.4%).— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) April 9, 2015
#Blazers just missed the most lopsided win of season, falling one short of the 26 points they beat N.O. by in December.— Mike Tokito (@mtokito) April 9, 2015
There was a right shoe in Wesley Matthews' locker. Was told that he was in the building pre game before heading out.— Erik Gundersen (@blazerbanter) April 9, 2015
Stotts said he's not going to talk to Meyers about the jab step. He, too, is about letting Meyers flourish.— Erik Gundersen (@blazerbanter) April 9, 2015