In a wild nationally-televised contest with a playoff atmosphere, the Blazers pulled away from the Timberwolves in the final minutes for a huge 108-99 victory. Despite a slow start, Damian Lillard finished with another huge game to dominate the fourth quarter. Jusuf Nurkic, CJ McCollum and Shabazz Napier also played big roles in the game. Here are a few essentials to take away from tonight’s win:
- A Polar Shooting Vortex. Neither team could find the hoop in the first half, combining to make 1 of their 20 three-pointers. In one possession, the Blazers missed three consecutive shots at the hoop. Lillard missed his first nine shots, and his first free throw. Both teams fought through their woes to keep it a close game throughout.
- KAT Was Purring. Karl-Anthony Towns showed everyone why he’s the NBA’s future in Butler’s absence. He scored 34 points and hauled down 17 rebounds to keep Minny ahead until their disastrous fourth quarter.
- Stifled Howling. The Wolves were completely shut down by Portland’s fourth-quarter defense. Without Butler available as their go-to scorer, Minnesota struggled to find anyone who could consistently get to the hoop and score. Before they knew it, Portland almost literally ran away with the game.
- We’re Talking About Playoffs? Portland tied up the season series with Minnesota, 2-2, leaving a chance to still win the tiebreaker in the crazy-close Western Conference playoff race.
Oklahoma City is coming to town for a Saturday night contest. But stay tuned for more coverage of tonight’s game from Blazer’s Edge.