The Portland Trail Blazers came close to blowing a game they had in the bag, but recovered from dreadful third quarter to outlast the Minnesota Timberwolves 132-122 on the road Monday.
The Blazers dominated in the early going and built a lead as large as 18 points in the second quarter before letting a still-surprisingly-energized Wolves squad claw back into it. Minny even managed to shortly pull ahead for a few minutes in the final period, but Seth Curry capped off one of the best showings of the supporting cast this season to seal the victory.
Random thoughts and takeaways
Evan Turner got a triple-double. There’s just no other way to break that. Perhaps the forgotten sixth-man in this neo-Blazer era, Evan Turner busted out from the edge of obscurity to put up his fourth triple-double of his career (13 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists). He achieved it in less in-your-face, more double-check the box score fashion, but that might just be fitting for a guy whose game usually flies under the radar. He also didn’t miss a shot to boot (5-5 FG, 2-2 FT), was a team-best +15 in just 25 minutes and only committed a single turnover. As ET put it to Brooke Olzendam in the post game interview: “That was dope.”
Mad scientist. Still awaiting the desirably deus ex machina return of CJ McCollum, Terry Stotts experimented with yet another starting lineup - tonight, it was Rodney Hood who joined Enes Kanter and the remaining regulars and success he had. Hood was on fire early, making all of his shots in the first quarter where he and Kanter both provided a big spark with a dozen points apiece. They both went on to finish with team-highs 21 and 20 points, respectively, as Portland needed a pressure release valve for Damian Lillard, who was the focus and a half of Minnesota’s defensive game plan. Along with Curry, who put the nail in the coffin for the Wolves late, the supporting cast was able to prop up Dame (15 points, 6-17 FG, 12 assists) when he wasn’t able to carry the scoring load offensively.
The Blazers will briefly return home to the Moda Center Wednesday when they host the Memphis Grizzlies at 7 p.m.