Depleted Timberwolves mount comeback, but fall in the end to Blazers
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews each made five 3s and scored 26 points to lead the Portland Trail Blazers over the injury-depleted Minnesota Timberwolves 102-97 on Saturday night.
The Blazers made a season-high 16 3-pointers and withstood a fourth-quarter rally by the Timberwolves to win for the 10th time in 13 games and finish their four-game road trip with a 3-1 record.
Nikola Pekovic led the Timberwolves with 21 points but left the game in the third quarter because of a left hip strain. Only hours earlier, Minnesota learned it lost star forward Kevin Love to a broken right hand for the second time this season when an MRI confirmed the injury.
The banged-up Timberwolves -- who dressed only 10 players -- also played without point guard Ricky Rubio, who sat out with back spasms.
Damian Lillard had 20 points for the Blazers.
The Blazers led by as many as 22 before Derrick Williams fueled a 26-8 run with 18 points in the fourth quarter. His two-handed dunk with 1:19 to play cut Portland's lead to 96-94. Williams rebounded a miss from Lillard on the ensuing possession, but J.J. Barea threw the ball out of bounds with 50 seconds left.
LaMarcus Aldridge followed the turnover with a 13-footer to make it 98-94. Williams appeared to score on a tip on the next possession, but the officials waved off the score saying he traveled.
Matthews and Batum each added a pair of free throws to seal the win.
Batum has hit at least three 3-pointers in 15 games this season. ... Love re-fractured his third metacarpal bone in the hand during the third quarter Thursday night at Denver. The Wolves said they expect to know more about a timetable for his return after he is examined by a hand specialist in New York. ... Pekovic had his fifth game with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds this season ... The Blazers had not had a winning record on road trip of four games or longer since going 3-1 from Oct. 27-Nov. 2 in 2010.© The Associated Press