Wolves Fall to Blazers
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Blazers 108 (20-17) - Timberwolves 98 (9-28) | Target Center
How it happened:
The tone was set early in this Friday night contest at the Target Center. Offseason acquisition Wesley Matthews led the Blazers orchestra by scoring 29 of his 36 points in the first half and spearheaded Portland's 109-98 victory over Minnesota.
The lead expanded to 20 points by the end of the first half, forcing the now 9-28 Wolves into an uphill battle. Matthews has become an impressive replacement for Brandon Roy at the shooting guard position. Tonight, the former Marquette standout proved his worth, drilling seven 3-pointers en route to a career high scoring night. The drive and kick offense was extremely effective for the Blazers along with the new-look fast pace offense that registered a solid 51.1 percentage from the floor.
LaMarcus Aldridge took over in the second half and finished with 28 points to lift Portland to a 20-17 overall record in the conclusion of a three-game road trip.
"Obviously, I was very disappointed with the first half. We didn't come out with the sort of energy, focus, and determination that you have to have to have in order to get wins in this league, with our attention to detail in our game plan and knowing personnel. We let them do things to easily and get to comfortable." -- head coach Kurt Rambis
Leader of the Pack:
Kevin Love provided the Wolves with consistent scoring and effort on the glass while the team struggled to find an offensive rhythm. The All-Star hopeful extended his double-double streak to 23 straight games, finishing with 30 points and 19 rebounds.
Rambis started Corey Brewer to begin the second half and he displayed true lockdown defensive skills. Brewer chased Matthews all over the floor, sticking to the red-hot shooter like Velcro. Matthews only posted nine points after the explosive 29-point first half.
Highlight to Remember:
Just minutes into the second period, Beasley launched high into the air and fell hard to the floor. The training staff checked on his status as the fans patiently waited to see if the Wolves leading scorer could regain composure and rise to his feet. B-Easy was able to jump back into action and threw down a thunderous two-handed slam moments later and finished the first half with 10 points.
Unfortunately, Wesley Johnson suffered through a rookie-type of game and was scoreless in 18 minutes of action.
The Wolves will utilize a day of practice in preparation for two straight games against the Spurs. On Sunday, San Antonio entertains Minnesota on its home floor at 6 PM and the Spurs travel to the Twin Cities on Tuesday for the second matchup next week.
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