Trail Blazers Game Notes: Minnesota Timberwolves (23-23) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (20-26)
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS (20-26) VS. MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES (23-23)
Tuesday, January 25, 7:00 p.m. (Pacific) • Moda Center
ALL TIME: Trail Blazers lead, 87-37
PORTLAND HOME: Trail Blazers lead, 50-13
MINNESOTA HOME: Trail Blazers lead, 37-24
LAST PORTLAND WIN: 125-121, 3/13/21 (Min.)
LAST MINNESOTA WIN: 116-111, 12/12/21 (Por.)
CURRENT WIN STREAK: One (Min.)
• Tuesday's game is the second matchup between Portland and Minnesota this season and the final game at Moda Center.
• LAST MEETING: The Timberwolves defeated the Trail Blazers 116-111 at Moda Center after all five Minnesota starters scored in double-figures. Anfernee Simons contributed 26 points off the bench for Portland including 6-12 from deep. Damian Lillard dropped 24 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.
• Both teams are shooting well in January, Portland ranks 2nd in the NBA with a 38.9% three-point percentage during the month while Minnesota ranks 7th in overall shooting with a 47.6% field goal percentage.
• Each team has made 162 shots from deep this month, tied for 3rd-most in the league.
• On the defensive end, both teams sit in the Top-10 in the NBA in January in total steals (Minnesota - 105,4th; Portland 94, 8th)
• Minnesota enters the game having lost seven of their last 11 road games while Portland has won three of five home games in January.
• CJ McCollum averages 19.9 points, 2.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds in his last 10 games against Minnesota.
• In Jusuf Nurkić's last five games vs. the Timberwolves he is averaging 15.8 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.40 blocks and 1.00 steal.
• Karl-Anthony Towns is averaging 21.2 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.4 assists in his last five games against the Blazers, including 23 points, 10 rebounds and four assists at Moda Center on December 12.
• In D'Angelo Russell's last five games against Portland he is averaging 27.2 points, 6.4 assists and 5.2 rebounds. He tallied 18 points, five assists and five rebounds in the December 12 matchup.
CONNECTION: Trail Blazers forward Robert Covington played for the Timberwolves from 2018-20, starting in 69 games and averaging 13.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists.
NEWS AND NOTES
WHAT A TRIP: Portland closed out its first road trip of 2022 with back-to-back stellar shooting performances, recording season-highs in three-point percentage in both games and setting a season-high with 31 assists at Toronto. The 18-of-32 (56.3%) performance at Toronto marked the first time the team has shot over 50% this season. The Trail Blazers went 4-2 on the trip and ranked 5th in the NBA in steals (9.0), 8th in blocks (5.3) and 9th in three-point percentage (36.2) during the stretch.
BEN THERE, DONE THAT: Ben McLemore scored 17 points (6-9 FG, 5-7 3-PT) and grabbed one rebound in 18 minutes at Toronto on Jan. 23. It was just the 16th time in the last 10 seasons that a Portland player scored at least 17 points off the bench in 20 minutes or fewer but the second time that McLemore has accomplished the feat this season. It also marked the fourth time this season Ben has made five-plus three-pointers off the bench, tied for seventh-most in the NBA.
NURK IN THE NEW YEAR: Jusuf Nurkić continued his hot start to 2022 with his fourth consecutive game with 18-plus points and 14-plus rebounds on Jan. 19 at Boston, making him the only player in the NBA with such a streak this season. His final stat line - 29 points, 17 rebounds and six assists marks his sixth career 25/15/5 performance, the most of any Trail Blazer in the last 40 years (LaMarcus Aldridge - 3). His 13.4 rebounds per game in January rank 2nd in the NBA while his 3.8 assists and 17.2 points rank 8th and 11th among centers.
RESPECT THE HUSTLE: Robert Covington is the only player in the NBA this season with 60-plus steals and 50-plus blocks. He averages 1.4 steals per game and 1.3 blocks per game. Covington has eight games this season with at least two blocks and two steals, tied for most in the league.
RED HOT ANT: Anfernee Simons is off to a scorching start to 2022, he has set career-highs in points (43) and assists (11) while turning in 20-plus point performances in seven of 10 games. His 23 point (10-24 FG, 2-11 3-PT, 1-2 FT), 11 assist and six rebound performance against Brooklyn on Jan. 10 marked his first double-double of the season, a repeat performance of 31 points and 11 assists on Jan. 15 marked his second. In 2022, Simons is averaging 25.0 points, 7.2 assists and 2.6 rebounds while shooting 47.8% from the field, 44.3% from deep and 88.6% at the line.
LAST FIVE GAMES
Game #46 - Portland 114, Toronto 105 — January 23, 2022, Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario
Portland closed out a six-game road trip with a 114-105 defeat of Toronto at Scotiabank Arena ... The Trail Blazers shot over 50% for the first time this season, finishing 45-of-85 (52.9%) from the field and 18-of-32 (56.3%) from deep ... CJ McCollum led the way with 19 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and two steals ... Nassir Little contributed 19 points, seven rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block ... Anfernee Simons also dropped 19 points, adding five assists, three rebounds and a steal ... Jusuf Nurkić recorded his fifth consecutive double-double, finishing with 11 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, two blocks and a steal ... Ben McLemore knocked down five three-pointers off the bench, totaling 17 points and one rebound ... Pascal Siakam led the Raptors with 28 points, eight rebounds and five assists ... Fred VanVleet contributed 19 points, eight assists and five rebounds.
Game #45 - Portland 109, Boston 105 — January 21, 2022, TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Portland took down Boston 109-105 at TD Garden ... Jusuf Nurkić tallied his fourth straight game with 18-plus points and 14-plus rebounds, the only player in the NBA this season with such a streak, and also led the team with six assists ... CJ McCollum knocked down five three-pointers on his way to 24 points (7-19 FG, 5-10 3-PT, 5-7 FT) with five rebounds, four assists and two blocks ... Anfernee Simons dropped 21 points (8-17 FG, 4-8 3-PT, 1-2 FT) with four assists, two rebounds and two steals ... Nassir Little contributed seven points (3-7 FG, 1-4 3-PT, 0-0 FT), eight rebounds and two assists ... Ben McLemore scored 12 points (4-7 FG, 4-7 3-PT) off the bench with three rebounds ... Robert Covington tallied five rebounds, four rebounds and one block ... Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 27 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in 41 minutes ... Jaylen Brown added 22 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Game #44 - Miami 104, Portland 92 — January 19, 2022, FTX Arena, Miami, Florida
Portland fell to Miami 104-92 at FTX Arena in Miami ... Anfernee Simons scored 20 1st half points, his fourth 20-point half in the last eight games, en route to 27 points (9-18 FG, 6-14 3-PT, 3-4 FT) with seven assists, three rebounds, one steal and one block in 38 minutes ... CJ McCollum finished with 24 points (10-20 FG, 4-9 3-PT), four assists, three blocks and two steals in 33 minutes ... Jusuf Nurkić recorded his third consecutive double-double, totaling 18 points (6-10 FG, 6-8 FT) and 14 rebounds with two assists, one steal and one block ... Robert Covington tallied his first double-double of the season with 11 points (3-11 FG, 3-6 3-PT, 2-2 FT), 12 rebounds and one block ... Nassir Little played 12 minutes and grabbed one rebound and blocked a shot before leaving with an injury ... Caleb Martin recored 26 points and eight rebounds off the bench for Miami ... Bam Adebayo contributed 20 points and 11 rebounds.
Game #43 - Portland 98, Orlando 88 — January 17, 2022, Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
Portland defeated Orlando 98-88 at the Amway Center for their first road winning streak of the season ... Jusuf Nurkić led the Trail Blazers with 21 points (10-21 FG, 0-3 3-PT, 1-2 FT), 22 rebounds, four steals, two assists and two blocks in 36 minutes ... Nassir Little recorded a double-double with 13 points (4-9 FG, 5-5 FT) and 10 rebounds, his fifth consecutive game scoring in double-figures ... CJ McCollum tallied 16 points (7-13 FG, 2-4 3-PT), two assists, one rebound, one steal and one block in his return from injury ... Anfernee Simons registered his seventh consecutive game scoring in double-figures, finishing with 13 points (4-11 FG, 0-5 3-PT, 5-5 FT), seven assists and two rebounds ... Franz Wagner led the Magic with 14 points (7-18 FG, 0-5 3-PT), five rebounds and two assists ... Moritz Wagner contributed 14 points, four rebounds and two assists off the bench.
Game #42 - Portland 115, Washington 110 — January 15, 2022, Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
Portland earned their third road win of the season with a 115-110 victory at Washington ... Anfernee Simons continued his hot streak, earning his third career double-double with 31 points (11-21 FG, 7-14 3-PT, 2-3 FT) and 11 assists, his seven first half three-pointers made him the sixth player in NBA history to record five games with seven-plus threes before turning 23 ... Jusuf Nurkić tallied his 17th double-double of the season with 23 points and 14 rebounds to go with a pair of assists and a pair of steals ... Robert Covington recorded 15 points (5-13 FG, 2-6 3-PT, 3-4 FT), nine rebounds, four steals and two assists ... Nassir Little finished with 18 points, his fourth consecutive game in double figures ... Ben McLemore scored 10 points in 28 minutes ... Spencer Dinwiddie led the Wizards with 27 points ... Kyle Kuzma dropped a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
For the Trail Blazers, Robert Covington (left fifth finger dislocation), Dennis Smith Jr. (right ankle; sprain), and Nassir Little (right knee; acute patellar tendinopathy/contusion) are probable; Damian Lillard (core muscle recovery), Larry Nance Jr. (right knee inflammation), and Cody Zeller (right patellar fracture) are out for Tuesday’s game against Minnesota.
For the Timberwolves, Patrick Beverley (right ankle; sprain) is questionable; Leandro Bolmaro (G League - on assignment) is out.
Tuesday’s game can be seen locally on ROOT SPORTS with Kevin Calabro, Lamar Hurd and Brooke Olzendam calling the action. On the radio side, Travis Demers, Michael Holton and Jay Allen will have the call on Rip City Radio 620 AM and on all of the stations of the Deschutes Brewery Trail Blazers Radio Network.
The Trail Blazers and Rose Quarter are requiring all guests ages 12 and up attending any event at the Rose Quarter, including Winterhawks games, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or provide proof of either a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the event or a negative lab-based rapid test taken within 48 hours of the event. At-home tests will not be accepted.
Kids under age 12 can come to events without proof of vaccination or proof of a negative test unless sitting within 15 feet of the court and benches at a Trail Blazers game. All guests must wear a mask at all times while on the Rose Quarter campus.
Click here for more information on Moda Center’s health and safety protocols.