Trail Blazers Lose It In The Fourth Versus Timberwolves

PORTLAND -- The Trail Blazers got their all-star back and tried out another new starting lineup in an effort to break out of their longest losing streak of the season thus far.

Didn’t help.

Portland dropped their fifth-straight game and their last four at home with a 116-111 loss to the Timberwolves in front of a crowd of 16,591 Sunday night at Moda Center.

“We don’t do anything for long enough stretches,” said Damian Lillard. “Throughout the game it’s like we have good moments but we aren’t able to sustain it on either end. We do things good for a few possessions and then we have a few bad possessions. I think that’s on both ends of the floor and it’s going to be tough to win a game like that.”

The Trail Blazers are now 11-16 overall and 10-5 at home this season. They are currently tied for 10th in the Western Conference standings after 27 games.

With Damian Lillard returning to the lineup after sitting out the last five games with abdominal tendinopathy and Larry Nance Jr. getting his first start of the season in place of Robert Covington, the hope was that the Trail Blazers good finally end their losing streak at home versus a Timberwolves team that had lost five-in-a-row.

But while it was nice to get Lillard back in the lineup and Nance Jr. in the starting five, it was the play of the bench, particularly Anfernee Simons and Ben McLemore, that gave the Trail Blazers a chance Sunday night.

After a back-and-forth affair in the first half -- Minnesota led by as many as seven in the first quarter and Portland by four in the second quarter -- the Timberwolves went on a 12-0 run early in their third quarter to take their largest lead of the game at 68-56.

Portland would respond by holding Minnesota scoreless for nearly four minutes, and while they too weren’t exactly setting the nets on fire, they did enough to cut the Timberwolves’ advantage to five going into the fourth.

And when Simons, McLemore and Nassir Little led a 16-4 run to start to the fourth to give Portland a 100-93 lead with just under eight minutes to play, it seemed as if they might finally be back on the winning track.

But then the Timberwolves held the Blazers to just two points over the next four minutes, all while D’Angelo Russell made back-to-back threes to help the visitors reclaim the lead.

“Played hard, got up seven and it seemed we just couldn’t score for a little while,” said Billups. “That was kind of the moment of truth in the game.”

Minnesota would eventually go on an 11-2 run, which was more than enough to end their losing streak while extending Portland’s.


Anfernee Simons came off the bench to score a game-high 26 points on 9-of-20 shooting from the field and 6-of-12 shooting from three in 32 minutes.

Damian Lillard finished with 24 points on 17 shots to go with 11 rebounds and six assists in just under 37 minutes. Ben McLemore made five of his six attempts, all of which came from behind the three-point line, to finish with 15 points to go along with two assists an d two rebounds in 15 minutes.

Norman Powell added 15 points, a season-high four assists and two rebounds in 38 minutes. Nassir Little finished with 10 points in 20 minutes and Larry Nance Jr. had eight points, 12 rebounds and four assists in his first start as a Trail Blazer.

Karl-Anthony Towns finished with a double-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds and Anthony Edwards went 7-of-13 for 24 points in 29 minutes.



• Portland shot 18-of-48 from deep (37.5%). It was the third-most three-pointers the Trail Blazers have made in a game this season. Minnesota was 14-of-36 from the three-point-line (38.9%).

• The Trail Blazers recorded a season-high eight blocks to go with nine steals. The Timberwolves had two blocks and nine steals.

• Portland outrebounded Minnesota, 45-42.

• The Trail Blazers bench outscored the Minnesota reserves, 46-27.

• Minnesota snapped an eight-game losing streak at Moda Center, earning its first win in Portland since April 9, 2016.


“We're gonna have our run, it's gonna come. We're gonna have our 6-7 game run. Until then, we're gonna stay resilient, stay tough, and push to try to make that run sooner rather than later.” -- Larry Nance Jr.


The Trail Blazer start an all-home back-to-back by hosting the Phoenix Suns, owners of the best record in the NBA, Tuesday night at Moda Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.