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Minnesota Timberwolves keep on rolling, topple Portland Trail Blazers

The Minnesota Miracle was all the rage Sunday night in the sports world, particularly in the Twin Cities. After all, it had been 17 years since the Timberwolves pulled off a 5-0 homestand…

Wait, what? The Vikings? Oh, that Minnesota Miracle.

Well, what the Wolves accomplished with their thorough victory over Portland was pretty significant too, even if it didn’t propel them into a conference championship the way Stefon Diggs’ “walkoff” catch-and-run touchdown did on the other side of downtown Minneapolis. Kent Youngblood of the cities’ Star Tribune wrote about the fast-improving NBA (not NFL) team in town:

“We’ve come a ways,” veteran reserve Jamal Crawford said. “Now, we still have a ways to go. We’re not satisfied. We’re not … content. We have more levels we can go do. But it’s nice to be building good habits.”

The Wolves (29-16) completed the second 5-0 homestand in franchise history, the first since January 2001. They have won eight in a row at home, have won 12 of their past 15 games overall, a stretch that started with that comeback against Portland a month ago.

In this just-concluded homestand, the Wolves won five games, including four against teams currently in playoff position, by an average of 17.8 points.

… In the homestand the Wolves shot 51.0 percent, 37.4 from three-point range while also playing good defense.

“I think the defensive efforts we’re having in stretches are what is getting us these leads in games,” [forward Jimmy] Butler said. “Yeah, we have lapses, sometimes to begin a game, sometimes later in games. But we show promise on that side of the ball.”

If the Vikings win next week in Philadelphia, they’ll become the first team to play in a Super Bowl held in its home city. That will keep the Timberwolves in the shadows a bit longer, as far as the market’s sports spotlight goes.

But with results like they’ve been getting, Butler, Crawford and the rest of coach Tom Thibodeau’s bunch will get their share after Super Bowl LII, right into the NBA postseason.