Timberwolves top Blazers to spoil Damian Lillard's return | Inquirer Sports

Timberwolves top Blazers to spoil Damian Lillard’s return

/ 04:36 PM December 13, 2021
Karl Anthony Towns Timberwolves

Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts after a play during the third quarter against the Atlanta Hawks at Target Center on December 6, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Harrison Barden/Getty Images/AFP

Anthony Edwards scored 24 points as the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves snapped a five-game losing streak with a 116-111 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Wolves while D’Angelo Russell made two key 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter and finished with 18 points following a three-game absence due to a hamstring injury.

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Anfernee Simons made six 3-pointers and scored a season-high 26 points to lead Portland, which has lost five in a row and eight of its last nine.

Portland star Damian Lillard returned after missing the last five games due to an abdomen injury and tallied 24 points, 11 rebounds and six assists in 37 minutes.

Norman Powell and Ben McLemore scored 15 points apiece for the Blazers.

After Minnesota took a five-point lead into the fourth quarter at 89-84, Portland moved ahead 102-98 on Larry Nance Jr.’s dunk with 5:15 remaining.

Russell hit two straight 3-pointers to tie the game at 104-all with 3:39 left and the Wolves used an 8-2 run to pull ahead 112-106 with 55.4 seconds left.

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Lillard, who was 5-of-17 shooting and 3 of 14 from 3-point range, made a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 112-109 with nine seconds left. Russell sealed the victory for Minnesota with two free throws.

Towns scored 12 points in the first quarter for the Wolves, who led 33-26 after closing the period on a 10-1 run.

Minnesota committed nine turnovers in the second quarter but held a 56-55 advantage at the break behind Towns’ 19 points. Simons and McLemore combined for 20 points in the first half for the Blazers.

Minnesota opened the second half on a 12-1 run and moved ahead 68-56 on Russell’s 3-pointer with 9:33 left in the third quarter.

Portland battled back and pulled within 86-84 on McLemore’s 3-pointer with 15 seconds left before Minnesota’s Jaylen Nowell answered with a 3-pointer to end the third period.

The Blazers made a change in their starting lineup with forward Robert Covington coming off the bench for the first time this season. Nance received the start and recorded eight points and 12 rebounds.

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TAGS: Anthony Edwards, Damian Lillard, Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves, Portland Trail Blazers
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