Wiggins powers Wolves' rout of Blazers
MINNEAPOLIS -- Andrew Wiggins scored 23 points and added a season-best eight assists as the Minnesota Timberwolves rolled to a 116-102 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night, Jan. 9.
Robert Covington added 15 points, and Gorgui Dieng recorded 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Timberwolves. Jeff Teague had 12 points and six assists, Jarrett Culver added 12 points and six rebounds and Keita Bates-Diop had 11 points and eight rebounds as Minnesota improved to 5-3 since ending a season-long 11-game losing streak.
Damian Lillard registered 20 points and eight assists for Portland, which lost for the seventh time in the past nine games. Hassan Whiteside added 15 points and 14 rebounds, CJ McCollum also had 15 points and Gary Trent Jr. tallied 13.
The Timberwolves were without star center Karl-Anthony Towns (knee) for the 12th straight game.
Minnesota shot 49.4 percent from the field and was 13 of 32 from 3-point range. The Timberwolves posted a 56-41 rebounding edge.
Portland made 36.5 percent of its field-goal attempts, including 11 of 37 from behind the arc.
Minnesota led by 12 at halftime and poured it on with a 41-point third quarter.
Dieng's tip-in pushed the lead to 20 at 71-51 with 9:18 left in the third.
Wiggins drained a 3-pointer to increase the margin to 23, Shabazz Napier followed with a layup and Noah Vonleh added two free throws to make it 88-61 with 4:34 remaining. The 27-point lead would equal their highest of the night.
Vonleh scored on an acrobatic scoop shot to get Minnesota to 100, and the Timberwolves carried a 100-74 lead into the fourth quarter.
Portland's reserves narrowed the deficit to as few as 13 in the final quarter as the club concluded a 2-3 road trip.
Wiggins scored 14 first-half points as the Timberwolves led 59-47 at the break.
Portland led 34-28 after the first quarter but made just 6 of 22 field-goal attempts in the second stanza. Minnesota scored the final basket of the first quarter to start an 11-0 burst and never trailed again.