Aldridge pushes Trail Blazers past Timberwolves
Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - LaMarcus Aldridge had 26 points and nine rebounds as the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the shorthanded Minnesota Timberwolves, 117-110, on Saturday night.
C.J. McCollum netted 19 points and Damian Lillard tallied 14 points, five rebounds and four assists for the Blazers, who have alternated wins and losses over their last six tilts.
"I feel more comfortable every game," McCollum said. "Obviously I'm a confident person and I put a lot of work in and trust myself."
Ricky Rubio had a career-high 25 points to go with nine assists, while Corey Brewer added 26 points and seven boards for Minnesota, which was without starters Kevin Love (quad), Nikola Pekovic (ankle) and Kevin Martin (toe) due to injuries.
"It doesn't matter who's out, the next guy steps up," Minnesota head coach Rick Adelman said of his squad being shorthanded. "That's the way you have to approach it. You can't worry about who's not playing."
J.J. Barea's driving layup staked Minnesota to an 87-85 edge with 9:46 remaining, but the Blazers countered with an 11-0 run to seize control of the contest.
Wesley Matthews nailed a 3-pointer before Aldridge capped the surge with back- to-back buckets for a 96-87 margin midway through the fourth.
Portland held a lead of at least five points the rest of the way.
Earlier, Portland led 28-23 after a quarter of play and 55-54 at the break.
Rubio knocked down a right wing triple to give Minnesota an 82-75 cushion, its largest of the tilt, late in the third, but the Blazers concluded the stanza on an 8-1 spurt to knot the game at 83-83 going into the fourth.
The Blazers shot 48.8 percent (40-of-82) from the floor ... Robin Lopez pulled down 11 rebounds for Portland ... There were 16 ties and 10 lead changes ... Dante Cunningham had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Minnesota.
02/09 00:56:01 ET