Trail Blazers rally, but Timberwolves prevail, 109-107
Sometimes the toughest game for an NBA team is the first one at home after an outstanding road trip — a thought that played out Tuesday at Moda Center.
But, Portland, entering the game hot after a 4-2 road trip, failed to go down quietly.
The Blazers held some leads, before Minnesota took command in the fourth quarter. But, the Trail Blazers, showing grit and determination once again, rallied only to lose 109-107.
D'Angelo Russell scored on a driving basket with 2.9 seconds left; Anfernee Simons got called for defensive goaltending on the play after being beaten by Russell on the drive to the hoop. On Portland's possession, Simons' 3-pointer, contested by Minnesota, fell off the mark.
Anthony Edwards had a monster game for Minnesota (24-23) with 40 points. He went 14 of 27 from the field and hit five 3-pointers, while adding nine rebounds.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 17 points and 17 rebounds and Russell added 22 points.
The Blazers (20-27) welcomed back Norman Powell to the lineup. Jusuf Nurkic continued his strong play with 20 points and 14 rebounds. Nassir Little had 20 points and eight rebounds, and Simons had 17 points (including four 3-pointers, but going 5 of 18 from the field).
CJ McCollum, who returned to the Blazers during the road trip, had an off night but added 15 points and hit a key shot late in the fourth quarter.
Minnesota led 106-97 on Edwards' 3-pointer with 3:29 left. But, Portland chipped away at the deficit.
McCollum drained a 3-pointer, Nurkic made a layup and Powell hit two free throws as the Blazers trailed only 106-104.
Then, Russell made one of two free throws, and McCollum countered with a 32-foot 3-pointer with 10.5 seconds left to tie it 107-107. But, Russell got the best of Simons to score the game-winning points.
Portland's four road wins doubled their previous win total away from Moda Center. The Blazers are 14-12 at home and 6-15 on the road.
The Blazers play host to Dallas at 7 p.m. Wednesday, both teams playing the second game of back-to-back games. The Mavericks were routed at Golden State on Tuesday, 130-92, and both Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis played.
Meanwhile, off the court Tuesday, it was announced that reserve center Cody Zeller had knee surgery in Los Angeles to address his right patellar avulsion fracture.
He'll be reevaluated in eight to 10 weeks.
He has played in 27 games, averaging 13.1 minutes, 5.2 points and 4.6 rebounds.
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