Matthews helps Blazers top Timberwolves 103-95

Associated Press Modified: November 24, 2012 at 11:17 am •  Published: November 24, 2012
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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Wesley Matthews has been waiting for a game like this.

Matthews had a season-high 30 points, rookie Damian Lillard had a career-high 28 points and eight assists and the Portland Trail Blazers sent the Minnesota Timberwolves to their fourth straight defeat with a 103-95 win Saturday night.

J.J. Hickson had 14 points and 13 rebounds, returning from a shoulder injury for Portland, which has won four of its last five games. LaMarcus Aldridge had 13 points and sat for stretches in foul trouble. Matthews made five of the Blazers' 11 3s.

Matthews has been steady but not spectacular for Portland this season, averaging 17.3 points while leading the Blazers in 3-point shooting at 44 percent. His previous season high was 22 points.

"There haven't been too many games where I could really just let go — it felt really good," Matthews said.

Love had 24 points and 13 rebounds in his second game back for Minnesota, which is 1-5 after winning three of its first four this season. Nikola Pekovic had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Luke Ridnour added 14 points for the Wolves.

Portland never looked back after going on a 13-0 run that started just before the end of the third quarter. The Blazers led 88-78 at the end of that run and went up 95-84 after Matthews hit a 3-pointer with 6:16 remaining.

"Wes Matthews and Lillard . they just couldn't miss. It's as easy as that," Love said.

This first matchup of the season between the teams was highly anticipated on several fronts. It was supposed to mark a Portland homecoming for former Blazers star Brandon Roy, who came out of retirement to join the Wolves this season but is out after having knee surgery Monday.

Love is still popular in Portland, where he grew up and attended high school. And Minnesota general manager David Kahn, coach Rick Adelman and much of Adelman's staff have strong ties to the city. Kahn signed Portland's Nicolas Batum to an offer sheet in the offseason, forcing the Blazers to match the four-year, $44 million offer to keep the fifth-year Frenchman. Batum finished with nine points and five assists, shooting just 3-of-10 from the field, while fighting flu-like symptoms.

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