Wolves fall to Portland for 14th straight time
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Wesley Matthews scored 29 of his career-high 36 points in the first half and the Portland Trail Blazers rolled to a 108-98 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 28 points and 10 rebounds for the Blazers, who beat Minnesota for the 14th straight time.
Kevin Love had 30 points and 19 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who have lost four of their past five games. Michael Beasley chipped in 17 points, but hobbled through the second half after taking a nasty fall on his right hip.
Matthews hit his first seven shots from the field and was 7-for-8 from three-point range to lead the Blazers to a 63-43 lead at halftime. His seven 3s were a franchise record for a half and one off the team record for a game.
Signed away from Utah in the offseason, Matthews has been filling in at shooting guard for the injured Brandon Roy, who has a left knee injury.
Matthews hit all five of his three-pointers and scored 19 in the first quarter. His previous career high for points in a game was 30.
The Timberwolves committed 19 turnovers, leading to 25 Portland points, a problem that has plagued them all season long.
Two nights after their most embarrassing defeat in a season full of them -- a 108-105 home loss to a Bobcats team that was missing three starters -- the Wolves again delivered a listless performance lacking effort, energy and focus on the defensive end.
Matthews and the Blazers had their "3 goggles" going for the entire first half, hitting nine from long range and jogging back down the court with their thumbs and pointer fingers forming a circle over their eyes and their other three fingers held up.
Beasley curiously showed up for the game with scratches all over the right side of his face, but that didn't stop him from scoring eight points in the period. But as he has been all season, Beasley was slow to get out on the perimeter against his man, and Matthews benefited from open look after open look.
Minnesota cut a 24-point deficit to nine with 1:34 to go in the game, but two more turnovers down the stretch ended any hope for a comeback.
The Wolves dropped to 9-28 on the season and coach Kurt Rambis fell to 24-95 in his short career as coach.
NOTES: Love had a 20-15 game for the 17th time this season. Last year Dwight Howard led the NBA with 19 for the whole season ... Blazers PG Andre Miller had 16 points and 10 assists to pass Muggsy Bogues for 16th on the career assist list. ... Anthony Tolliver played for the first time since Dec. 3 because of a sprained MCL in his right knee. He finished with 10 points in 21 minutes. ... Wolves C Darko Milicic had another foul-plagued night. He picked up two in the first for the seventh time in 13 games and had four 16 seconds into the third quarter. ... Blazers G Rudy Fernandez did not play in the second half because of illness.