Jimmy Butler's last-second free throws lead Timberwolves past Blazers
MINNEAPOLIS -- Jimmy Butler hit a pair of free throws with 2.5 seconds left and Damian Lillard's 3-point shot at the buzzer was off the mark as the Minnesota Timberwolves came from behind to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 108-107 on Monday night.
Butler scored 37 points, had six rebounds and four assists for Minnesota, which finished a five-game homestand 3-2 after the comeback. Jamal Crawford had a season-high 23 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter, off the bench for the Wolves, who recovered from a disappointing loss on Saturday to Phoenix.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 16 points and eight rebounds for Minnesota.
Lillard fell two rebounds shy of his first career triple-double after posting 17 points and 13 assists. Jusuf Nurkic and C.J. McCollum each scored 20 points for Portland, which had its three-game winning streak snapped.
The Blazers shot 54.8 percent from the field but had 17 turnovers. After shooting 9 of 14 from 3 in the first half, they were 1 of 10 from deep in the second half.
Portland finally took control of a back-and-forth game at the end of the third quarter. Lillard hit a 3 to cap a 13-3 run for an 83-74 lead.
Butler was trying to keep his team in the game, scoring 10 of the team's 13 points at one stretch. But he was subbed out during the Blazers' run and Portland scored seven straight points.
Crawford, the former Blazers guard, took the scoring load in the fourth. His jumper and free throw after a foul brought the Wolves within 105-104. Andrew Wiggins stole the ball from Al-Farouq Aminu underneath the basket, leading to a pair of Butler free throws for a 106-105 lead.
McCollum gave Portland the lead back with a jumper from the top of the key.
Aminu fouled Butler with 2.5 seconds left and Butler calmly stepped to the line and knocked down both free throws.
NOTES: Portland coach Terry Stotts said C Jusuf Nurkic is still on a minutes limit as he returns from an ankle injury. Nurkic played 28 minutes on Monday. ... The Trail Blazers have won eight of the last 10 games between the two teams. ... Minnesota F Nemanja Bjelica missed his 13th straight game with a left mid-foot sprain. ... The game featured 21 lead changes and was tied 17 times, with Portland holding the biggest advantage of either team at 10 points. ... Wolves G Jimmy Butler has four 30-point games this season.