|
|
|
MailTribune.com
  • Batum, Blazers hold off Timberwolves

  • MINNEAPOLIS — Getting ready to play his fourth road game in five nights, Nicolas Batum said he felt sluggish during warmups Saturday night at Minnesota.
    • email print
  • MINNEAPOLIS — Getting ready to play his fourth road game in five nights, Nicolas Batum said he felt sluggish during warmups Saturday night at Minnesota.
    "I was like, 'Let's play this game and get out of here,'" he said. "I was tired."
    It was the Timberwolves, though, who looked and played how Batum felt.
    Batum and Wesley Matthews each made five 3s and scored 26 points to lead the Portland Trail Blazers over the injury-depleted Timberwolves 102-97.
    "I got tired I think when I got 31 here a couple years ago," Batum said, recalling a 31-point performance at Minnesota in 2010 — he had five 3s in that game as well.
    "I was tired," he said.
    Imagine if he had actually felt energized.
    The Blazers tied a franchise record with 16 3-pointers and withstood a fourth-quarter rally by the Timberwolves to win for the 10th time in 13 games and finish their four-game road trip with a 3-1 record.
    "If you shoot the 3 that well, you should probably win by more than five," Portland coach Terry Stotts said.
    Nikola Pekovic led the Wolves with 21 points but left the game in the third quarter because of a left hip strain. Only hours earlier, Minnesota learned it lost star forward Kevin Love to a broken right hand for the second time this season when an MRI confirmed the injury.
    The banged-up Timberwolves — who dressed only 10 players — also played without point guard Ricky Rubio, who sat out with back spasms.
    Afterward, coach Rick Adelman bemoaned his team's flat play in the first three quarters before suddenly coming to life in the end.
    "The league doesn't stop for you, there's nobody coming over the mountain for us, it's who we've got right now," Adelman said. "And that's what we have to do, and everybody has to step up."
    The Blazers led by as many as 22 before Derrick Williams fueled a 26-8 run with 18 points in the fourth quarter. His two-handed dunk with 1:19 to play cut Portland's lead to 96-94. Williams rebounded a miss from Damian Lillard on the ensuing possession, but J.J. Barea threw the ball out of bounds with 50 seconds left.
    "I think we all just took it a little personal," Williams said. "We're down 20 points in the third quarter, and just a lot of guys playing with a lot of heart in the fourth quarter. We've just got to play like that all the time."
    LaMarcus Aldridge followed the turnover with a 13-footer to make it 98-94. Williams appeared to score on a tip on the next possession, but the officials waved off the score saying he traveled.
    Matthews and Batum each added a pair of free throws to seal the win.
    "I've been telling you guys this since the start of the year — we're resilient, we can play," Matthews said. "We're good. We can win. We're a playoff team."
    Knicks 114, Magic 106
    At Orlando, Fla., Carmelo Anthony scored 16 of his 40 points in the fourth quarter, helping the New York Knicks top the Orlando Magic.
    J.R. Smith added 18 points for New York, and Tyson Chandler had 14 points and 12 rebounds. The Knicks have won two straight overall and four in a row over the Magic, dating to last season.
    Arron Afflalo and Jameer Nelson each had 29 points for the Magic, and Nik Vucevic contributed 11 points and 18 rebounds.
    Orlando outrebounded New York 45-40, but had 14 turnovers as its longest losing streak of the season reached eight games.
    The Magic flipped a four-point halftime deficit into an 89-81 lead entering the fourth. The Knicks rallied using their size, going up 99-97 on a dunk by Chandler with 5:14 left.
    Hornets 99, Mavericks 96, OT
    At Dallas, Eric Gordon completed a three-point play with 4.7 seconds left in overtime and New Orleans spoiled Dallas' first game this season with Dirk Nowitzki in the starting lineup.
    After a timeout, O.J. Mayo was beyond the 3-point line when Gordon went up the air and by him. Gordon's foot made contact with the ball, knocking it loose. Instead of a foul, officials called it a kicked ball. Dallas got one more chance but Vince Carter's shot from the right corner ricocheted off the rim.
    Nowitzki had a team-high 20 points in 34 minutes, his most extensive action this season. He missed a free throw with 18 seconds left in regulation that would have put the Mavericks ahead by a point.
    Pacers 95, Bucks 80
    At Indianapolis, Roy Hibbert had 20 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots to lead Indiana past Milwaukee.
    Hibbert grabbed a career-high 11 offensive rebounds as the Pacers won their seventh straight home game. George Hill added 14 points after missing Indiana's previous three games with a right thigh contusion.
    Celtics 89, Hawks 81
    At Atlanta, Rajon Rondo had 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, and the Boston Celtics rallied to beat Atlanta.
    Paul Pierce scored 17 of his 26 points in the third quarter as the Celtics erased a 19-point deficit and went on to consecutive wins for the first time since late November against Oklahoma City and Orlando.
    Nets 113, Kings 93
    At New York, Brook Lopez scored 18 points in 17 minutes to lead six players in double figures, and Brooklyn got a nice effort from their reserves for its third straight victory.
    One night after needing two overtimes to escape with a 115-113 victory in Washington, the Nets made sure the starters weren't too taxed. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson both scored 15 points, but neither had to play even 30 minutes.
    Reserves MarShon Brooks and Andray Blatche each scored 15 points and Mirza Teletovic had a career-best 14 as the Nets scored a season-high 65 points in the first half and improved to 5-1 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.
    Rockets 112, Cavaliers 104
    At Cleveland, James Harden scored 29 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter, and Houston beat Cleveland.
    Jeremy Lin added 20 points for Houston, which has won 11 of its last 14.
    Kyrie Irving led Cleveland with 30 points, including 11 in the final period, but the Cavaliers fell short of winning two in a row for the second time this season.
    Spurs 109, 76ers 86
    At San Antonio, Tony Parker had 20 points and Manu Ginobili added 19 and San Antonio routed Philadelphia.
    Tim Duncan added 16 points, Danny Green had 13 and Gary Neal had 12 for San Antonio, which has won 10 straight at home. Tiago Splitter had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
    Spencer Hawes had a game-high 22 points for Philadelphia, which has lost three straight and five of six.
    Nuggets 110, Jazz 91
    At Denver, Danilo Gallinari scored 26 points and Denver rebounded from a rare home loss to beat Utah.
    Andre Iguodala added 18 points and Kenneth Faried had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets, who improved to 11-2 at home this season after their eight-game winning streak at the Pepsi Center was snapped Thursday in a loss to Minnesota.
    Clippers 115, Warriors 89
    At Los Angeles, Chris Paul had 27 points and nine assists, Blake Griffin added 20 points and the Los Angeles Clippers set a franchise record with their 12th straight home victory.
    The Clippers lead the NBA with a 27-8 record, a half-game ahead of Western Conference rivals Oklahoma City and San Antonio. The Clippers won a club-record 17 straight overall before back-to-back road losses at Denver and Golden State, then beat the Lakers 107-102 on Friday.
Reader Reaction
      • calendar