Wiggins' double-double helps Timberwolves stun Blazers
MINNEAPOLIS — Andrew Wiggins had 23 points, 10 rebounds and four assists and the Minnesota Timberwolves stunned the Portland Trail Blazers with a 90-82 victory on Wednesday night.
Corey Brewer had 19 points eight rebounds, five assists and five steals for the Timberwolves, who snapped a six-game losing streak and won for just the third time since Ricky Rubio went out with an injured ankle on Nov. 7. They outrebounded Portland 56-38 to overcome four key players being out with injuries.
Damian Lillard had 23 points and seven rebounds for the Trail Blazers. But LaMarcus Aldridge managed just 10 points on 3-for-14 shooting and Portland turned the ball over 20 times while shooting 38.8 percent. The Blazers scored 16 points in the second quarter and 15 in the third, their two lowest outputs of the season and lost for just the second time in 16 games.
Playing on the second night of a back-to-back against a team missing Rubio, Nikola Pekovic, Kevin Martin and Mo Williams, the Blazers were sluggish throughout in a game they could ill afford to lose in the hyper competitive Western Conference.
Aldridge missed his first six shots and went scoreless in the first half, Shabazz Muhammad attacked the step-slow Portland defense and the Wolves outrebounded the bigger Blazers, who turned the ball over five times in the first 7 minutes of the second half to fall behind 60-40.
The Wolves closed the third quarter with a flurry as Wiggins thwarted a 3-on-1 break and fed Brewer for a 3-pointer that gave them a 66-51 lead going into the fourth.
Portland still trailed 72-60 with 8:30 to play. Aldridge and Wes Matthews hit back-to-back 3-pointers during a 10-4 surge that cut the deficit to four points.
But Wiggins, the No. 1 overall pick in the June draft, scored five straight for the Wolves, the last a pretty pull-up with 3 minutes to go that pushed the lead back to nine points, and the Wolves held on.
Lillard, Aldridge, Matthews, Will Barton and Dorell Wright joined the likes of Derrick Rose, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant in donning a black t-shirt with "I Can't Breathe" in white letters in response to a grand jury not issuing an indictment in the death of Eric Garner, who died after being choked by a New York police officer in July. Lillard had the shirts shipped to Minnesota, and they met the team here after they played in Detroit on Tuesday. They wore them during the national anthem and introductions as well.
"I think it's good for our players to have a social conscience," coach Terry Stotts said.