The Minnesota Timberwolves will chase their fourth straight win Saturday night when they play the first straight home game with the Portland Trail Blazers.
The teams will face off again on Monday night.
Minnesota prevailed for the fourth time in five games on Friday, earning a 138-101 road win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Six Timberwolves have scored at least 15 points, led by Karl-Anthony Towns and Naz Reid with 20 apiece. Reid shot a perfect 8-on-8 from the floor.
Taurean Prince shot 7 for 10 from the floor for 18 points, and D’Angelo Russell had 17 points and seven assists. Jaden McDaniels finished with 16 points and Malik Beasley scored 15, joining Reid at the helm of a reserve crew that outscored the Thunder subs 74-18.
Minnesota’s goal distribution has been balanced throughout this winning streak. Six Timberwolves scored in double figures against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, surpassed by Russell’s 25, and three scored at least 20 points on Tuesday against the Golden State Warriors. Cities led the way with 39.
“We just move the ball, split the ball, cut for each other, just play for each other,” Reid told Bally Sports North in his post-match interview on Friday. “We just try to keep doing that in every game.”
The Timberwolves have maintained their punch despite playing without second-leading scorer Anthony Edwards (left knee pain) the past two games.
Portland comes to Minnesota for the second and third games of a four-game road swing, and part of a 9-of-10 road streak. The Blazers opened the trip Wednesday, losing their third in a row in a 120-90 loss to the Phoenix Suns.
Portland entered the All-Star break on a four-game winning streak that matched its season high. The Blazers are yet to win since play resumed and have not scored more than 95 points in any of the three losses.
Injuries have plagued Portland all season. Damian Lillard hasn’t played since Dec. 31 due to an abdominal injury that required surgery. He’s still a week or two away from his next evaluation.
Portland’s Justise Winslow, acquired last month in a trade from the Los Angeles Clippers, will miss his third straight game on Saturday with an Achilles tendon injury.
Jusuf Nurkic scored 32 points in a win over the Memphis Grizzlies just before the break but hasn’t played since and has been out for a month with a foot injury. Josh Hart, who is averaging 17.5 points in six games for the Blazers after being acquired as part of the deal that sent CJ McCollum to the New Orleans Pelicans, will sit down Saturday to rest.
Injuries and trades have led to numerous roster changes, such as the addition of Drew Eubanks. After averaging 13 points and nine rebounds in Portland’s last two games, Eubanks signed a second 10-day contract with the Blazers on Friday.
“It’s kind of crazy because we always have new players so we get to a point where we’re playing the right way, we’re starting to make a lot of progress,” Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said after the match. last loss. “We’re not there yet, but I thought we were competitive.”
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