Portland defeats depleted Minnesota | NBA
Getting ready to play his fourth road game in five nights, Nicolas Batum said he felt sluggish during warmups Saturday night at Minnesota...
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 three-pointers and scored 26 points to lead the Portland Trail Blazers over the injury-depleted Timberwolves 102-97.
The Blazers tied a franchise record with 16 three-pointers and withstood a fourth-quarter rally by the Timberwolves to win for the 10th time in 13 games and finish their four-game trip with a 3-1 record.
"If you shoot the three that well, you should probably win by more than five," Portland coach Terry Stotts said.
Nikola Pekovic led the Timberwolves 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.
Love refractured his third metacarpal in the hand, and the team said it expects to know more about a timetable for his return after he is examined by a hand specialist in New York.
The original injury, which occurred on Oct. 17, sidelined Love for the first three weeks of the season and has hampered his shooting. He aggravated the hand during the third quarter Thursday night at Denver.
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."
• Eric Gordon completed a three-point play with 4.7 seconds left in overtime and the New Orleans Hornets won 99-96 at Dallas to spoil the Mavericks' first game this season with Dirk Nowitzki in the starting lineup.
After a timeout, O.J. Mayo was beyond the three-point line when Gordon went up in 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.
Soon after the game, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban tweeted: "Im sorry NBA fans. Ive tried for 13 yrs to fix the officiating in this league and I have failed miserably. Any Suggestions ? I need help."
Nowitzki had a team-high 20 points in 34 minutes, his most extensive action this season.
• Chris Paul had 27 points and nine assists, Blake Griffin had 20 points and the Los Angeles Clippers set a franchise record with their 12th straight home victory, 115-89 over the Golden State Warriors. Former Washington State star Klay Thompson had a team-high 14 points for the Warriors.
• Carmelo Anthony scored 16 of his season-high 40 points in the fourth quarter, helping the New York Knicks to a 114-106 victory in Orlando.
J.R. Smith had 18 points off the bench and Tyson Chandler had 14 points and 12 rebounds. Arron Afflalo and Jameer Nelson each had 29 points to lead the Magic.
• Rajon Rondo had 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, and the Boston Celtics rallied to beat the host Atlanta Hawks 89-81.
• Tony Parker had 20 points and Manu Ginobili had 19 and the host San Antonio Spurs routed the Philadelphia 76ers 109-86. Tim Duncan had 16 points for San Antonio, which has won 10 straight at home.
Spencer Hawes, the former Seattle Prep and Husky standout, had a game-high 22 points for Philadelphia, which has lost three straight and five of six.