PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge had 26 points and 15 rebounds to pace the Portland Trail Blazers in a 107-93 victory Sunday night over the shorthanded Minnesota Timberwolves.
Wesley Matthews added 23 points, including six 3-pointers for his third straight game with at least five 3-pointers, and the Blazers led by 16 points.
Portland (13-4) was coming off a 112-99 loss to Memphis on Friday night that snapped a nine-game winning streak.
Shabazz Muhammad came off the bench with 28 points for Minnesota, which used just nine players. The Timberwolves have won just four games this season, including a 120-119 win in Los Angeles over the Lakers on Friday.
Injuries and illness have decimated the Timberwolves (4-11). The latest was rookie forward Andrew Wiggins, who played just under 19 minutes after he was a game-time decision with a flu-like illness.
The Timberwolves were already playing without guards Ricky Rubio (left ankle) and Kevin Martin (fractured right wrist), and centers Nikola Petrovic (sprained right wrist) and Ronny Turiaf (right hip).
Williams, who played last season for the Trail Blazers, was playing for Minnesota despite battling strep throat and pink eye. He finished with 21 points and 11 assists.
Despite having just nine available players, the Timberwolves went up 30-22 on the Blazers after Anthony Bennett’s 21-foot jumper in the second quarter.
Portland closed the gap and tied it 36-36 on Joel Freeland’s basket before pulling in front on Allen Crabbe’s 3-pointer. Aldridge’s buzzer-beating layup gave the Blazers the 48-40 lead at the half.
The Blazers extended the lead to 61-48 on Wesley Matthew’s 3-pointer with 7:24 left in the third quarter. Portland had an 8-0 run to close out the quarter for a 75-61 lead.
The Timberwolves closed within 89-80 on Gorgui Dieng’s short jumper with 6:46 left. Thadeus Young’s layup narrowed it to 91-84.
Damian Lillard hit a 3-pointer with 4:10 left to extend Portland’s lead to 96-85. Lillard finished with 17 points.
Timberwolves: The NBA granted the Timberwolves a roster exemption so they could expand their roster to 16 players because of all the injuries. Minnesota signed free agent forward Jeff Adrien on Saturday to add some much-needed depth. Adrien is a 6-foot-8 power forward who averaged 6.8 points and 5.8 rebounds in 53 games with Milwaukee and Charlotte last year.
Trail Blazers: Portland was without guard Will Barton because of gastritis. … It was Seahawks night at the Moda Center, and the Lombardi Trophy was on display. Seahawks owner Paul Allen also owns the Blazers.
The Timberwolves visit the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night.
The Trail Blazers visit the Denver Nugget on Tuesday night.
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