Wiggins, Wolves shut down Trail Blazers

Friday, January 10, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — With Karl-Anthony Towns sidelined for nearly a month, the Minnesota Timberwolves have had to find ways to make up for his scoring. They've also tightened things up on the defensive end in their star big man’s absence.

That was certainly the case again Thursday night against Portland.

Andrew Wiggins scored 23 points, Gorgui Dieng had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Minnesota shut down the Trail Blazers 116-102.

Minnesota smothered the Trail Blazers all night. The Timberwolves held Portland to 13 points on 6-of-22 shooting in the second quarter, the fewest points the Blazers have scored in a quarter this year.

“We have discovered our identity that our defense is going to carry us,” said Timberwolves guard Josh Okogie, who had two steals and two blocks. “That’s just what we have to be every night.”

Damian Lillard led Portland with 20 points and eight of the team’s 14 assists. CJ McCollum and Hassan Whiteside each added 15 points.

Thursday was the last game of a five-game trip for Portland.

“Overall we were a little bit tired,” Lillard said. “It's usually like that at the end of the trip, when you know you're going home after the game, been on the road for a long time and we just didn't have the kind of energy that we needed tonight.”

The Timberwolves took control with a big run to start the second quarter. Led by Keita Bates-Diop and

Wiggins, Minnesota used a 20-4 run to turn an eight-point deficit into a 46-38 lead.

The Wolves’ lead grew to as much as 27 in the third, allowing coach Ryan Saunders to play his backups for the entire fourth quarter.

“They gained the momentum right at the start of the third quarter, and all of a sudden it's a 20-point game,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said. “It is pretty deflating when that happens.”

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — With Karl-Anthony Towns sidelined for nearly a month, the Minnesota Timberwolves have had to find ways to make up for his scoring. They’ve also tightened things up on the defensive end in their star big man’s absence.

That was certainly the case again Thursday night against Portland.

Andrew Wiggins scored 23 points, Gorgui Dieng had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Minnesota shut down the Trail Blazers 116-102.

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