Anthony, Lillard lift Blazers over Timberwolves 125-121
Carmelo Anthony scored 26 points and Damian Lillard added 25 points and 10 assists as the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 125-121 on Saturday night.
Enes Kanter had 20 points and 11 rebounds for Portland.
Karl-Anthony Towns led Minnesota with 34 points and 10 rebounds, while rookie Anthony Edwards had 21 points and eight boards. The Timberwolves have lost 14 of 16 and are 1-6 under new coach Chris Finch.
Lillard, the NBA’s third-leading scorer at 29.9 points per game, was held to 10 on 2-of-6 shooting in the first half, but Portland still led 66-57 at the break.
Towns scored 13 points in the first 6 1/2 minutes of the second half, including nine in a 12-0 run that tied the game at 76.
Portland quickly regained control, as Lillard hit a long 2-pointer and set up Gary Trent Jr. for a 3 that put the Blazers up 83-76.
But the Timberwolves wouldn’t go away. Naz Reid, giving Towns a breather, scored six points and Jaden McDaniels hit a 3-pointer with 4.6 seconds left in the quarter to give Minnesota a 94-93 lead heading into the fourth.
Then it was Anthony who took over. He hit a baseline jumper and a pair of 3-pointers, and Anfernee Simons also hit two 3s to give Portland a 109-103 lead.
Down the stretch, Anthony hit a step-back jumper to put the Blazers up 118-115, and with the Wolves still trailing by three, the 17-year veteran found Derrick Jones Jr. alone under the hoop for a dunk that sunk Minnesota’s comeback hopes.
Trail Blazers: Kanter matched his season average of 12 points per game in the first eight minutes. … Lillard is the only player in the NBA this season averaging at least 29 points and seven assists. … Anthony passed Hakeem Olajuwon for 11th on the NBA’s career scoring list.
Timberwolves: Jaylen Nowell, who scored a career-high 28 points on Thursday in a victory over New Orleans, followed that performance with 17 points in 28 minutes off the bench. … Minnesota continues to play without its second-leading scorer, guard Malik Beasley, who is serving a 12-game suspension after pleading guilty to a felony count of threats of violence stemming from an incident in September. Beasley is eligible to return on March 27. He’s averaging 20.5 points per game.
The teams face each other again in Minneapolis on Sunday night.