Lillard has 36 points, Trail Blazers beat Timberwolves

Damian Lillard had 36 points and eight assists, Anfernee Simons added 31 points and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 124-118 on Saturday night.

Portland overcame a 10-point deficit in the second half to beat Minnesota in the opener of a two-game set. They will meet again in Portland on Monday night.

Jerami Grant added 17 points for Portland, and Jusuf Nurkic had 15 rebounds. Drew Eubanks scored 10 points, two on a ferocious dunk on Rudy Gobert.

Anthony Edwards led Minnesota with 26 points, and Gobert and D’Angelo Russell had 24 points apiece.

The Trail Blazers rallied to take a 94-92 advantage into the fourth quarter. Lillard was a big reason why, scoring 12 points in the third quarter.

After scoring 40 points Thursday night in a loss to Denver, Lillard was hot again, scoring 11 points in the first quarter to help the Blazers take a 32-27 lead.


Timberwolves: Minnesota guard Jordan McLaughlin sat out because of a strained calf. Coach Chris Finch said McLaughlin’s status is “day-to-day.”

Trail Blazers: Guard Gary Payton II has yet to play this season in a comeback from core muscle surgery. Payton is participating in 3-on-3, but does not have a designated date to return. “He was pretty sore after he plays, but I’m just happy to see him on the court,” Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said. “I’m happy to see him on the court, which means obviously he’s getting closer.”