Lillard has 36 points, Trail Blazers beat Timberwolves

By ERIK GARCÍA GUNDERSEN
Portland Trail Blazers forward Justise Winslow, left, Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy...
Portland Trail Blazers forward Justise Winslow, left, Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert, center, and Trail Blazers forward Trendon Watford, right, battle for position under the basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Saturday, Dec.10, 2022.(Steve Dykes | AP Photo/Steve Dykes)
Published: Dec. 10, 2022 at 9:57 PM PST
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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — 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.

SEE ALSO: Original voice of Portland Trail Blazers back with new book

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.

SEE ALSO: Trail Blazers beat Pacers in Lillard’s return from injury

TIP-INS

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.”

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