Edwards scores 32, helps Wolves close out Blazers 113-106

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, left, tries to drive past Minnesota Timberwolves...
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, left, tries to drive past Minnesota Timberwolves guard Austin Rivers during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)(Craig Lassig | AP)
Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 9:14 PM PST
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Anthony Edwards scored 13 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter, Rudy Gobert had 17 points and 12 rebounds, and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Portland Trail Blazers 113-106 on Wednesday night.

Luka Garza added 14 points off the bench for Minnesota, which saw another halftime lead slip away in the third quarter but held on for its second straight win after a six-game skid.

Jerami Grant scored 20 of his 26 points in the first half for Portland, which trailed by as much as 13 in the opening half while Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons combined for three points.

Lillard finished with 27 points and Simons had 16 for the Trail Blazers, who had 18 turnovers that led to 22 points for the Timberwolves.

Minnesota has had no trouble getting ahead of teams, such as in Monday’s win against Western Conference-leading Denver. Holding those leads has been the issue, like when the Timberwolves led NBA-worst Detroit by 18 in an eventual loss Saturday.

With Lillard and Simons finding their way, the Trail Blazers erased a seven-point halftime deficit early in the third quarter. This time, Minnesota answered each time Portland went ahead.

Jusuf Nurkic gave the Trail Blazers a 92-91 lead with 9:33 remaining in the fourth.

Veteran teammates have implored the young Edwards to take control of games at certain points and he did so again. He scored six points as the Wolves went on an 11-3 run to pull back in front for good and the offense ran through Edwards late in the fourth.


Garza provided the early boost, scoring 11 points in the first quarter. When the seldom-used, second-year player replaced Gobert, Minnesota went on a 14-1 run for a 25-12 lead. Garza had nine points during the run, capping it with a wide-open 3-pointer.


Taurean Prince returned after missing 20 games with a right shoulder subluxation. His impact was limited due to foul trouble, but he finished with 11 points in 21 minutes. The seven-year veteran also provided energy and defense off the bench.


Trail Blazers: Gary Payton II, who made his season debut on Monday, was held out with a right ankle sprain. Payton had recovered from offseason core muscle surgery. Justice Winslow missed his fifth straight game with a left ankle sprain. ... Nurkic and fellow center Drew Eubanks each fouled out.

Timberwolves: D’Angelo Russell returned after missing Monday’s game due to an illness. ... Naz Reid missed his second straight game with back spasms and Bryn Forbes was out with right shoulder soreness. ... Minnesota entered the day being outscored by a league-high 122 points in the third quarter.


Trail Blazers: At Indiana on Friday.

Timberwolves: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.