NBA: Damian Lillard scores 36, Trail Blazers get past Timberwolves

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Damian Lillard Portland Trail Blazers NBA

Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers reacts to making a three point basket during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Moda Center on December 10, 2022 in Portland, Oregon. The Portland Trail Blazers won 124-118. Alika Jenner/Getty Images/AFP

Damian Lillard recorded 36 points and eight assists to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 124-118 victory over the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night in the first of a back-to-back set.

Anfernee Simons made five 3-pointers and scored 31 points as the Trail Blazers ended a five-game losing streak against Minnesota. Jerami Grant added 17 points and seven rebounds, Josh Hart had 11 points and eight rebounds, and Jusuf Nurkic grabbed 15 boards for Portland, which has won three of its past four games.

Anthony Edwards had 26 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Timberwolves. Rudy Gobert registered 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting and collected nine rebounds, and D’Angelo Russell also scored 24 points. Naz Reid added 15 points, and Kyle Anderson contributed 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists for Minnesota.

The Timberwolves visit Portland again on Monday night.

Portland shot 51.8 percent from the field, including 13 of 34 from 3-point range. The Trail Blazers had a 45-28 rebounding advantage.

The Timberwolves made 54.2 percent of their shots and were 10 of 23 from behind the arc.

It was a two-point game early in the final quarter before Shaedon Sharpe hit a jumper, Grant drilled a 3-pointer and Simons hit a jumper to give the Trail Blazers a 103-94 lead with 8:39 remaining.

Minnesota answered with a 12-4 run, pulling within 107-106 on a 3-pointer by Jaden McDaniels with 6:16 to play.

Lillard hit a 3-pointer to make it 118-113 with 2:36 left and Grant added a jumper with 1:16 left.

Russell made a trey to being the Timberwolves within 120-116 with 1:08 to play but Lillard made a jumper with 46.1 seconds remaining and later added two free throws to cap off a 15-of-15 effort from the line.

Edwards scored 13 first-half points as Minnesota led 66-65 at the break. Simons had 18 in the half for the Trail Blazers.

The Timberwolves used a 10-0 in the third quarter to take an 86-76 lead with 4:48 remaining.

A three-point play by Grant and a trey from Lillard started a 14-3 quarter-ending run as Portland crept within 89-86 with 2:43 left.

Lillard later made four straight free throws to tie the score at 92 and Drew Eubanks slammed home a dunk with 14.3 seconds left as Portland took a two-point lead into the final stanza.

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