MINNEAPOLIS – This game Monday night, a 132-122 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, is probably going to have to be something of a blueprint for the rest of the season for the Trail Blazers.
Portland got scoring from everywhere, including 60 points off the bench. Enes Kanter got 20 and 11 rebounds. Rodney Hood, in a starting role, scored 21. Seth Curry, in 21:51 off the bench, scored 19. Meyers Leonard made all four of his shots and had 9.
And the main event – Evan Turner had 13 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in just 24:56 – a triple-double while making all five of his shots from the field and both his free throws.
“I really thought this game exemplifies how we need to play,” Portland Coach Terry Stotts said. “Rodney and Enes had really good games – they were our leading scorers – and they didn’t even play in the fourth quarter.
“Evan played a great role as a facilitator, did a little bit of everything with his triple-double. Zach’s defense in the fourth quarter made a difference. Seth continues his role. And we had to depend on different guys for different things. A lot of good contributions. I liked our resiliency after we got down six in the fourth quarter.”
The Blazer bench went crazy when Turner grabbed his 10th rebound to complete the fourth triple-double of his career.
“I had no idea,” Stotts said of Turner’s pursuit of the triple-double. “I was clueless until the bench erupted.”
The biggest thing about Turner’s feat was that it fueled Portland’s fourth-quarter comeback. He pushed the ball up the floor and increased the tempo, which helped the Blazers retake the lead.
“A great win,” Turner said. “Tired. Straight up, I’m really tired. It was cool. Obviously, guys hit shots. I got some shots up.
“I thought we needed to make the most out of every stop we got because there weren’t really very many stops.
“Everybody has to step up in different situations and tonight was my night. Whatever my minutes are, I play defense and am a distributor. That’s pretty much it. That’s the most minutes I’ve gotten in a while, probably the most shots I’ve gotten in a while. Just go with the flow and ride the wave.”
Asked about the reaction from the bench when he got that 10th rebound, Turner smiled.
“That was dope, man,” he said. “That was dope. I think it says a lot about our team that we’re all genuinely happy for each other’s success.”
Turner’s other three triple-doubles came in Boston for the Celtics. He seemed happy Monday just to get the playing time.
“Shoutout to Rodney and Mo for letting me play longer.” Turner said with a grin.
Damian Lillard had another night when he could dial it down a little, with scoring help coming from all directions. Lillard finished with 15 points, 12 assists and five rebounds.
“A big game for Evan to bounce back with everything he did,” Stotts said. “What I liked the most is what I said in the beginning.
“Rodney gets off to a great start and Enes has a double-double and they’re our leading scorers and they don’t get in, in the fourth quarter. And they’re cheering the team on.
“That’s what teams are made of. You do what you do when you’re on the court, give what you can when you’re on the court and when you’re not, you cheer your teammates and hopefully, it all works out.”
And it did Monday night.