The Portland Trail Blazers (22-15) are looking for a weekend sweep of the Minnesota Timberwolves (8-30).
Sunday’s game against Minnesota will be the final matchup between the Trail Blazers and Timberwolves this season.
Following Saturday’s 125-121 victory on the road, Portland now leads the season series 2-0.
It was Carmelo Anthony’s fourth quarter magic that helped propel the Blazers as he led Portland with 26 points, two rebounds, and a season-high six assists. He also had two steals on the night.
The Blazers did, however, have trouble slowing down Karl-Anthony Towns, who paced the Timberwolves with a season-high 34 points to go along with 10 rebounds, four assists and two blocks.
As the Blazers look to secure the first season sweep over the Timberwolves since the 2012-13 season, they will once again be without Harry Giles (left calf strain), CJ McCollum (left midfoot fracture), Jusuf Nurkic (right wrist fracture) and Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture).
For Minnesota, Jarrett Culver (left great toe; strain) is doubtful; D'Angelo Russell (left knee; surgery), Jordan McLaughlin (health and safety protocols) and Malik Beasley (league suspension) are out.
Following Saturday’s game, our Trail Blazers Insider Dwight Jaynes examined Carmelo Anthony leading the Trail Blazers in scoring, but how it was his late pass that was special:
Carmelo Anthony led the Trail Blazers in scoring Saturday night, but it was his sizzling late-game pass to a wide-open Derrick Jones that sealed his team’s 125-121 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Anthony scored 26 points, 16 of them in the second half, when the Trail Blazers were struggling to hold off the young Timberwolves. And he made seven of his 10 shots in that half.
But it was that pass – a laser from the top circle -- to Jones under the basket with 43.9 seconds to go that lifted Portland to a five-point lead.
For all the talk about his scoring – and it’s well-deserved, as he passed Hakeem Olajuwon and moved into 11th on the all-time NBA list in this game – Melo can pass. And it's often overlooked because of that giant pile of points he has produced,
“That's why, especially in the second unit, I put Melo in a lot of passing situations because he is a good passer,” Coach Terry Stotts said. “Derrick made a good cut and Melo sees the floor well, especially when he's out on top like that.”
Jones had set a pick for Gary Trent and was alert when his defender headed for Trent at the three-point line. Jones dove to the basket and Anthony, who made the read quickly and delivered the ball at a high rate of speed, before the Minnesota defense could react.
“Melo is a savvy vet, 18 years in this league,” Jones said. "I mean, he knows the reads and makes them. He knows what to do and what not to do on the floor. I just had to finish it.”
Portland salvaged a game that appeared to have a chance to go off the rails in the second half.
Read more here.
The Blazers are -5 point favorites against the Timberwolves, odds provided by our partner PointsBet.
Here’s what you need to know about Sunday’s matchup --
- Damian Lillard has scored at least 20 points in five of his last six games against the Timberwolves.
- Enes Kanter had 20 points (8-12 FG, 4-5 FT), 11 rebounds and two assists against Minnesota on March 13. It was his fifth game this season with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, including the second in his last three outings.
- Anthony Edwards recorded 21 points (8-18 FG, 3-7 3-PT, 2-4 FT), eight rebounds and three assists in 29 minutes. Edwards has now scored 20+ against Portland twice, the only NBA team he has done so against multiple times.
- Jaylen Nowell finished with 17 points (7-14 FG, 3-6 3-PT), five rebounds and one assist. It was the third-highest scoring game of his career, and his five rebounds matched a career-high.
POINT SPREAD: -- Trail Blazers: -5 (-110) – Timberwolves: +5 (-110)
HOW TO WATCH:
When: Sunday, March 14
Where: Target Center | Minneapolis, Minnesota
Start time: 5:00 p.m. PT
TV channel: NBCSNW, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers
PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.