Web Editorial Associate
9:30 p.m., Moda Center
Where to Watch: TNT
Where to Listen: 830 WCCO
The Minnesota Timberwolves continue on in their current four-game road trip when they travel to Portland to face the Trail Blazers at 9:30 p.m. Thursday.
The Wolves enter the game with a record of 31-46 overall and are in 12th place in the Western Conference. The Trail Blazers come in at 38-40 on the season and are in eighth place in the Western Conference.
A few tidbits entering Thursday night’s game:
- It’s the first game of a road back-to-back for the Wolves. Minnesota faces Utah on Friday.
- Karl-Anthony Towns needs 89 points and 76 rebounds over the final five games to become the youngest player in NBA history to collect 2,000-plus points and 1,000-plus rebounds in a single season.
- Portland comes into the game 7-3 in their last 10 games. Minnesota is 3-7 during that span.
Coming Off Of…
Minnesota is coming off of a 121-107 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday in Oakland.
Shabazz Muhammad had 24 points and 11 rebounds, Andrew Wiggins had 24 points and four rebounds and Towns had 21 points, six rebounds and four assists to lead the way for the Wolves. Ricky Rubio had 15 points, five rebounds and five assists, Adreian Payne had seven points and five rebounds, and Gorgui Dieng had six points, nine rebounds and four assists.
Portland is coming off of a 106-87 loss to the Utah Jazz on Tuesday in Utah.
C.J. McCollum had 25 points and six rebounds and Damian Lillard had 16 points and three assists to lead the Trail Blazers. Al-Farouq Aminu had 11 points and four rebounds, Meyers Leonard had nine points and three rebounds, and Allen Crabbe added eight points off the bench.
Portland holds a 2-1 season series advantage over Minnesota this season. The last matchup between the Trail Blazers and Wolves came on April 3 in Minneapolis, where Minnesota won 110-109.
In that game, Towns had 34 points and 12 rebounds and Wiggins had 29 points and three rebounds to lead the way for the Wolves. Brandon Rush had 12 points and seven rebounds, Rubio had 11 points, 16 assists and seven rebounds, and Muhammad had 11 points off the bench.
For the Trail Blazers, Lillard had 25 points and six assists, Aminu had 20 points and seven rebounds, Maurice Harkless and McCollum had 17 points each, Vonleh had 12 points and four rebounds, and Crabbe added 12 points.
Thursday’s game is the fourth and final game between the two teams this season.
Key Matchup: Karl-Anthony Towns vs. Noah Vonleh
One matchup to watch on Thursday night will come between Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns and Portland’s Noah Vonleh.
In the last matchup on April 3, Towns owned the matchup, putting up 34 points and 12 rebounds. In the three games against the Trail Blazers this season, Towns is averaging 20.3 points, 10 rebounds, 2.3 assists and one block per game.
Vonleh, who has stepped into the starting lineup in place of the injured Jusuf Nurkic, is averaging 4.2 points and 4.9 rebounds in his third NBA season.
Portland: Ed Davis (shoulder), Festus Ezeli (knee) and Jusuf Nurkic (leg) are out.
Minnesota: Nemanje Bjelica (foot), Zach LaVine (knee) and Nikola Pekovic (ankle) are out.
Portland: PG – Lillard, SG – McCollum, SF – Aminu, PF – Harkless, C – Vonleh
Minnesota: PG – Rubio, SG – Rush, SF – Wiggins, PF – Dieng, C – Towns