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Blazers Beat Wolves, Push Streak to Five
Posted By Brandon Marcus On Feb 15 2011 @ 1:10 am In Portland Trail Blazers | No Comments
After winning their 16th straight against Minnesota on Monday, the Blazers probably wish they could play them every night. Unlike their recent stretch of games dominated by LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland came out of the gate fast, trampling the Wolves to complete a three game sweep of their road trip, extending their overall streak to five.
The Blazers opened the game sprinting to an 18-2 lead, scoring on eight straight possessions before Minnesota notched their first field goal. The Wolves trimmed the deficit to eight at half time, but Portland yielded just thirteen points in the third quarter, doubling the lead to sixteen and allowing them to coast home. Wes Matthews base line jumped to close the third slipped in with barely a whisper amidst a quiet Target Center crowd. They led by as much as 17 and never looked back, cruising to a 95-81 win.
Kevin Love recorded his 41st consecutive double-double, but his impact was negligible, as it was Dante Cunningham’s second career double-double and career night that made the difference. The Villanova product lent the Blazers a needed hand on the boards against the league’s top rebounding team. He scored a career best 18 points and pulled down 13 rebounds, including eight on the offensive glass in just 24 minutes before fouling out – Cunningham had done his job though. Love scored his second bucket of the game with 5:30 left and the Blazers up 85-68, a testament to Aldridge and Cunningham’s efforts to eliminate the Wolves best player.
Of course, it doesn’t seem to matter whose on the court when these two matchup, with the Blazers completing their fourth consecutive four game sweep of Minnesota. Fresh off player of the week honors, LaMarcus Aldridge put in 21 points, paltry in contrast to his recent tear – averaging 38.3 points in the previous three games. However that was all he needed within the flow of Portland’s balanced attack, which included 18 from Rudy Fernandez and a game high 23 from Wesley Matthews.
The Blazers scored 22 points off 18 Minnesota turnovers and out-rebounded the NBA’s best ‘bounders 41-35. Martell Webster and Luke Ridnoir had 17 and 16 respectively for the Wolves. However the Minnesota had three starters: Johnny Flynn, Wes Johnson and Corey Brewer score just one total point.
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