PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard tied his own franchise record by making 11 3-pointers and finished with 38 points, leading the Portland Trail Blazers over the Minnesota Timberwolves 133-112 on Monday night.
Lillard shot 11 for 17 from long range and didn’t play in the fourth quarter. The Blazers never trailed and led by as many as 27.
Jerami Grant had 24 points Portland and Jusuf Nurkic added 14 points and 16 rebounds.
D’Angelo Russell scored 23 points for Minnesota. Rudy Gobert grabbed 20 rebounds to go with 16 points.
Lillard made eight 3s and scored 27 points as the Blazers took a 70-59 halftime lead. He opened the second half by making his ninth 3-pointer.
Lillard tied his team record with his 11th 3-pointer, putting Portland ahead 88-70 with 5:45 left in the third quarter.
The Timberwolves closed within 88-78, forcing a Blazers timeout. Portland pushed its lead to 106-84 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Timberwolves: Minnesota’s defensive efforts have been stymied by fouls. Coach Chris Fincn believes the fouls can also take a toll on the offense, one night after Minnesota was outscored 22-4 in fast-break points. “One of the worst parts about fouling is you’re facing a set defense all the time,” Finch said. “It’s slowing the game down. We didn’t run a lot the other day.”
Trail Blazers: After starting the season as a top 10 defense, the Blazers have slipped to 23rd in defensive rating. Blazers coach Chauncey Billups thinks several things are at play. “Our focus is off and on. Sometimes it’s lasered in, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes we’re both during the game. Some of these offenses we play are really tough as well. It’s all of the above. I think we are in a good space as a team but we just have to tighten up a few things.”
Minnesota: Visit the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.
Portland: Visit the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night.