Lillard leads Blazers past T-Wolves 108-97

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Thomas Robinson got it started when he blocked a shot by Corey Brewer. Victor Claver then grabbed the rebound for Portland, leading to Will Barton’s dunk on the other end.

The fourth-quarter sequence put the crowd on its feet, and the Trail Blazers went on to a 108-97 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night.

“Adrenaline shot through me, I was hyped,” said Robinson, who had 14 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, providing a spark in the absence of injured All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge. “I probably said a lot of stuff I don’t remember.”

Barton’s jam gave Portland a 92-83 lead.

“It was pandemonium,” he said.

Damian Lillard had 32 points for the Blazers, who won their second straight after a three-game slump.

Kevin Love scored 31 for Minnesota, which had won three in a row. It was Love’s franchise-best fifth straight game with 30 or more points.

After trailing by as many as 18 points in the first half, Nicolas Batum’s fast-break layup gave Portland an 84-80 lead going into the fourth quarter. Claver dunked to extend the lead to 88-80.

After the game-changing sequence from Robinson, Claver and Barton, Lillard’s 3-pointer made it 105-91 with 4:14 left, and Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman took Love out with 3:36 to go.

“Guys came in and really picked up the energy and brought a lot to the game today,” Lillard said. “When we got back to the locker room we were calling (Robinson) ‘Thomas Aldridge.’ He was huge.”

The Timberwolves were coming off a 121-104 victory at Utah on Saturday night. Love led the way with 37 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for his first career triple-double.

Love presented a significant matchup problem for the Blazers with Aldridge sidelined by a left groin strain. Aldridge, who averages a team-high 23.9 points and 11.4 rebounds, is expected to be re-evaluated in the next few days.

“This is a good team, even with LaMarcus out,” said Love, who also had 10 rebounds for his league-leading 47th double-double. “They’re good, they can put up points in a hurry. They shot the ball well and this is one of the best, if not the best, crowds in the league.”

Aldridge wasn’t the only Blazer hurting: The team was also without forward Joel Freeland because of a right knee sprain and center Meyers Leonard because of a left ankle sprain.

The Timberwolves continued to miss center Nikola Pekovic because of a sore right ankle and Kevin Martin because of a fractured bone in his left thumb.

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