Minneapolis, MN – Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews each scored 26 points, helping the Portland Trail Blazers hold off the Kevin Love- less Minnesota Timberwolves, 102-97, on Saturday.
Damian Lillard added 20 points and six assists for the Blazers, who went 3-1 on a four-game road trip. LaMarcus Aldridge donated 14 points and nine rebounds.
Portland went 16-of-24 from beyond the arc to tie the franchise record for made 3-pointers in a game.
Nikola Pekovic ended with 21 points and 15 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who learned before the game that Love re-fractured the third metacarpal in his right hand.
Derrick Williams had 18 points for Minnesota, which got 15 points apiece from Andrei Kirilenko and Luke Ridnour.
Luke Babbitt's 3-pointer gave the Blazers an 88-68 lead with 9:42 to play, but Minnesota responded with a 19-3 run. Williams tallied eight points during the surge, including a free throw with 5:15 left to make it 91-87.
Aldridge made a jumper and Matthews connected from beyond the arc to stop the flurry.
However, Minnesota had one last run in them. Kirilenko's 3-pointer, Ridnour's two free throws and Williams' slam cut the gap to 96-94 with 1:19 remaining.
J.J. Barea's turnover on the Timberwolves' next possession led to an Aldridge jumper. After Williams was called for traveling, Matthews made a pair of free throws to give Portland a 100-94 margin with 22.1 seconds to go.
Barea missed a 3-pointer on the ensuing Minnesota possession. Batum sealed the victory with a pair of free throws.
"A lot of guys played with a lot of heart in the fourth quarter," Williams said. "We just have to play like that all the time."
The Blazers held a 23-21 leas following a tight first quarter that featured seven lead changes and two ties.
Portland started the second stanza on a 12-0 run to build a 35-21 margin. The Blazers held a 53-43 lead at the break.
Holding a 65-51 edge with 5:50 left in the third period, Portland put together an 8-0 spurt. Batum made consecutive 3-pointers to give the visitors a 73-51 lead.
The Blazers outscored Minnesota by a 26-18 margin in the third to take a 79-61 lead into the fourth.
The Trail Blazers are 19-2 in their last 21 against the Timberwolves, including a 103-95 victory on Nov. 23 in Portland ... Batum and Matthews each made five 3-pointers ... Minnesota guard Ricky Rubio missed his fourth straight game due to back spasms ... Love suffered the injury during the third quarter of Thursday's 101-97 win over the Nuggets in Denver. He will be evaluated later this week by Dr. Andy Weiland, a hand specialist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.