The Portland Trail Blazers got their long road trip off on the right foot, and now will try to continue their fine form Wednesday night when they visit the Dallas Mavericks.
The Blazers defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves, 100-98, on Monday night. Portland held off a late rally from the Wolves and when Dante Cunningham missed a late jumper, the Blazers got their six-game road swing off well.
LaMarcus Aldridge led the Blazers with 25 points and 13 rebounds. Wesley Matthews had 22 points and Damian Lillard chipped in 21.
A win is a win, but Portland displayed some alarming problems against Minnesota. The Blazers allowed 40 points in the final frame and committed a whopping 28 turnovers, which the Timberwolves converted into 33 points.
"I wouldn't say I'm mad about the turnovers. We have to clean that up and clean up our decisions," said Blazers head coach Terry Stotts. "Teams are going to pressure us, so I think it's learning. Like I said, winning on the road is not easy and we needed this one to start the road trip."
Nicolas Batum only had four points, but turned it over seven times. Matthews and Lillard had five apiece.
Meanwhile, the Mavericks return home after a 1-3 road trip.
"We had our chances to at least go 2-2 on this trip, maybe even 3-1," said Dirk Nowitzki. "Even Golden State when I was out, we had our chances. We had the last possession to take the lead, but it's been all season long. We're not good enough I guess to win these close games at home or on the road, so that's tough."
Nowitzki played in the first game of this trip, a loss to these Blazers. He scored 26 points in that one, then sat out against the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns. Nowitzki returned Monday in a 112-91 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
In the loss to the Thunder, Dallas fell 24 points behind at the half with Vince Carter out of the lineup. Shawn Marion paced the Mavs with 23 points and three other Dallas players scored in double figures.
Chris Kaman also sat out against Oklahoma City with a concussion and the bench struggled.
"Our second unit obviously was in trouble today without Vince and without Kaman," Nowitzki added. "I didn't think we had enough playmakers out there and we had some stupid turnovers that always get us in trouble. And when we turn the ball over, we're not very good."
The Blazers have won two in a row totaled, but fell in Dallas earlier this season. They lost, 114-91, in Big D on Nov. 5, but got the victory back just last week at home.