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NBA -- Wolves maul Trail Blazers, 121-113


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- Shooting guards Kevin Martin and Gary Neal proved to be a lethal 1-2 punch combination on Friday night.

Martin made 11 of 21 field goals for 29 points while Neal drilled 8-of-11 shots for 27 points to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 121-113 victory over the visiting Portland Trail Blazers at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

It was only Minnesota's 14th win in 61 outings but it was a great team effort that demonstrated how deadly the Timberwolves can be with the talent in their roster.

Rookie of the Year top candidate Andrew Wiggins joined the fray with 18 points, four rebounds, three steals and a pair of assists while point guard Ricky Rubio ran the offense efficiently with 13 points and 15 dimes.

"As a shooter, I always call it the UFO effect. Sometimes you run up and down the court five or six times and don't touch the ball, then there's three seconds on the clock and everybody expects you to make it.

"That's a tough position to be in but coach Flip (Saunders) has put me in a position where I'm always involved and that's probably why my shooting has been good thus far," Neal told the Minneapolis Star after his terrific shooting night.

Portland shot well from the field -- 43 of 88 for 48.9 percent -- but the Wolves shot slightly better at 46 of 85 for 54.1 percent.

Damian Lillard led the Blazers with 32 points and eight assists and LaMacus Aldridge added 22 and eight rebounds. Nicolas Batum finished with 17 points while arron Afflalo had 14.

Portland dropped to 41-20 for fourth place in the crowded Western Conference. (HDS)

Photo: Kevin Martin's sharpshooting (29 points) helped the Minnesota Timberwolves shoot down the Portland Trail Blazers, 121-113, at the Target Center.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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