Dominant 2nd quarter propels Trail Blazers past Timberwolves

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Portland Trail Blazers
Jan 7, 2021; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) shoots over Minnesota Timberwolves forward Juancho Hernangomez (41) during the second quarter at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

January 8, 2021

Damian Lillard scored 39 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished seven assists, and the Portland Trail Blazers cruised to a 135-117 win over the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night.

C.J. McCollum added 20 points for the Trail Blazers, and Jusuf Nurkic had 17 points and seven rebounds. Portland (4-4) snapped a two-game skid and posted its highest-scoring effort of the season.

D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards scored 26 points apiece for the Timberwolves. Naz Reid chipped in 13 points in 16 minutes as Minnesota (2-6) dropped its sixth straight game.

The Trail Blazers scored 47 points in the second quarter. The monster second quarter helped Portland jump to a 75-56 lead at the half.

Lillard led the Trail Blazers with 26 points on 9-for-14 shooting, including 4 of 7 from beyond the arc, during the first half. Nurkic (15 points) and McCollum (12) also scored in double digits in the first half.

Minnesota led 29-28 after the first quarter, but Portland seized control with its 47-27 edge in the next frame. Russell had 19 points at the half and was the Timberwolves’ lone player in double digits.

The Trail Blazers scored the first eight points of the second quarter and never looked back. Rodney Hood made a running layup and then assisted on a 3-pointer by Carmelo Anthony, and McCollum knocked down a 3-pointer on the next possession to set the stage for a dominant period.

By the end of the third quarter, Portland built a 111-80 advantage. McCollum made a 3-pointer to start a 10-0 run midway through the third quarter that increased the Trail Blazers’ lead to 30 points.

–Field Level Media