10:05 pm
December 8

Timberwolves @ Trail Blazers

Who will WIN this matchup?

Minnesota Timberwolves (13-12)

@ Portland Trail Blazers (14-11)


Current odds:

Minnesota Timberwolves: (+120)

Portland Trail Blazers: (-140)


 The line for this game is Portland by 2.5 points.

 The Portland Trail Blazers are trying to pull out of a funk and will look to post back-to-back wins for the first time in more than two weeks when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday. The Trail Blazers dropped six of seven before putting together a solid performance on both ends of the floor in a 108-86 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday. Portland surrendered an average of 119.9 points over the seven-game stretch before holding Phoenix to 38.5 percent from the floor while cruising on Thursday.

 The Timberwolves are climbing up the standings with wins in six of the last seven contests and are thriving since the trade of swingman Jimmy Butler. “I just think we gel well,” point guard Jeff Teague told reporters. “I think the guys like each other. We feel comfortable with one another and we’re letting (Karl-Anthony Towns) and those guys lead. They’re coming out and we’re responding well. We’re playing hard on both ends and the results are showing.”

  Towns put together a dominant effort to help Minnesota past Charlotte 121-104 on Wednesday, finishing with 32 points on 13-of-20 shooting, 12 rebounds and six blocks. “He had a terrific all-around game. Blocked shots, rebounding, making plays out of the post, scoring,” Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters. “Just great activity the whole night. He’s getting into a great rhythm, trying to make the right plays, trying to do the right things, getting to his second and third effort defensively, and that’s huge for us.” Towns, who also drained four 3-pointers on Wednesday, recorded a double-double in five of the last six contests.

 Portland got a big boost on Thursday from reserve forward Jake Layman, who did not play in the previous five games but found his way off the bench and scored a career-high 24 points, including 15 in the first quarter. “(Layman) was great,” Lillard told reporters. “Obviously, he started the season getting a lot of minutes starting with Moe (Harkless) being out but then fell out of the rotation, which happens sometimes. It wasn’t anything that he hasn’t experienced. … It would be easy for a guy to be like, ‘Man, I was playing well. I was in the starting lineup, now I’m not playing.’ But he was prepared. His mind was right and in the right place and he came in and impacted the game from the start.” Layman’s hot start propelled the Trail Blazers to a 34-9 lead after the first 12 minutes.

 Trail Blazers SG CJ McCollum (ankle) sat out Thursday and is day-to-day and is listed as probable tonight.

 Teague handed out a career-high 18 assists on Wednesday.

 The home team took the last nine in the series, with each earning a win already in 2018-19.

StreakSmarter Pick
Portland Trail Blazers