lamarcus aldridge

With Portland on the verge of a massive collapse, LaMarcus Aldridge leaped to swat away Minnesota’s comeback.

The Trail Blazers started their six-game road trip by remedying a sloppy performance with a large dose of their All-Star big man.

Aldridge had 25 points, 13 rebounds and a blocked shot in the closing seconds to help the Blazers hang on to beat the Timberwolves 100-98 on Monday night for their fifth win in their last seven games.

”Teams are going to pressure us, so I think it’s learning,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said. ”But winning on the road is not easy and we needed this one.”

Wes Matthews scored 22 points and Damian Lillard added 21, but they each had five of Portland’s 28 turnovers, the most in regulation by any NBA team all season. The Blazers never trailed in the game and led by 19 points with 12 minutes left, but the Wolves went to a small lineup and scored on 20 of their first 22 possessions in the fourth quarter until misfiring on their final two…

Rubio had 10 of his career-high-tying 14 assists in the fourth quarter and finished with 15 points in 34 minutes, both season highs. Cunningham scored a career-high 23 points on 11 for 17 shooting, and Barea added 17 points…

Aldridge was 12 for 17 from the field. All but one of his makes were 15-foot jumpers or further out…

Nicolas Batum, his sore right wrist clearly still bothering him, finished with four points and a team-high seven turnovers. He has only 39 points in his last five games, less than half of his season average of nearly 16 points per game.

– Reported by Dave Campbell of the Associated Press