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Jan 12, 2024 3:52 am

After historic destruction, Blazers aim to rebound vs. Wolves

The Portland Trail Blazers experienced one of the worst nights in franchise history and don’t even have a day off to set it aside.

One night after losing by 62 points to tie for the fifth-largest defeat in NBA history, the Trail Blazers will be back in action Friday against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis.

“It was almost like a perfect storm, to be honest with you,” Portland coach Chauncey Billups said of the pummeling his team received in Oklahoma City. “Nothing really worked for us.”

The 139-77 road loss to the Thunder is only the second-worst defeat in Trail Blazers history. Portland lost by 65 points — 124-59 — to the Indiana Pacers on Feb. 27, 1998. That loss still stands as the third worst in NBA history.

The Trail Blazers shot a season-worst 27.7 percent, were outrebounded 59-42 and allowed the Thunder to shoot 57 percent.

“Not much really good to say about this one for us,” Billups said.

Lopsided losses have been prevalent for Portland on a seven-game road trip that concludes in the Twin Cities.

The Trail Blazers are 1-5 on the excursion, and the five losses were by an average of 35.2 points.

Portland’s victory on the trip came in overtime, 134-127 vs. the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday in New York.

Against Oklahoma City, Anfernee Simons (14 points) and Scoot Henderson (13) scored in double digits but were a combined 8 of 34 from the field. Simons was 4 of 13 and Henderson made just 4 of 21.

Shaedon Sharpe also was cold with 3-for-14 shooting to score seven points.

It could be another long night for the Trail Blazers on Friday considering they are just 5-16 on the road and Minnesota owns the NBA’s second-best home record at 14-2.

At the same time, the Timberwolves are experiencing their worst stretch of the season, with four losses in six games. Minnesota had won 24 of 31 games prior to the sudden issues.

The Timberwolves dropped a 127-120 overtime decision to the host Boston Celtics on Wednesday when starters Rudy Gobert (hip) and Mike Conley (rest) sat out. Gobert was listed as questionable for Friday.

Still, Minnesota led 109-102 with 2:46 left in regulation before getting outplayed down the stretch and again in overtime.

“All of our guys in here, we don’t like losing,” Timberwolves forward Kyle Anderson said. “But I think we definitely got better. We’ve seen we’ve got to have discipline to beat the disciplined teams. Big-time playmaking on both ends isn’t just going to win the game for us, especially against good teams like this. So, I think we’re all going to learn from it.”

Anthony Edwards scored 29 points for Minnesota but once again struggled during a pressure situation. He was scoreless in the extra session as he missed all three of his shots and committed two turnovers.

“This is all part of the growth curve, all part of learning,” Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said. “I think you can’t be wired to score in these moments. You’ve got to be wired to make the right play. They’re going to load up against you. You can’t bleed the clock unnecessarily, because when they do come and trap you, you need time at the end to move it. These are all things that we’re harping on.”

Karl-Anthony Towns added 25 points, 13 rebounds and six assists for Minnesota.

The Trail Blazers went 3-1 against the Timberwolves last season, including a two-game split in Minneapolis.

–Field Level Media

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