MINNEAPOLIS — Getting ready to play his fourth road game in five nights, Nicolas Batum said he felt sluggish during warm-ups Saturday night at Minnesota.
“I was like, ‘Let’s play this game and get out of here,’” he said. “I was tired.”
It was the Timberwolves, though, who looked and played how Batum felt.
Batum and Wesley Matthews each made five 3s and scored 26 points to lead the Portland Trail Blazers over the injury-depleted Timberwolves, 102-97.
“I got tired I think when I got 31 here a couple years ago,” Batum said, recalling a 31-point performance at Minnesota in 2010. He had five 3s in that game as well.
“I was tired,” he said.
Imagine if he had actually felt energized.
The Blazers tied a franchise record with 16 3-pointers and withstood a fourth-quarter rally by the Timberwolves to win for the 10th time in 13 games and finish their four-game trip with a 3-1 record.
Nikola Pekovic led the Wolves with 21 points but left the game in the third quarter because of a left hip strain.
Only hours earlier, Minnesota learned it lost star forward Kevin Love to a broken right hand for the second time this season when an MRI confirmed the injury.
Love re-fractured his third metacarpal in the hand, and the team said it expects to know more about a timetable for his return after he is examined by a hand specialist in New York.