Jan 23, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) shoots over Denver Nuggets power forward Kenneth Faried (35) in the third quarter at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Game 43 Preview: Wolves (21-21) @ Blazers (32-11)

The last time the Portland Trail Blazers saw the Wolves was December 18th. They were at the end of a 4-game road trip. They looked it. They were gassed. They were outscored 72-34 in the paint. They lost 109-120.

The Western Conference’s currently 3rd-seeded Blazers are 6-4 over their last ten and coming off a 110-105 win in Portland over the Denver Nuggets behind LaMarcus Aldridge’s 44 points and 13 rebounds. A “statement game” following the release of the All-Star voting? Perhaps. Tonight could be an encore performance.

Blazers likely starting lineup:

PG Damian Lillard

SG Wesley Matthews

SF Nicolas Batum

PF LaMarcus Aldridge

C Robin Lopez

Aldridge is averaging over 31 points, 14 rebounds and a block and a steal on over 49% shooting over his last five.

Lillard is averaging 17 points and 6 assists on 40% shooting (21% from three) over his last five.

Wolves likely starting lineup:

PG Ricky Rubio

SG Kevin Martin

SF Corey Brewer

PF Kevin Love

C Nikola Pekovic

Pek hung 30 on the Blazers in December and has had his way with Robin Lopez since back in his Hornets days. Love and Rubio were banged up (as was J.J. Barea) in the win over the Warriors, but every report says they’re going to give it a go. The Wolves bench could get leaned on a bit.


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Tags: Damian Lillard Kevin Love LaMarcus Aldridge Minnesota Timberwolves Nicolas Batum Nikola Pekovic Portland Trail Blazers Ricky Rubio

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