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News » Trail Blazers-Timberwolves Preview 2009-11-11

Trail Blazers-Timberwolves Preview 2009-11-11

Trail Blazers-Timberwolves Preview 2009-11-11The Portland Trail Blazers are taking advantage of matchups against the bottom teams of the Western Conference. A second meeting in four nights with the Minnesota Timberwolves could extend their winning streak to four games.

The Trail Blazers look to continue their dominance of the Timberwolves on Wednesday night when they visit the Target Center.

Portland (5-3) has won three straight games - including a 93-79 victory Tuesday at Memphis to open a five-game road trip - after dropping three of its first five. Tuesday's win was the Blazers' second consecutive against the teams tied for last in the West. They beat Minnesota 116-93 at home Sunday.

That victory was the Trail Blazers' ninth in a row over the Timberwolves (1-7) and 13th in the last 15 meetings. They haven't lost to Minnesota since a 94-93 road defeat on March 25, 2007, and have taken all four matchups at Target Center since then.

Brandon Roy would surely like to improve on his performance from Sunday's win, in which he dished out seven assists but was held to two points on 1-for-6 shooting. The swingman fared better Tuesday, finishing with 20 points and seven assists while shooting 6 of 11 from the floor.

The two-time All-Star leads Portland with averages of 21.6 points and 5.1 assists after posting a career-high 22.6 scoring average last season.

Despite his subpar performance against Minnesota on Sunday, Roy is averaging 22.0 points and 6.6 assists during the Trail Blazers' nine-game winning streak in the series.

The Timberwolves got off to a positive start to 2009-10, beating New Jersey 95-93 on Oct. 28, but have since lost seven in a row. They appeared to have a good chance to end the slide Monday at Golden State - another club that entered with one win - but fell 146-105. The loss matched Minnesota franchise records for largest margin of defeat, set against Miami on March 5, 1996, and for most points allowed, against the Warriors on April 1, 1994.

The Timberwolves are now looking to end their longest slide since dropping 10 in a row Feb. 20-March 9, a skid that was still three losses shy of their worst during a miserable 24-58 season.

"We've maintained from the beginning this is going to be a process, this is not something that's going to turn around in the first 10 games of the regular season," first-year coach Kurt Rambis said after watching his team commit a season-high 28 turnovers against the Warriors. "We knew we were going to take some lumps.

"Until we have an idea of a nice starting unit and a set rotation where guys can feel comfortable and when they're going to play, we're probably going to continue to play up and down and be inconsistent."

Despite the club's struggles, rookie Jonny Flynn is off to a solid start after being selected sixth overall out of Syracuse in the draft.

The guard matched his career high with 20 points while adding six assists Monday, but also led Minnesota with six turnovers. He's second on the team with 15.0 points per game, and is averaging a club-high 3.5 assists.

The Blazers limited Flynn to 11 points on Sunday.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 11, 2009


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