NBA Capsule: Timberwolves halt Blazers' win streak

Will the Timberwolves simply play out the string as they fade into oblivion, collecting National Basketball Association draft lottery balls in the process?

That was exactly what Minnesota did on Monday as the Wolves held on for a 110-109 win over the Blazers, whose six-game winning streak ended.

Houston led by six entering the fourth quarter and remained up by that many before the Nuggets scored four quick points to cut the lead a basket with about nine minutes left.

"We just played aggressive, played more as a team at the end, and we learned how to get to our spots at the end of the game", said Rubio. "We've been on a roll".

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 34 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and Andrew Wiggins added 29 points to lift the Timberwolves to the one-point win. He was 3-5 from three-point land and has now hit 15 of his last 27 from three-point range dating back to the game in Los Angeles on March 24.

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Minnesota was officially eliminated from playoff contention on Saturday when Portland beat the Phoenix Suns. Overall, despite being out of the playoff picture, the Wolves are showing signs of improvement in the second half of the season and could be poised to make a big leap next year.

"I don't think about spoilers". "For us, I wanted the mental toughness that you can overcome, whatever your circumstances are". "We've got the third-best record in the league right now. Every game, every second, every practice, every workout is valuable to building a championship team, and that's how we need to look at it".

Without Nurkic, Portland is vulnerable in the middle.

"The way they guarded me tonight, I was able to get some looks early", Hayward said, "with the big being back and so there was a lot of space to operate". CJ McCollum led the way with 25 points on 11 of 22 shooting but he had very little support as no one else scored more than 11 points except for Damian Lillard who shot a measly five of 20 from the field for his 16 points. But had Lillard or McCollum had their normal games, they would have won. The Blazers' next three games against playoff-bound teams. His authoritative slam on a nice feed from Gorgui Dieng put Minnesota up 110-106 with 35 seconds to play helped the Wolves fend off Portland late. He made just 7 of 21 shots, including 3 of 11 3-pointers, and his potential game-winning pull-up jumper at the buzzer glanced off the rim.

At the 4:04 mark in the first quarter, the Jazz led 15-6 but the Blazers started to find some rhythm, scoring 11 points over the next four minutes and pulling within seven.

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"We still have our chances and we have to keep fighting and playing as we have four games left", Gallinari said. "But he's not here".

After missing his first game of the season on Sunday because he had the flu, James Harden was thrilled to not only be back on the court on Wednesday, but to be feeling like himself again. Portland's Terry Stotts was honored Monday as March's NBA Western Conference Coach of the Month.

"I didn't shoot the ball well", Lillard said.

Playing without Ryan Anderson for the sixth consecutive game, Troy Williams got the starting nod alongside Trevor Ariza at the forward positions. Rubio hit a technical free throw in the third quarter after the Blazers were whistled for defensive 3 seconds.

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