PORTLAND — Wesley Matthews has been waiting for a game like this.
Matthews had a season-high 30 points, rookie Damian Lillard had a career-high 28 points and eight assists and the Portland Trail Blazers sent the Minnesota Timberwolves to their fourth straight defeat with a 103-95 win Saturday night.
J.J. Hickson had 14 points and 13 rebounds, returning from a shoulder injury for Portland, which has won four of its past five games. LaMarcus Aldridge had 13 points and sat for stretches in foul trouble. Matthews made five of the Blazers’ 11 3s.
Matthews has been steady but not spectacular for Portland this season, averaging 17.3 points while leading the Blazers in 3-point shooting at 44 percent. His previous season high was 22 points.
“There haven’t been too many games where I could really just let go — it felt really good," Matthews said.
Love had 24 points and 13 rebounds in his second game back for Minnesota, which is 1-5 after winning three of its first four this season. Nikola Pekovic had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Luke Ridnour added 14 points for the Wolves.
Portland never looked back after going on a 13-0 run that started just before the end of the third quarter. The Blazers led 88-78 at the end of that run and went up 95-84 after Matthews hit a 3-pointer with 6:16 remaining.
“Wes Matthews and Lillard ... They just couldn’t miss. It’s as easy as that," Love said.
This first matchup of the season between the teams was highly anticipated on several fronts. It was supposed to mark a Portland homecoming for former Blazers star Brandon Roy, who came out of retirement to join the Wolves this season but is out after having knee surgery Monday.
Love is still popular in Portland, where he grew up and attended high school. And Minnesota general manager David Kahn, coach Rick Adelman and much of Adelman’s staff have strong ties to the city. Kahn signed Portland’s Nicolas Batum to an offer sheet in the offseason, forcing the Blazers to match the four-year, $44 million offer to keep the fifth-year Frenchman. Batum finished with nine points and five assists, shooting just three of 10 from the field, while fighting flu-like symptoms.
Love made his season debut Wednesday in the Wolves 101-94 loss against Denver, coming back early after suffering a broken hand doing pushups Oct. 18. He had a huge game, with 34 points and 14 rebounds against the Nuggets.
Portland had a three-game winning streak snapped in a 114-87 loss at Phoenix Wednesday night. The Blazers committed 22 turnovers in what was arguably the team’s worst performance of the season. They had just 12 turnovers on Friday.
“I think it’s important for us that how we play is important," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. “Sometimes it’s not going to be defined by a box score or winning a certain category. It’s just playing with a rhythm on the offensive end and with a certain amount of intensity and grit on the defensive end."
Minnesota led 41-28 after starting off the second quarter with an 8-0 run and they led 55-50 at the half. But Portland chipped away at the advantage, shooting 61 percent in the third and pulled ahead 71-69 near the end of the quarter.
“We just didn’t defend them well enough," Adelman said. “They shot the hell out of the ball, and we didn’t finish plays at the basket."
Also on Friday:
HOUSTON — James Harden scored 33 points, and Chandler Parsons had a career-high 31 to help Houston coast to a victory over New York.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Rudy Gay scored 21 points, Mike Conley added 19, and Memphis beat Los Angeles to improve to an NBA-best 9-2.
NEW YORK — Brook Lopez had 26 points, including consecutive baskets during the decisive stretch, and Brooklyn shut down Los Angeles in the fourth quarter.
INDIANAPOLIS — Tony Parker scored 33 points and San Antonio overcame a 17-point deficit to beat Indiana and improve to 10-3.
BOSTON — Paul Pierce scored 22 of his 27 points in the second half and Boston beat Oklahoma City to snap a two-game losing streak.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Al Horford had 26 points and 13 rebounds to help Atlanta beat Charlotte for its fourth consecutive victory. Horford was 13 of 17 from the field.
ORLANDO, Fla. — Jameer Nelson had 22 points and six assists, and Arron Afflalo added 19 in Orlando’s comeback victory over Cleveland.
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Brandon Knight made a layup with 7.8 seconds left to lift Detroit past Toronto. Andrea Bargnani scored a season-best 34 points for Toronto.
PHOENIX — Markieff Morris scored a career-high 23 points, including a 3-pointer in overtime, and Phoenix rallied from a 19-point third-quarter deficit to hand New Orleans its sixth straight loss.
DENVER — Andre Iguodala scored a season-high 29 points — 20 in the second half — and Ty Lawson had 18 points and nine assists to help Denver win its third straight game.
SALT LAKE CITY — Gordon Hayward hit the winning basket with 4.5 seconds left and finished with 23 points in Utah’s comeback victory over Sacramento.