Friday , Feb , 03 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Blazers, Timberwolves meet in Portland

(Sports Network) – Northwest Division rivals meet tonight, as the Portland
Trail Blazers welcome the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Rose Garden.

This is the fourth and final time the teams will battle during the 2005-06
campaign. The teams split a pair of games at Minnesota, while the Timberwolves
defeated the Trail Blazers, 84-74, on December 7th at the Rose Garden.

Minnesota is tied with the Utah Jazz for second place in the Northwest, as the
clubs trail the division-leading Denver Nuggets by two games. The Trail
Blazers are in last place, seven games off the pace.

The Timberwolves play the second of a four-game road trip. On Wednesday,
Richard Hamilton netted 21 points and Tayshaun Prince added 20 as the Detroit
Pistons posted a 90-74 victory over Minnesota at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Kevin Garnett finished with 14 points and 12 boards but scored just four
points after halftime in the loss to Detroit for the Timberwolves, who have
dropped five of their last seven games overall. Trenton Hassell also
contributed 14 points in defeat.

Minnesota, which will also visit Golden State and Phoenix on the current
swing, is 7-15 as the visitor this season. The Timberwolves have lost two
straight and four of their last five on the road.

Portland plays the finale of a brief two-game homestand. Tim Duncan ended with
14 points and a game-high 17 rebounds as the San Antonio Spurs knocked off the
Trail Blazers, 86-82, on Wednesday at the Rose Garden.

Zach Randolph netted a game-high 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the
loss to San Antonio for the Trail Blazers, who have lost two of three and four
of their last six games overall. Ruben Patterson contributed 14 points off the
bench in the setback.

After tonight’s game, the Trail Blazers are scheduled to embark on a seven-
game road trip. They will visit Denver, Indiana, Boston, Toronto, Charlotte,
New Orleans/Oklahoma City and the Lakers on the upcoming swing.

Minnesota has won three straight after losing its last two at Portland.