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LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers Squeak By Minnesota Timberwolves

LaMarcus Aldridge put the team on his back Friday, putting up astounding numbers and leading the Blazers to a 107-102 victory over the Wolves.
LaMarcus Aldridge put the team on his back Friday, putting up astounding numbers and leading the Blazers to a 107-102 victory over the Wolves.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Joseph FafinskiCorrespondent IDecember 18, 2010

The Rose Garden belonged to the Portland Trail Blazers and especially LaMarcus Aldridge on Friday as they defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 107-102.

Darko Milicic injured his ankle during the opening tip and didn't return, but ultimately, it didn't matter as Aldridge took over late.

The fifth-year man out of Texas went 15 of 22 from the field, had 10 rebounds, five blocks, and an astounding six dunks. He had a chance to break his points record, but missed a field goal and two free throws down the stretch.

He scored the first 12 for the Blazers, and had 20 by halftime.

The Spaniard, Rudy Fernandez, had 26 points, and Wesley Matthews, the second-year man from Marquette, chipped in 21 for the Blazers.

For the Timberwolves, who lost their fourth game in a row, scoring came from the hands of Michael Beasley, who put down 33 points and four blocks for Kurt Rambis' club. The team moved to 6-21 with an ugly 1-15 road record.

Kevin Love continued his hot streak, putting up 19 points, 17 rebounds, and four assists, the last two leading the team Friday.

Martell Webster also came off the bench and had his best contribution since his return. In his third game back, he scored 19 points and snagged nine boards in 30 minutes, all season highs. 

It was Webster's return to the place where he played his first five years and was a key contributor in last year's playoffs, averaging 10 points per game before Portland's exit.

The Portland fans gave Webster a nice and warm reception when he entered the game with 4:41 in the first quarter. He promptly made his first three field goals and had six points a little over two minutes later.

Other than Beasley, Love, and Webster, no one scored double digits. However, Kosta Koufos, filling in for the injured Milicic, grabbed 11 boards in 25 minutes for Minnesota.

Portland shot 64 percent in the half and led 61-54 at the break.

The Wolves kept the game close in the second half, but the Blazers ended strong and the game was won at the hands of Aldridge and Matthews.

With the win, the Blazers are one off .500 at 13-14, but improved their home record to an impressive 8-3.

"That's what they need from me right now," said Aldridge after the game, and he was right. He put the team on his back and came up with a solid win.

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