With the negative narrative building and the heat rising, the Trail Blazers’ bench — if for only a night — was able to quiet the naysayers.
CJ McCollum had a career outing, Joel Freeland had one of his most prolific games of the season and the maligned bench proved to be the difference as the Blazers defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 117-110 Saturday night at the Target Center.
“It’s always good to see the bench deliver,” Freeland said. “We just came in and gave a lot of energy. It’s not really about the points with us, it’s about what we do in the other aspects of the game, running the floor, setting good picks, offensive rebounds — all that kind of stuff.”
But the Blazers’ backups did more than merely set screens, snatch boards and deliver the dirty stuff. They also scored. And on a night when the Blazers’ starters looked gassed — and encountered foul trouble — it was crucial.
The Blazers (36-15) played without Sixth Man Mo Williams, who was away from the team for the sec