Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 4/1/12
By MATT BEARDMORE, STATS WriterThe Minnesota Timberwolves have been unable to string together consecutive wins since the last time they faced the Portland Trail Blazers, but it's been even longer since the Blazers won two in a row.While neither of these struggling Northwest Division teams will be able to accomplish that feat Sunday night in Portland, one will pick up a much-needed victory. Minnesota goes for the season sweep as it returns to the Rose Garden for the first time since ending a lengthy skid in this series. In search of their first playoff berth since 2003-04, the Timberwolves (25-28) matched a season high with their third straight victory March 7, 106-94 over Portland (24-28). However, since moving into eighth place in the Western Conference with that victory - its first in nine tries at home against the Trail Blazers - Minnesota has gone 4-9 to fall to 11th. The Timberwolves open their two-game stretch on the road after losing for the third time in four home games, 100-79 to Atlantic Division-leading Boston on Friday."We've haven't won the games we needed to win here," coach Rick Adelman told the Timberwolves' official website. "Now we have to go on the road again." Traveling to Oregon wouldn't usually give Adelman's team much optimism, but Minnesota ended an 11-game slide in Portland and 0-for-16 stretch in this series with a 122-110 victory March 3. All-Star forward Kevin Love, who grew up in Lake Oswego just south of the Rose Garden, scored 42 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in that contest. He'll go for a seventh consecutive double-double against his hometown team after scoring 29 points and 16 boards March 7.Love might have to shoulder even more of the scoring and rebounding load Sunday with Nikola Pekovic (ankle) and Michael Beasley (foot) questionable.Portland, though, might not have All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge in the lineup for a second consecutive game due to a hyperextended elbow suffered in Thursday's 99-93 victory over New Orleans.If Aldridge can't go, J.J. Hickson will likely be in the starting five again after recording season highs with 29 points and 13 rebounds Friday in a 98-97 road loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Blazers were targeting their first back-to-back wins since Jan. 23-24."It means nothing when you don't win," said Hickson, who is averaging 16.0 points and 5.8 boards in five games with the Blazers after being waived by Sacramento on March 19. "I would have loved to have gotten the win and been in here laughing and talking about it, but it's tough when you don't win after playing a great ballgame. It kind of goes down the drain."If Portland opens its three-game homestand with a victory, it will move percentage points ahead of Minnesota. Should the Timberwolves win, it will be their first season sweep of the Blazers since 2004-05.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Blake Griffin opts out of contract to become free agent

Report: Wolves targeting Kyle Lowry, Jrue Holiday, other point guards in free agency

Conor McGregor’s coach says tentative plans include a return to UFC in 2017

Report: Mets open for business on the trade market

Markelle Fultz believes the Sixers are already a playoff team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Jimmy Butler’s attitude toward Fred Hoiberg made players ‘uncomfortable’

St. Louis Cardinals to hold first LGBTQ Pride Night

John Mara: Extending Odell Beckham Jr. isn’t team’s No. 1 priority

Mike Trout reportedly wanted to sign ‘lifetime deal’ with Angels

Blackhawks, Blue Jackets swap Artemi Panarin, Brandon Saad

Matt Forte expected to be ‘offensive workhorse’ for Jets?

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

Box Score 6/23: Philly continues to trust the process

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Gary Payton Award for best trash talk of the year

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker