9:30 p.m. at Portland • Moda Center • TNT, 830-AM
After 4 wins in a row, Blazers gaining on Wolves
Preview: The 35-26 Blazers are coming up fast from behind the West’s third-place Wolves. They trail by a half-game now that they’ve won four in a row, including all three since All-Star break after Tuesday’s 116-99 home victory over Sacramento. The Wolves beat the Kings 118-100 the night before. The Blazers’ streak includes a home victory over Golden State heading into All-Star break and a victory at Utah after it. …The two teams end their four-game season series. The Wolves won both home games; the Blazers won at home a month ago. The Wolves can win the tiebreaker if they need it come playoff time with a victory. … Note the 9:30 p.m. start because the game is the nightcap to TNT’s Thursday doubleheader. Ex-Wolves play-by-play guy Kevin Harlan and Reggie Miller call the game.
Players to watch: Blazers guard Damian Lillard scored the winning layup in Saturday’s 106-104 victory at Phoenix, and the Wolves well know the Suns’ pain. Lillard’s 31-point, 6-assist, 4-rebound game beat the Wolves at Moda Center on Jan. 25 and he has averaged 23 points, 6.0 rebounds and 9.0 assists in the three games between the teams this season. The Wolves played without star guard Jimmy Butler in that January game — one of four games he missed then because of a sore right knee — and Andrew Wiggins scored 24 points in his absence. Karl-Anthony Towns has averaged 17.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists in the first three games.
Injuries: Butler (right knee meniscus surgery) is out indefinitely.