MINNEAPOLIS -- Sitting on the team flight after Portland's second straight loss earlier in the week, Brandon Roy thought to himself.
"Something about me has got to get better," he said. "Something about me has to improve."
And, he needs more games like this. Roy scored 19 points in only three quarters against Minnesota, leading Portland to a 102-82 victory over the listless Timberwolves on Friday night.
In three seasons in the NBA, the Trail Blazers forward has been disappointing. But with his team in the running for a playoff berth, Roy is making a point to lead his team by doing more than scoring -- even if it comes at the expense of his teammates' feelings.
"I was kind of getting after them a little bit," Roy said. "It's getting to the point where I don't really care if I hurt someone's feelings out there or if I step on somebody's toes. This is bigger than one guy now, so if you're letting the team down, I'm going to let you know now."
His teammates apparently took it well.
Rudy Fernandez added 18 points for the Blazers, who snapped a five-game road losing streak by sending the sputtering Wolves to their eighth-straight home loss. Travis Outlaw and LaMarcus Aldridge each added 15 points and Sergio Rodriguez had 12 for the Trail Blazers, who built a 19-point lead through three quarters and were never threatened.
"I'm very happy with our guys and the way they responded tonight," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said of his team's performance after road losses to Houston and San Antonio.
Wolves coach Kevin McHale certainly couldn't say the same.
"That was our worst game in I don't know how long," McHale said. "We couldn't muster any energy, couldn't get any offensive flow going."
Despite playing better as of late, Randy Foye still went 5-for-15 from the floor and had 13 points, unable to drive the lane against Portland's big front court. Minnesota's point guard entered averaging about eight foul attempts, but got to the line just once against Portland -- for a technical free throw.
After being outshot and outrebounded early, the Blazers got going from the field and outscored Minnesota 54-37 in the second and third quarters.
"That effort was unacceptable," McHale said. "We had too much head hanging, too much feeling sorry for ourselves."
Portland was 8-for-18 from the 3-point line and hit 50 percent (38-of-76) from the floor while committing only nine turnovers.
As for Roy, he gave Minnesota yet another glimpse of what could have been.
Roy entered the game averaging 24 points against the Wolves, who took the 2006-07 Rookie of the Year with the sixth overall pick in that year's draft. Minnesota wound up trading him for Foye and has been paying for it since. While the Wolves are still trying to find their identity in the post-Kevin Garnett era, Roy has his sights on taking his team to the next level.
"Now we've got something in front of us that we want, and we've got to go for it," he said.
McHale inserted Jason Collins into the starting lineup for the first time since Dec. 6 to counter Portland's size advantage. Collins finished with four points. ... Sheldon Williams made his first appearance for Minnesota since being traded from Sacramento with Bobby Brown for Rashad McCants and Calvin Booth on Feb. 19. ... Minnesota had scored 100 points in seven straight games, but finished with its lowest points total since scoring 70 against Cleveland on Dec. 17 -- a span of 33 games.
Carmelo Anthony and Phil Jackson have not discussed the Knicks' coaching search since their exit meetings last month.
The Hornets' Spencer Hawes has a sprained MCL in his right knee, an MRI revealed Thursday, and is likely out for the rest of the first-round series against the Miami Heat.
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