Dixon hits go-ahead 3-pointer, Blazers clip T-Wolves

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Juan Dixon kept shooting through a difficult night, and it paid off at the end.

Dixon made a 3-pointer with 6.2 seconds left to lift Portland to an 88-86 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Trail Blazers' home opener Saturday night.

Kevin Garnett missed an 8-foot jumper as time ran out for the Timberwolves.

"I'm not going to stop shooting," said Dixon, who was 3-for-11 before he made his last shot. "The opportunity presented itself and I was able to knock it down."

The Blazers trailed by as many as 16 points until Martell Webster hit a 3 to tie it at 74 with 9:47 left. He added a second 3-pointer to give Portland the lead, but Garnett converted a three-point play to even it again.

The Blazers led by four before Minnesota rallied again. Ricky Davis made a jumper and a 3-pointer to put the Timberwolves in front 84-83 with 3:05 remaining.

After Mike James scored to make it a three-point lead, rookie Brandon Roy hit a pair of free throws with 42.9 seconds to set the stage for Dixon's 3-pointer.

"On the last play I told Brandon just to drive hard to the hoop," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "We had Martell in one corner and Juan in the other, and I knew if Brandon got cut off on his drive to the basket, he would make it happen. As it turned out, he saw Dixon in the corner for that 3-point shot."

Dixon finished with 10 points. Travis Outlaw led the Blazers with 18 points and 15 rebounds.

Garnett finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds for Minnesota.

"I tried to get a foul at the end on that last shot," Garnett said. "I should have just shot the first look."

James was supposed to be on Dixon.

"We were playing zone. I didn't get there in time and Juan knocked it down," James said. "It was a big shot."

It was the first loss for the Timberwolves, who opened with consecutive wins for the first time since 2002-03. Minnesota hasn't begun a season with three straight wins since opening 6-0 in 2001-02.

The Trail Blazers (2-1), who have won six straight home openers, were playing without starting center Joel Przybilla, who had a lower abdominal injury and is supposed to be out about a week. Jamaal Magloire, acquired by Portland in a trade with the Milwaukee Bucks in the offseason, started in his place.

James had 13 first-quarter points as the Timberwolves jumped out to a 30-14 lead, their biggest margin of the game. James finished with 19 points and seven assists.

Minnesota led 52-41 at the half.

"We had 17 points from our bench," Timberwolves coach Dwayne Casey said. "We can't rely on our starters to carry us, so the bench has to come in and make some things happen. I thought that's what hurt us."

Roy, who finished with 16 points and eight assists, praised Outlaw, who had a career high for rebounds.

"Now that we've seen him play like that, we're going to hold him to it," Roy said. "We need him to play like that."

Outlaw said he hopes the big game is the start of strong season.

"I'm glad I had a great game but I really want to be consistent with it," he said. "I don't just want to have one good game the whole year."

Game notes
The national anthem was sung by Storm Large, who was a contestant on the reality show "Rock Star: Supernova." ... The Blazers surprised fans at the home opener by having the players emerge from spots in the crowd. Attendance was announced at 20,113, a sellout. ... Team owner Paul Allen did not attend the home owner because of bronchitis. He also missed an appearance Friday night, when his band was supposed to open for Seal in Seattle.