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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Blazers come back from 18 down to beat Minnesota

PORTLAND -- The Minnesota Timberwolves led by as many as 18 points in the second quarter but blew the lead as Portland rallied past the Wolves, 108-97, last night in Oregon. The Blazers got 32 points including five three-pointers from Damian Lillard and 22 points and 10 rebounds from Nicolas Batum. Thomas Robinson added 14 points and 18 rebounds off the bench. The Timberwolves' Kevin Love led his team with 31 points and 10 rebounds. J.J. Barea added 21 points. Portland has won two straight while the Wolves' three-game winning streak came to an end. Minnesota is at Phoenix tomorrow night. Phoenix blew a big lead last night against the Rockets and lost.


Only two players scored in double figures as Minnesota lost 64-46 at 23rd-ranked Ohio State on Saturday in men's college basketball. Andre Hollins scored 13 points and Deandre Mathieu added 12 for the Golden Gophers, who have lost two in-a-row to dip to 17-and-11 on the year and 6-and-9 in the Big Ten. The Gophers host 15th-ranked Iowa tomorrow.


The No. 20 Golden Gopher softball team improved to 12-and-1 on the season with an 8-0 win over UNC-Greensboro yesterday in North Carolina. Minnesota pitcher Sara Moulton of Eagan tossed her seventh complete-game, shutout of the year. The win concluded a perfect 4-and-0 weekend in a tournament in Greensboro. The Golden Gopher baseball team, meanwhile, lost an 8-0 decision to Creighton in Fort Myers, Florida. Minnesota baseball is 4-and-2 on the season.


 The Twins continue workouts today in Fort Myers, Florida. Catcher Josmil Pinto missed a third straight day of workouts with a sore back. He is listed as day-to-day. The Twins open Grapefruit League play on Friday against the Boston Red Sox.


The NFL Scouting Combine continues in Indianapolis today. The defensive linemen and linebackers hit the field for workouts. Yesterday, the quarterbacks, wideouts and running backs participated in the skill drills. Tomorrow, defensive backs are on the field to close out the workouts. Vikings general manager Rick Spielman is in Indy and says while he understands fans know there is a need for quarterback, that isn't the only need they are looking for during this scouting event.


 "Mission accomplished." That's how Mortenson Construction senior vice president John Wood assessed the demolition of the Metrodome's last remaining ring beam. The beam was taken down yesterday morning with a series of controlled explosive charges. Wood says the no one was hurt in the demolition, and no other property was damaged. It took 84 charges of dynamite set in 24 columns of the upper concourse to bring the beam down. The Metrodome is going away to make room for a new Vikings stadium, which is scheduled to open in July of 2016.


The Minnesota Wild players who were in the Olympics are making their way back from Sochi, Russia to rejoin the team and resume the NHL season this week. Finland forward Mikael Granlund of the Wild returns to the team with his bronze medal. He and his Finnish teammates beat Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, and Team USA in the third-place game on Saturday. The rest of the Wild players have been in the Twin Cities working out, including an outdoor, open to the public skate in Roseville yesterday. Minnesota is at Edmonton when the NHL season resumes this week. Thursday's game starts at 8:30 p.m. The Wild are 31-21-and-7 on the season.


Team Canada men's hockey won gold for a second straight Olympics after defeating Sweden 3-0 on Sunday. Jonathan Toews, Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz all scored for Canada, which won all of its games in the tournament. Toews and Crosby each played prep hockey at Shattuck-St. Mary's in Faribault. It was the second straight men's hockey gold for Canada and its ninth overall.


The U.S. men's and women's hockey teams fell short of their golden goals in Sochi. The men lost to Canada in the semifinals before falling flat in the bronze medal game. Mikael Granlund (me-KYLE GRAN-lund) and Finland cruised past Wild teammates Zach Parise, Ryan Suter and the U.S. by a 5-0 count in the bronze medal match at the Sochi Olympics on Saturday. The U.S. women blew a late two-goal lead and fell 3-2 in overtime to Canada in the gold medal game.


 Dale Earnhardt Jr. captured the checkered flag in the 56th running of the Daytona 500 last night, after a lengthy rain delay. Earnhardt Jr. led 54 of the 200 laps to earn his second career Daytona 500 win and 20th career Sprint Cup Series victory. He also won the "Great American Race" in 2004. Denny Hamlin finished second, followed by Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon and defending Daytona 500 champion Jimmie Johnson. Matt Kenseth, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Greg Biffle, Austin Dillon and Casey Mears rounded out the top-10. The race was delayed nearly six-and-a-half hours due to rain.