Portland Trail Blazers guard Keon Johnson (6) goes up to the basket next to Minnesota Timberwolves guard D'Angelo Russell during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, March 5, 2022, in Minneapolis. Minnesota won 135-121. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs) APAP
It’s Anfernee Simons’ turn to take a seat.
The Portland Trail Blazers will get back Josh Hart for Monday’s game at Minnesota but will lose Simons to the injury report with a left quad contusion.
Simons scored 38 points while playing 40 minutes in the Blazers’ 135-114 loss Saturday at Minnesota in a game that Hart sat out of in order to rest as a part of his load management.
Jusuf Nurkic (plantar fascitis) and Justise Winslow (Achilles) also will remain out.
Simons’ absence likely means that Brandon Williams will start at point guard. Signed to a two-way contract after the All-Star break, the 6-2 guard has provided an electric boost of offense over the past four games.
He is averaging 14.8 points per game and is 6 of 14 on threes (42.8%). Hart will serve as the backup point guard, a role he performed behind Simons while also being the team’s starting shooting guard.
“I was trying to put him in positions for him to be aggressive,” Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said of Williams following Saturday’s loss. “He is a crafty little dude, man. He has a scoring mentality. He’s tough to keep out of the paint and he can make shots. I thought he was really, really good today.”
Simons said he has been impressed by Williams’ performances, including his 21-point showing on Saturday.
“Brandon’s great,” Simons said. “You heard a lot of stuff about him when he was playing in the G League. That he was the best point guard by far. You see how good he is. He’s really good and can do a lot of things. He can shoot the ball. He can drive the ball. He can dish out for shots. It’s been good to see him play and go out there and he played really well tonight.”
The Timberwolves will once again be without Anthony Edwards (left patella; tendinopathy) and point guard Patrick Beverley (right ankle; soreness).
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS AT MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES
What: Trail Blazers (25-38) at Timberwolves (36-29), 5 p.m., Monday.
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minn.
Radio: Rip City Radio (KPOJ 620 AM).
TV channel: Root Sports (in Portland: Comcast 734/34; DirecTV 687).
Watch the game live online: You can watch this game live for FREE with fuboTV (free trial). You can also get this game on DirecTV Stream’s “CHOICE” package (promotional offers), if you are out of fuboTV trials, or simply prefer that platform and their pricing plans. If you already have a cable or satellite provider that carries Root Sports and want to watch online, you can watch this game live on Root Sports Live.
Moneyline: POR +908 | MIN – 1819
Spread: MIN -15.5 | Over/Under: 233.5
Blazers: Elijah Hughes (non-COVID illness) and Greg Brown III (non-COVID illness) are probable; Eric Bledsoe (left Achilles; tendinopathy), Joe Ingles (left knee recovery), Damian Lillard (core muscle recovery), Nassir Little (left shoulder recovery), Didi Louzada (left knee recovery), Jusuf Nurkic (left foot; plantar fasciitis), Anfernee Simons (left quad; contusion) and Justise Winslow (right Achilles; soreness) are out for tomorrow’s game at Minnesota.
Timberwolves: Patrick Beverley (right ankle; soreness), Taurean Prince (back; spasms) and Naz Reid (right hamstring; contusion) are questionable; Anthony Edwards (left patella; tendinopathy) is doubtful; McKinley Wright IV (left UCL; injury) is out.
The Blazers will next play Wednesday at Utah before returning home to host Washington on Saturday.
— Aaron Fentress | afentress@Oregonian.com | @AaronJFentress (Twitter), @AaronJFentress (Instagram), @AaronFentress (Facebook).
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