The Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves, 115-104, at the Moda Center on Saturday night, improving their record to 33-11.

This game brought to mind a recent debate with a certain ESPN.com (Insider) personality who, for the sake of his reputation, I will only identify as having a name that rhymes with Pevin Kelton. The subject of the disagreement, which nearly led to blood during a late-night, G Chat back-and-forth, was the definition of the word "dagger" in the basketball sense.

Taking what I felt was a strict traditionalist's approach, I argued that a dagger was a shot that unequivocally sealed a game's outcome, the point of absolutely no return (not even with a miracle). Kelton offered a looser definition, which essentially amounted to an important, momentum-swinging late-game shot. Under my (correct) view, there can only be, at most, one dagger per game. Under his (incorrect) view, a knife fight between multiple dagger-wielders could ensue in the same game.

The conversation dragged on and on as we debated whether daggers worked better as pivot points between one and two possession games, or between two and three possession games, or if a go-ahead shot in the game's closing seconds could qualify, or if a pair of free throws could qualify, whether or not a dagger had to force the opposing coach to take a timeout, etc., etc. Look, we don't have a lot going on in our lives.

Portland's victory over Minnesota saw one of the most un-daggery daggers in recent memory: It didn't come in the game's final two or three minutes; it didn't prevent Minnesota from making another run; it didn't come in a one- or two- possession game and it was arguably more luck than skill. Normally, I think we would classify it as a "gut punch" rather than a "dagger," but that would drastically undersell the shot's reflexive impact on Minnesota.

The Timberwolves weren't getting doubled over in pain; they were going down -- straight down -- for the count.

With just over seven minutes remaining in the game and Portland holding a nine-point lead, LaMarcus Aldridge, who was wedged between Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic, launched a fade-away jumper from just inside the three-point line.

Absorbing a light bump in the back, Aldridge held his follow-through and then collapsed backwards, all the way to the floor, hitting the ground before the shot hit the net. Chase Budinger flexed the ball over his head in frustration, Kevin Love looked out into the crowd, and the game was over. "If he's hitting that, it's a wrap," Minnesota's body language screamed, as Aldridge stepped to the line to hit the free throw.

Back-to-back baskets from Damian Lillard -- who heretofore hadn't been much of a factor -- twisted the knife, extending Portland's lead to 17 points.

As the Timberwolves retreated to the bench to call a timeout, they slumped, totally and in unison. They knew they were beaten, they knew you knew they were beaten, and the rest would be about pride and saving face. Minnesota mounted a 9-2 run out of the timeout but never cut Portland's lead to under 10 points. They were done.

That dagger was not the culmination of a "You'll never forget where you were" showdown between Aldridge and Love. Instead, it was the high point of what Aldridge called a "let down" face-off between the two All-Stars, who wound up shifting out of the spotlight after two days of building hype.

Aldridge, who told Blazersedge that he felt he "definitely" deserved a spot in the 2014 All-Star Game's starting lineup, wasn't really able to deliver on Wesley Matthews' prediction of a "statement" game against Love, who did earn a starting spot.

Aldridge finished with 21 points (on 9-for-21 shooting) and 6 rebounds, and he said afterwards that he was satisfied with getting the victory against Love, who tallied 15 points (on 4-for-12 shooting) and 13 rebounds.

"I thought both guys competed," Aldridge told Blazersedge. "I felt a little tired. I could tell he was tired on a back-to-back. I thought both guys played hard."