PORTLAND — First day of the second semester, and the Blazers nailed the initial quiz. Granted, this was one of those open-book, just-make-sure-you-show-up-to-class freebies, but still. After finishing the first half of the season just one game above .500, Portland aims to go from keeping its head above water to sitting safely on the shore. It took that first stroke Monday, scoring a season-high point total and beating Minnesota, 113-102. A win over the Timberwolves (10-32) is common for most NBA teams, but for the Blazers in particular. Monday marked the 15th time Portland finished the game with more points than Minnesota, and two stats helped explain why: The season-high 38 points the Blazers scored in the third quarter, and the career-high 37 points LaMarcus Aldridge scored in the game. Going head-to-head with Kevin Love, arguably his primary competition for a spot on the Western Conference All Star team, Aldridge delivered a persuasive argument by hitting 15 of his 24 field goal attempts and nabbing 12 rebounds. Regardless of who was guarding him, he dissected Minnesota in the post, off pick and rolls and on the offensive glass. Whether Aldridge ends up suiting up or kicking back during All-Star weekend remains to be seen, but seeing how he is averaging 27.4 points and 10.3 rebounds in 2011, he doesn’t need to convince anybody in Portland of his capabilities.