The Wizards saw their three-game road win streak come to an end on Friday night, falling 120-98 to the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center. John Wall led the Wizards with 26 points and seven assists. Kevin Love paced the Wolves with 25 points and 11 boards.
After a quick 9-0 run to open the game, the Wizards would hold a one-point lead after the first quarter (23-22). But things would go south from there. The Wolves scored 39 points in the second quarter and brought a 61-47 lead into the halftime locker room.
The Wizards could never get the lead closer than 12 points in the second half as the Wolves cruised to a 120-98 win on their home floor.
What could be worse than the road loss, was the sight of Bradley Beal being carried off the court by his teammates after he suffered an apparent leg injury in the fourth quarter. It was his left leg that was in pain, not the leg that caused him to miss time earlier in the season with the stress injury. The good news was that X-rays came back negative, but he is scheduled to have an MRI tomorrow which could reveal the extent of the injury.
The Wizards did have six players score in double figures and shot 46% for the game, but allowed the Wolves to shoot 49% and were outrebounded, 44-35.
The Wizards will be back in action tomorrow night as they host the Detroit Pistons at Verizon Center. - Jeremy Hyman
We are about an hour from tip here at the Target Center and the guys seem very eager to get back in action after the five days off. I personally went to college in Minnesota and spent a lot of the time in this arena during those four years watching Kevin Garnett and the Timberwolves in the nosebleed seats. Being here brings back some good memories for me.
Randy Wittman stressed pregame the focus the Wizards will need to exhibit after so much time off. The Timberwolves are in the same boat though, after having four days off. Wittman also noted that if you look at this as the end of a four game road trip (albeit one spread out over about two weeks), that going 4-0 on the trip would be simply huge. The rotation will not change tonight, Beal will plays similar minutes to the previous three games and Nene will continue to come off the bench. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Now it's time for #WizWolves from Minneapolis. Jeremy Hyman and I will be live chatting as always, starting at 8.
Hello from Minnesota!
The Wizards are going for their fourth straight win on the road, something the franchise has not accomplished in about six years. The Wizards, before the holidays arrived, swept the New York teams and came back from down 18 to beat the Celtics.
The last time the Wizards and Wolves met, the Wizards grabbed a 104-100 victory at the Verizon Center. It might have been the turning point of the Wizards season, as it sparked a 7-2 run after the Wizards had opened the year, 2-7. Kevin Love dominated early, but the Wizards held him to just nine points over the final three quarters. Stopping Love is going to be crucial to getting a win in Minnesota, as Love comes in asbolutely on fire. He's coming off of a 43 point, 19 rebound performance against the Clippers and is averaging over 30 a game over his last eight. He has only missed a double-double in two contests this year. Love has also had a double-double in all eight of his career meetings with Washington.
The Wolves offense has clicked in general this year, as they are fourth in the league in scoring at 105.6 points per game and have scored over 100 in 11 of their last 13. They are exploitable on the other end though, as they also allow the fourth most points in the league at over 102. So look for a high scoring ball game between these two.
The Wolves are returning home after a brief jaunt to Los Angeles, where they got blown out by the Lakers and then dropped a tough one in OT to the Clip. That game against the Clippers was the Wolves most recent and was on December 22nd, which gave them a similar holiday break to the Wizards.
Both of these teams come into the game pretty healthy. Beal will still be on a minutes limit, though we could see that rise, and Nene will still be coming off the bench. For the Wolves, Budinger and Turiaf are still out, but have been just about all year.
We'll be back with more during pregame.