National Basketball Association
Timberwolves-Wizards Preview
National Basketball Association

Timberwolves-Wizards Preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 9:49 p.m. ET

The Washington Wizards' momentum was halted in the opener to a brief homestand. A visit from the Minnesota Timberwolves might help them get it restarted.

The Wizards will seek their 11th win in 12 home games against the Timberwolves on Friday night.

Washington (35-36) had a season-high five-game win streak snapped in a 122-101 loss to Atlanta on Wednesday.

The Wizards topped the Hawks 117-102 in Monday's opener to the home-and-home set while shooting 50.5 percent. They connected at 42.4 percent in the nation's capital.


John Wall had 13 points after scoring 27 in Atlanta, and Bradley Beal was held to seven following a 25-point effort. Washington also gave up 25 points off 18 turnovers, double its total from the previous game.

The loss dropped the Wizards to 2 1/2 games behind Detroit for the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot. They have 11 more chances to make up that deficit, four at home and head out on a five-game Western trip after the matchup with Minnesota (23-48).

Washington will seek a fourth consecutive home win over the Timberwolves before hitting the road. The Wizards won 104-98 in Minnesota on March 2 with Beal scoring 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting.

"It's going to be similar to the first time we played them. It's a young team that's really aggressive. They can score the ball in a variety of ways, and they're long and athletic," Beal said. "The biggest thing for us is limiting our turnovers, and we have to be ready to defend at all costs."

The Timberwolves are 4-8 in their last 12 but won 113-104 over Sacramento on Wednesday with a young trio of players leading the way. Karl-Anthony Towns, Zach LaVine and Andrew Wiggins combined for 72 points with Towns scoring a team-best 26.

Towns, averaging 27.3 points on 60.3 percent shooting in his last three games, had 14 while missing seven of 12 attempts in the loss to Washington but grabbed 15 rebounds. Ricky Rubio had a team-best 22 points and LaVine scored 21.

LaVine is averaging 22.6 points on 55.4 percent shooting in his last five games and has gone 18 of 34 from 3-point range. He scored each of his 23 points Wednesday in the second half.

"We talked to him at halftime and told him you've got to pick it up," coach Sam Mitchell said. "Little did I know he'd get 23 in the second half. Zach just has that talent, he's explosive. We needed it."

Minnesota is trying for its third road win in five games, which would match its total from its previous 24 contests there. The Timberwolves and Wizards have alternated wins in each of their last 12 overall matchups.

Wall has totaled 19 points on 8-of-28 shooting in his past two games against Minnesota but has recorded a combined 39 assists in his last three. He had 14 points while missing 12 of 18 shots in the win earlier this month and 12 assists.


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