Wizards

Wizards

The table was set perfectly for the Wizards to chance at 5-0 on a road trip for the first time in franchise history. They trailed by 21 for the second game in a row.

The Wizards (41-25), after erasing an 11-point deficit to beat the Phoenix Suns, a 15-point deficit to the Sacramento Kings and 21 to the Portland Trail Blazers, lost 119-104 to end a five-game winning streak at Target Center on Monday night.

John Wall (27 points, five assists) led Washington but it still had trouble getting stops as the Timberwolves shot 45-for-86, or 52.3%, including 10-for-21 from three-point range (47.6%).

Karl-Anthony Towns (39 points, 13 rebounds) led all scorers as Minnesota (28-38) never trailed. Five other players had double figures, with Ricky Rubio (22 points, career-high 19 assists) setting the table. Nemanja Bjelica (16 points, 10 rebounds) sparked the second unit.

A lob to Markieff Morris (11 points, seven rebounds) cut the deficit to 102-96 in the fourth quarter but Towns was too much down the stretch. He made a three-pointer and then two free throws to push the lead back to double digits and seal it.

Andrew Wiggins (15 points) had 41 points in their first meeting but was held relatively in check as he shot 5-for-15. 

Bradley Beal (20 points, seven rebounds), Otto Porter (11 points, six rebounds) and Bojan Bogdanovic (12 points) rounded out Washington’s effort. Marcin Gortat (seven points, four rebounds) was limited to 23 minutes of action.

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--Wall got the whistles. He went out of his way to create contact and he was able to get to the foul line and shoot 14-for-19. In the previous game, he was 10 of 12. 

--The Wizards couldn’t turn any of the Timberwolves’ early turnovers into points. They only had three off their first 11. During one, Beal had a breakaway dunk but missed it in the third quarter. In the end,they had just nine points off 15 giveaways from Minnesota. 

--Porter passed on at least two potentially good looks from three on catch-and-shoots. He opted to put the ball on the floor to attack the defender but wasn’t as successful. The NBA's leading three-point shooter only went 5-for-12 overall and only took three threes. The Timberwolves have had the league's best defense since the All-Star break in points per game allowed and field-goal percentage.

--Beal’s minutes were restricted to 33 in Portland despite that being an overtime game. He logged 38 tonight but only shot 3-for-11 from three-point range.

--Ian Mahinmi (five points, seven rebounds) defended Towns when the Wizards made their runs, but he’s not used to defending a big who shoots threes. He hesitated on a closeout late in the fourth that produced a three for Towns and a 105-97 lead. Mahinmi fouled out with 3:24 left after 21 minutes of play. Towns' next three, with Mahinmi off the floor, stretched the lead to 110-98.

--Bogdanovic and Beal were 4-for-17 shooting threes, and as a team they were 7-for-26. Overall, Bogdanovic and Beal shot 10-for-31 which is why the offense couldn't overcome the deficit. Still, the Wizards broke 100 points for the 32nd time in 33 games.

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