Meanwhile, the Wolves were still without star forward Kevin Love, who has been out with a right hand injury since January 8th. To make matters worse, Minnesota was without center Nikola Pekovic due to an abdominal strain, and forward Andrei Kirilenko due to a strained left calf. Both could miss at least the next three games.
Washington led 29-24 at the end of the 1st quarter, but trailed 48-43 going into the half, despite 16 first half points from Trevor Ariza.
Minnesota led 65-63 at the end of the 3rd quarter, but Washington stormed back to take their biggest lead of 8 on a Kevin Seraphin hook shot with 9:29 left to play in the 4th. The Wolves stormed back to an 81-79 lead on a J.J. Barea reverse layup with 3:55 remaining in the game.
With 28.2 seconds remaining, J.J. Barea converted a fast-break layup off a Ricky Rubio steal. Trevor Ariza took an off-balance three-pointer in an attempt to tie the game on the next possession, but put up an air-ball. A.J. Price was forced to foul Luke Ridnour, who sank two free throws to put Minnesota up by 5, and the Wolves held on for an 87-82 victory, their 10th win in their last 12 over the Wizards at the Target Center.
|Timberwolves forward Derrick Williams goes up for a layup against Wizards forward Trevor Ariza (Photo by- Jim Mone)|
The Wizards were led by John Wall with 19 points and 6 assists. Trevor Ariza added 16 points, all of them coming in the first half, to go along with 7 rebounds, and 6 assists. All 5 Washington starters scored in double figures.