Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wolves Take Down Wizards

The last time the Washington Wizards met up with the Minnesota Timberwolves was January 25th at the Verizon Center, a game that Washington won 114-101 behind 19 points from Jordan Crawford, who has since been traded to Boston in exchange for Leandro Barbosa and Jason Collins. The Wizards second leading scorer in that game, Bradley Beal, came into tonight's game in Minneapolis listed as day-to-day with a sprained ankle he suffered on Sunday night's win over the Sixers at the Verizon Center.

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)
Minnesota was led by Derrick Williams with 16 points and 8 rebounds. Luke Ridnour, and Ricky Rubio, contributed 15 points a piece.

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.