Karl Anthony-Towns scores a game-high 39 points while Ricky Rubio chips in with 22 as the Wolves knock off the red-hot Washington Wizards. John Wall scored 27 points while Bradley Beal added 20 but it wouldn’t be enough on a night where the Wizards just ran out of gas late.
Like we’ve become accustomed to on this road trip, the Wizards got off to a very slow start from the field. Washington committed turnovers on their first three possessions while the Wolves were hot from three-point range knocking down 4-5 attempts to start as the Wizards were in an early 17-10 hole. That hole just kept getting bigger and bigger as the Wolves scored on nine out of their last 10 possessions to end the quarter while Ricky Rubio dished out 10 assists in the period to give the Wolves a 41-23 lead.
Bojan Bogdanovic has been instant offense for the Wizards and that was the case early in the second quarter as he went on a personal 7-0 run. The Wizards kept clawing away and were able to get as close as nine behind this acrobatic layup from Wall as he was falling to the floor:
Only to hit a three-pointer the next time down. The Wizards ended the quarter on a 9-4 run and tacked on 15 fast break points to cut the lead to 8, 64-56 at halftime.
I thought the tired legs and jet lag from the prior four flights might finally kick in but it didn’t. Washington cut the lead to six on an Otto Porter jumper but the Wolves had an answer. Bradley Beal had a chance to cut the lead to five points midway through the quarter but missed a dunk only to end up in a three-pointer on the other end.
The Wizards were able to stay within striking distance as they just trailed by nine, 89-80 entering the fourth quarter.
The tired legs started kicking in in the fourth quarter. Once again, Washington quickly found themselves down 13 but gave themselves a fighting chance as Wall continued to attack the hole getting him to the free-throw line 19 times tonight. But whenever Minnesota needed a basket, they went to Karl Anthony-Towns. The Wizards had no answer for Towns as he first abused Gortat early on and then did his damage against Mahinmi.
All good things must come to an end as the Wizards ran out of gas and couldn’t dig themselves out of this hole. Wiz lose 119-104.
Wizards dig themselves an early hole again
Minnesota was on fire to start this game and the Wizards had absolutely no answer. The Wolves shot 68 percent from the field in the quarter as Rubio was dropping dime after dime for easy buckets. The Wolves connected on five of their first nine three-point attempts and ended the quarter scoring on nine of their last 10 possessions. The Wizards couldn’t dig themselves out of this one.
Where’s the defense?
During this road trip, the Wizards weren’t too keen on playing much defense. They allowed an average of 121 points to their opponents over this five-game stretch. I get it that Western Conference teams tend to run and gun more often than Eastern Conference teams but even so, it’s hard to win many games when you’re giving up 121 points per night. The Wizards must sure that up as their next few games are winnable.
John Wall finally gets the All-Star calls he deserves. He just doesn’t capitalize.
As of late, Wall has been complaining about foul calls. Well, tonight he got to the line 19 times but connected on just 14 of them (74 percent). Wall did most of his damage from the free-throw line tonight as he shot wasn’t falling at a high rate (38 percent). John Wall finally got the calls he thinks he deserves, he just didn’t capitalize.