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FutureStarrTimberwolves squander 20-Point Lead Collapse Late in Loss to Washington
On Thursday night at Target Center, Minnesota's late-game struggles returned to haunt them. The Wizards capitalized on Minnesota's lackadaisical attitude in the fourth quarter to pull away with a 114-106 victory.
Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 35 points, including several clutch three-pointers down the stretch. Additionally, he grabbed six rebounds and had five assists for an impressive total.
On Thursday night, Bradley Beal had a sensational performance as the Washington Wizards rallied from an early 20-point deficit to edge past Minnesota Timberwolves 114-106. He finished with 35 points plus six rebounds, five assists and three steals for an impressive night overall.
Beal made clutch 3-pointers down the stretch to help the Wizards secure their eighth consecutive win, avenging a loss earlier in the season. Washington (28-30) is now 3-1 on their four-game trip and will continue their road trip Sunday at Brooklyn (3-2), who have lost three of their last four games before facing Denver for a home-and-home series beginning Monday and Tuesday.
In the opening quarter, Washington trailed by 20 points but took control in the second thanks to Corey Kispert's impact off the bench. He entered halftime with 12 points and finished with 15 as he shot 4-for-6 from three-point range.
Washington took a commanding 93-82 lead late in the third quarter, scoring nine straight points to start the fourth. They extended their lead by as many as 16 in the final minutes when Sam Dekker, playing his first game since being acquired through trade with Boston, scored 6 straight points for Washington.
Coach Scott Brooks had been searching for this kind of spark all season. He adjusted his lineup to give some young energizers more playing time, and it paid off with a much-needed win that snapped a five-game losing streak.
The switch proved especially successful in providing Beal with some much-needed offensive momentum. He scored 13 of his 35 points over the final 4 1/2 minutes, including a top-of-the-key fadeaway from deep that gave Washington their first lead with 1:14 remaining. He followed that up with another 3-pointer for an eventual 107-106 advantage which they maintained throughout the rest of the game.
Beal has scored at least 20 points in 29 straight games, the longest streak in the NBA this season. He's reached 30-plus points four times this year and is one of only two players in franchise history to record 20-plus points in every quarter of a game. Additionally, Beal has made at least four 3-pointers each of his past eight contests, improving to an NBA-best 43.2 percent from behind the arc.
On Wednesday night, Delon Wright recorded a double-double with 10 points and six rebounds in the Timberwolves' loss to Washington. Additionally, he contributed four assists, a steal, and two blocks to help the Wizards secure their third straight victory.
He played an integral role in the team's fourth-quarter comeback, collecting four offensive rebounds and passing them to Kispert who then found Beal for a three-pointer with 16 seconds left to go. It marked Wright's second winning play this season in the fourth quarter as he ignited Toronto's comeback against them with a steal and dunk during Game 5.
No matter the outcome of the game, Wright and his teammates had a successful night. They shot 62% from the floor and scored an incredible 105 points in the fourth quarter - their season-high. It marked five straight victories this season where they shot 60% or better from the field.
Tuesday afternoon, with Beal (hamstring) out due to injury, Wright had the opportunity to assume the starting point guard role for a brief period. Although he only played 20 minutes, Wright made the most of it with an impressive performance.
Since returning from a hamstring injury, Wright has averaged 5.8 points, 3.5 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 19.8 minutes of playtime. While his production hasn't been particularly impressive, his steals value makes him an attractive streaming option in 12-team leagues that don't already have him on their roster.
The Wizards have an intense road trip scheduled that includes games against the Nuggets and Kings, with Wright likely to start one of them. If he can return before they embark on their trip, Wright could play a significant role in continuing their Western Conference win streak.
The Wizards hold a half-game lead over the Atlanta Hawks for eighth place in the playoffs, but more from Trae Young is needed to secure it. Furthermore, Washington is one game behind Charlotte Hornets for ninth place in West and will face off against Magic in their final home game before heading into overtime.
The Wizards rallied from a 20-point deficit late in the fourth quarter to defeat Minnesota, 116-108. Washington has won six straight matches against the Timberwolves and can extend its streak when it visits Minnesota on Thursday.
At halftime, Washington had a 27-point lead but trailed 97-90 with 4:38 remaining due to Karl-Anthony Towns' right calf injury. During that span of time, however, they scored eight points including two 3-pointers from Deni Avdija and one by Bradley Beal. With 1:38 remaining, Beal made his jumper to give Washington their first lead since early in the second quarter - taking their three-game winning streak into the All-Star break.
Kuzma's 33 points were a career high, though he shot just 2 of 7 from the field and missed all four of his 3-point attempts. Furthermore, he only made one free-throw attempt which hindered his fantasy value significantly.
Before the game, it was noted that Kuzma had not been able to participate in practice on Tuesday, likely meaning he will miss his third consecutive matchup against Charlotte on Saturday. With Kuzma out, Corey Kispert or Deni Avdija could draw starts instead, with Will Barton possibly seeing more minutes off the bench.
Kuzma's return should provide Washington with some additional offensive options, but the Wizards are uncertain of his availability for Wednesday night's matchup against the Rockets. He missed practice on Tuesday but will have several more chances to suit up before the All-Star break.
He could potentially start against the Rockets on Monday, but will also need to rest before that game. Regardless, Washington Wizards will manage his injury on a game-by-game basis while the All-Star break is in effect.
Kuzma has averaged 21.5 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 52 games this season; his recent rebound performance should help him build on those numbers going into the All-Star break. Furthermore, he is averaging over 10 rebounds in each of his last nine games which has been an immense boost to Washington's offensive attack. With Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis both returning from injuries, they have a great chance to make a run at the Eastern Conference Play-In Tournament once they return from break.
The Timberwolves failed to capitalize on a 20-point lead late in the third quarter against Washington and ended up falling short, losing by 20 points 143-112. After starting strong early and shooting well, the offense ran dry midway through the third quarter; this allowed Washington to build an advantage that they took advantage of with 13 points from Bradley Beal and three 3-pointers from Kispert - giving them their season high point total of 143.
Beal also set up a dunk for Jabari Parker, who hit two 3-pointers and finished with 18 points in the win. He shot 7 of 16 from the field and added four rebounds, two assists and a steal over 34 minutes of action.
Gobert was a force in the paint, getting his hands on many missed shots and collecting multiple rebounds. He added two dunks off skip passes as well as an elegant euro-step layup for good measure.
Gobert had an excellent connection with Conley, who provided him with several helpful passes. Gobert also assisted Towns and McDaniels - 19 and 21 points respectively - on their shots.
In the opening quarter, he scored 14 points on 6 of 8 shooting from the floor. His highlight play came off a powerful dunk off a skip pass in 24 minutes of play, and he was an active presence on the offensive glass throughout, grabbing several missed shots to secure them for himself.
When the game was on the line, he made some key plays. He drew a foul on a drive to the basket and then went off on an impressive long-range shot off of his dribble. Additionally, he set up a delicate layup over Josh Green with some finesse moves, plus had an impressive effort on offense rim.
Impact Gobert has been dealing with a sore right groin since returning to the team last week, but he's still eligible to play and should be cleared for Saturday's matchup against Denver. If he doesn't suit up, Naz Reid will start and could be an excellent fantasy option in your lineups.