Wake-up call: T'Wolves led to turnaround

Wake-up call: T'Wolves led to turnaround
December 26, 2013, 6:00 am
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Webster serenades camera with Christmas tunes

The Minnesota Timberwolves have had as much time off as the Wizards, both of whom last played over the weekend. They also have something else in common: The Wizards turned around their season Nov. 19 against the Timberwolves. 

That 104-100 win at Verizon Center started a streak for the Wizards in which they won seven of nine games after losing seven of nine to begin the season. 

Now, the Timberwolves (13-15) have lost four of their last six. Kevin Love is coming off 45 points, 19 rebounds and six assists in Minnesota's 120-116 overtime loss at the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday. The Wizards (12-13), who erased an 18-point deficit to win 106-99 at the Boston Celtics on Saturday, are on a three-game winning streak.

[RELATED VIDEO: Martell Webster belts out Christmas tunes

Love sparked the Timberwolves to a 12-point lead in the first half in Washington, but Nene's defense was stellar. He held Love to eight points in the second half, including just a made free throw in the fourth quarter. Love finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds. 

Nene has been playing just 23 minutes in his last two games since returning from a foot injury while Trevor Booker starts at power forward. Even though he had success vs. Love, he's still blown away by the matchup problem the NBA's leading rebounder creates. And on top of that, Love has three-point shooting range.

"That dude is amazing, a monster on rebounds," Nene said. "His IQ for (the right) spot, for recognizing the position is amazing. I told him, I don't know if he heard me, 'You need to teach me all the tricks.' He's so smart. It looks like the ball comes to his hands."