Wizards-Timberwolves instant analysis

Wizards-Timberwolves instant analysis
March 6, 2013, 10:30 pm
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The Wizards appeared in control, except for a season-high 24 turnovers, and they were outscored 22-9 in the last 8:30 in an 87-82 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday at Target Center. They played without Bradley Beal (left ankle sprain) and fell to 19-40. 

Player of the game: Timberwolves PG Ricky Rubio only made 4 of 15 shots, but he finished with 15 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds and six steals. He forced Wizards PG John Wall into a crucial turnover in the final minute to seal the victory.

The rundown: Trevor Ariza and Wall combined for 28 points by halftime, but the Timberwolves pulled ahead 48-43 with a 10-0 run.  The Wizards’ low post play suffered as they were outscored 28-6 in the paint after two quarters.  During one stretch of the second, the Wizards had turnovers on five of eight possessions. But they opened the fourth quarter with a 10-0 run, with the baskets by Emeka Okafor, A.J. Price and Kevin Seraphin coming on assists from Wall. Then the tide turned again. 

Turning point: The Wizards came unraveled in the final minute. Wall missed a three-point shot with 56 seconds left and trailing 83-82. He then was stripped by Rubio, leading to J.J. Barea's layup as Minnesota pulled away to end their six-game losing streak. 

Trending upward: C Seraphin came off the bench to make his first four shots. He made a hook shot and then took Dante Cunningham off the dribble with an up-and-under move near the basket. He blocked what appeared to be a sure layup by Barea at the rim to keep the Wizards ahead 79-77 with 4:44 left. ... Ariza moved into the starting lineup without Beal. He filled the void with 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Ariza, however, failed to score in the second half.

Trending downward:  Fs Chris Singleton didn't log a minute of action for the second game in a row. … The Wizards were outscored in the paint 42-22 even though Minnesota was without its two best post players Kevin Love (broken hand) and Nikola Pekovic (abdominal strain). ...  Until Seraphin's hook shot with 2:46 left in the third, the WIzards had just three points from bench. They finished with 14, with nine coming in the fourth from Seraphin and A.J. Price's three-pointer. ... Wall had six turnovers. Nene had seven. 

Who’s next: Friday at Brooklyn Nets, 7:30 p.m. ET on CSN. The Nets beat the Charlotte Bobcats 99-78 as PG Deron Williams and SG Joe Johnson combined to shoot 15-for-26, including 9 of 14 from three, for 42 points.