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Scouting Report | Wolves vs. Wizards

by Timberwolves.com

Mitchell Hansen
Web Editorial Associate
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7 p.m., Target Center
Where to Watch: Fox Sports North
Where to Listen: 830 WCCO

The Minnesota Timberwolves kick off a stretch of games against Eastern Conference opponents when the Washington Wizards come to Target Center on Monday night.

The Wolves come into the game at 27-38 on the season and are in 11th place in the Western Conference. The Wizards are 41-24 overall and are tied with the Boston Celtics for second place in the Eastern Conference.

A few tidbits entering Monday’s contest:

  • The Wolves are still very much in the Western Conference playoff race, trailing the Denver Nuggets and the eighth seed by 3.5 games.
  • Minnesota has won eight of its last 13 games coming into Monday.
  • Washington is riding a five-game winning streak and comes into Monday’s game winners in 11 of its last 15 games.

Coming Off Of…

Minnesota is coming off of a 102-95 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday in Milwaukee.

Karl-Anthony Towns had a team-best 35 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Wolves. Ricky Rubio had 22 points and eight assists, Andrew Wiggins had 11 points and four rebounds, Nemanja Bjelica had eight points and five rebounds, and Gorgui Dieng added seven points and six rebounds.

Washington is coming off of a 125-124 overtime win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday in Portland.

John Wall had 39 points and nine assists, Bradley Beal had 26 points and six assists, Otto Porter had 18 points and 10 rebounds, Marcin Gortat had 15 points and 15 rebounds, and Markieff Morris had 13 points and 11 rebounds in the game.

Last Matchup

Washington holds a 1-0 season series advantage over Minnesota this season. The Wizards beat the Wolves 112-105 on Jan. 6 in the nation’s capital.

In that game, Wiggins had 41 points and Towns had 18 points, 10 rebounds and five assists to lead Minnesota. Gorgui Dieng had 15 points and 11 rebounds, Brandon Rush had 10 points, and Zach LaVine had eight points and five rebounds.

For Washington, Wall went off for 18 points and 18 assists. Beal finished with 22 points, Gortat had 19 points and 10 rebounds, Porter had 17 points and six rebounds, and Morris added 15 points and six rebounds.

Monday’s game is the second and final matchup between the Wolves and Warriors this season.

Key Matchup: Ricky Rubio vs. John Wall

Monday night’s game will feature two of the best passing points guards in the NBA.

Ricky Rubio comes into the game averaging 9.6 points, 8.8 assists, four rebounds and 1.8 steals per game in his sixth NBA season. His 8.8 assists a game rank fifth in the league.

John Wall is having a career year in Washington this season. In his seventh NBA season, Wall is averaging a career-high 23.1 points, 10.8 assists, 4.5 rebounds and two steals per game. His 10.8 assists ranks second in the league.

As the season winds down, Rubio and Wall have both stepped up and are playing some of their best basketball of the year. Hopefully we will get to witness more of that Monday night at Target Center.

Injuries

Washington: No injuries to report

Minnesota: LaVine (knee) and Nikola Pekovic (ankle) are out.

Projected Starters

Washington: PG – Wall, SG – Beal, SF – Porter, PF – Morris, C – Gortat

Minnesota: PG – Rubio, SG – Rush, SF – Wiggins, PF – Dieng, C – Towns

 

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