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Recap: Beal, Westbrook lead Wizards over Timberwolves 128-112
FINAL: Wizards 128 | Timberwolves 112
Wizards: Bradley Beal (34), Russell Westbrook (19), Davis Bertans (19)
Timberwolves: Karl-Anthony Towns (23), Anthony Edwards (21), Naz Reid (17)
The Wizards defeated the Timberwolves 128-112 on Saturday night at Capital One Arena, earning their seventh win in their last eight games. Bradley Beal led the way with 34 points while Russell Westbrook totaled 19 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists. Karl-Anthony Towns led the way for Minnesota with 23 points.
“It means a lot,” Beal said of the Wizards’ recent run. “It’s big for everybody. It’s big for our confidence moving forward. We know our schedule gets tough. At the same time, we still know we haven’t done much. We haven’t done anything. That’s what I keep telling our guys. We still have a lot of work we needs to do, things we need to get better at and clean up – and we still need to win more games. That’s the ultimate goal.”
Moe Wagner was the bright spot for a Washington offense that struggled to get in rhythm early. Wagner shot 3-3 (1.000) from the field and 2-2 (1.000) from three in the first 5:18 of the game, but was pulled early after he was called for his second personal foul. With Wagner out, the Wolves went on a 14-2 run to take an eight-point lead. Just before the end of the first quarter, however, a Davis Bertans put-back dunk highlighted a 9-2 Wizards run to tie the game at 27. Westbrook opened the second quarter assisting Deni Avdija on a driving layup, then proceeded to score 10 consecutive points to put the Wizards up 39-36 with 8:33 left in the second. Defenses had their way as both teams combined to shoot 18-51 (.352) and 2-19 (.105) from 3-point range in the second quarter. Washington led 54-52 at halftime.
The Wizards won the game in the third quarter, erupting for 44 points on 16-28 (.571) from the field and 7-11 (.636) from 3-point range. Up by just three with 6:13 left in the third quarter, the Wizards went on a 24-8 run to take a 19-point lead in the final minute of the frame. Bertans, who shot 4-5 (.800) in the quarter, and Beal accounted for 19 of the 24 points on the run. Bertans has now hit at least two 3-pointers in each of his last 15 games, tying Beal for the longest streak in franchise history. Garrison Mathews scored 12 points on 3-3 (.1000) from 3-point range to lead the way in the fourth as Washington kept its lead above double digits the entire quarter.
THREE THINGS TO KNOW
Beal leads Wizards, joins elite company with another 30-point game
Beal’s big night was bolstered by an explosive third quarter. He scored 17 of his 34 points in the third, leading the way as the Wizards took control of the game. The newly named All-Star starter was efficient all night, shooting 12-23 (.522) from the field and 8-8 (1.000) from the free throw line. Beal now has five consecutive games shooting at least 50.0% from the field, tying the longest streak of his career. He’s now scored 30-plus points in 20 of his 29 games this season, becoming the fifth player since 2000 to score 30-plus points in 20 of his first 30 games of a season, joining James Harden, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson.
Beal’s impact wasn’t limited to scoring. He also notched eight rebounds and six assists, giving him seven games this season with at least 30 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Westbrook sets franchise record with 10th triple-double
Westbrook continued what has been an outstanding couple weeks of play. With 19 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists, Westbrook has now recorded triple-doubles in five of his last seven games and set a new franchise record for triple-doubles in a single season (10), breaking Darrell Walker’s record that has stood since 1989-90. Walker accomplished the feat in 79 games while Westbrook did so in just 24.
Westbrook sealed the triple-double with an assist on a Bertans 3-pointer with just under three minutes left in the third quarter. Per ESPN Stats & Info, Saturday night marked the 46th time Westbrook recorded a triple-double in the first three quarters. In that last 25 seasons, James Harden is the next-closest player with 13 such games.
Edwards, Towns combine for 40-plus with key scorer out
Anthony Edwards (21 points), who was selected first overall in the 2020 NBA Draft, and Towns (23 points) combined for 44 points to lead the way for the Wolves. Minnesota was playing in its first game without Malik Beasley, who served the first game of a 12-game suspension for an off-court incident. Beasley averages 20.5 points per game and led the Timberwolves in scoring in their first meeting with the Wizards. Edwards and Towns took 41 of Minnesota’s 95 field goal attempts. Edwards’ 22 attempts set a new career high while Towns’ 19 came up one shy of his season high.
NEXT UP: Wizards at Celtics / Sunday, February 28 / 7:00 P.M. / TD Garden
HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT
sheesh pic.twitter.com/ToT10TV6ue— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) February 28, 2021