Recap: Harrell scores season-high 27 as Wizards win 115-107 over Wolves
FINAL: WIZARDS 115 | TIMBERWOLVES 107
WIZARDS: Montrezl Harrell (27), Bradley Beal (19), Daniel Gafford (18)
TIMBERWOLVES: Karl-Anthony Towns (34), Anthony Edwards (25), Naz Reid (13)
The Wizards won over the Timberwolves 115-107 on Wednesday night at Capital One Arena. With the win, the Wizards improve to 8-2 at home this season and are one of just two teams in the Eastern Conference with at least eight home wins. Minnesota entered the game having won seven of its last eight games.
Montrezl Harrell scored a team-high 27 points on 11-12 (.917) shooting while Bradley Beal finished the night with 19 points, six rebounds and nine assists. Spencer Dinwiddie finished with a season-high 11 assists and just one turnover.
Beal and Daniel Gafford put together a 6-0 run for the Wizards in the game’s opening minutes, erasing a small Minnesota lead and setting up a back-and-forth opening frame that featured six lead changes and six ties. Neither team led by more than four points and the game went to the second tied at 24 apiece. Both offenses found their stride in the second quarter, shooting a combined 24-45 (.533) from the field. Minnesota rode an 11-2 run late in the second quarter to an eight-point lead, their largest of the night, but a Harrell dunk and Beal buzzer-beater at the end of the half knocked the lead back down to 57-53 at the break.
After falling behind 74-67 five minutes into the second half, the Wizards went on a quick 7-0 run, highlighted by a Dinwiddie 3-pointer, to tie the game. Beal converted a difficult up-and-under layup at the end of the shot clock and a corner three in the closing seconds of the third quarter, part of a 5-0 Wizards run in the last 54 seconds to take a 91-88 lead going into the fourth. A pair of Wizards turnovers early in the final frame helped the Wolves tie the game, but Washington countered with their best stretch of the night. The Wizards opened up an eight-point advantage with just over four minutes left on an and-one dunk from Harrell. After Kentavious Caldwell-Pope knocked down a triple to put Washington up 10, second-year pro Anthony Edwards hit one of his own for Minnesota. With 44 seconds left, Caldwell-Pope buried his second clutch three of the night and third overall to ice the game for the Wizards.
THREE THINGS TO KNOW
Wizards get key performances from bench
The Wizards’ bench carried the team through a hard-fought first half. As the Washington starters struggled to find their touch, shooting a combined 10-31 (.322) from the field, the reserves scored 30 of the team’s first 45 points of the night. Harrell set the tone, scoring 15 of his 27 points before halftime and was plus-six in those 12 minutes on the court. Wednesday’s game was Harrell’s eighth 20-point game of the season and his 11-12 (.917) shooting performance marked the ninth time this season he’s shot over 70.0% from the floor.
In addition to Harrell’s strong night off the bench, Davis Bertans stepped in and found his shooting touch. Bertans finished with 15 points, the second-most he’s scored in a game this season trailing only his 17-point game in the Wizards’ home opener against Indiana. Bertans finished 5-6 (.833) from the field and 3-4 (.750) from deep and was plus-seven in 16 minutes.
Gafford puts up third-straight double-double
Harrell was not the only member of the Wizards’ frontcourt to put on a standout performance on Wednesday night. Gafford continued what has been his best stretch of the season, notching his third-consecutive double-double, closing the night with 18 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. Over the last four games, the big man is averaging 12.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game. Behind Harrell and Gafford’s strong nights, Washington outscored Minnesota 68-44 in the paint.
Towns, Edwards carry Wolves offense
Minnesota was led by a pair of performances from its top two scorers. Karl-Anthony Towns scored a game-high 34 points and was supported by a 25-point night from Edwards. The duo played a combined 71 minutes and accounted for 55.7% of the Timberwolves offense. Towns was 10-11 (.909) from the free throw line and added 10 rebounds.