NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, January 25th (All times Eastern)
Minnesota Timberwolves (17-22) at Washington Wizards (9-31), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Washington Wizards are back in the nation's capital for three straight games, starting with Friday's matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Verizon Center.
The Wizards went 2-3 on their western swing, which concluded with a 92-88 loss against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. Martell Webster led the Wizards with 15 points and John Wall contributed 14 points and eight assists. The Wizards are 4-3 since Wall made his season debut Jan. 12.
"We fought our way back after miserable execution offensively in the first half. We started 27 or 28 percent shooting. We were missing good shots through the offense," said Wizards coach Randy Wittman. "Guys tried to make it stop just by themselves. We got into a little bit of non-ball movement in the end."
Emeka Okafor had a game-high 17 rebounds and rookie Bradley Beal finished with 12 points. Beal is averaging 16.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists in his last eight games. Okafor owns averages of 9.9 points and 11.1 rebounds in his last 13 games.
Washington will also host Chicago and Sacramento on the homestand and is 6-13 in D.C. It is riding a three-game home winning streak.
Meanwhile, the banged-up Timberwolves will play two in a row away from the Twin Cities and are scheduled to visit Charlotte Saturday night. Minnesota has lost five straight on the road and is 6-15 as the guest.
Minnesota dropped a 91-83 decision versus Brooklyn the last time out on Wednesday as Andrei Kirilenko tallied a team-high with 15 points. Dante Cunningham followed with 14 off the bench and J.J. Barea scored 11 with eight assists.
"I don't think we have a problem with effort, which is great," Kirilenko said after the Wolves' seventh loss in eight tries. "It's tough, but we continue working. All we can do right now is stick together. There's not much we can do."
The Wolves are still without forward Kevin Love (hand), guard Brandon Roy (knee), center Nikola Pekovic (quadriceps) and forward Chase Budinger (knee).
Minnesota and Washington are squaring off for the first time since the T'Wolves posted a 93-72 decision last Jan. 8. The Wizards have won six of the past nine matchups between the teams and 12 of 16 at the Verizon Center.
01/25 10:30:42 ET