AP NEWS

Wizards get by Timberwolves as final month of season begins

March 4, 2019

With the playoffs fading further and further out of their vision, the Washington Wizards needed another win to start off the final month of the regular season right.

The final push began Sunday when the Wizards beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 135-121 at home. Washington broke away late after neither team held a double-digit lead for almost three quarters.

All five Wizards starters scored at least 13, with Bobby Portis posting a team-high 26 and Bradley Beal adding 22. Jabari Parker came off the bench for 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting. Karl-Anthony Towns led Minnesota with 28 points and 10 boards.

The Wizards avoided losing for the sixth time in the last seven games.

Beal scored 12 in the opening 12 minutes to get things moving, and the Wizards held a 40-36 lead after one quarter. Neither team ripped off a long run throughout the first half, but the Timberwolves managed to swing the score to 64-62 in their favor by halftime.

In the half, 52 of the Wolves points came in the paint, with Towns (8-for-11, 17 points) leading the way.

But Portis scored eight quick points in the opening minutes of the second half, and the Wizards found a foothold. In the final seconds of the third quarter, Sam Dekker made the play of the game by grabbing a steal at the sideline and whipped a behind-the-back pass upcourt to Parker to score. Minnesota made no real threat at a comeback in the fourth.

Before the game, coach Scott Brooks was asked where he hopes the Wizards will be in a months time.

Definitely what you hope for going into this month is we continue to put together some good games and start winning some of these close games, Brooks said. April 11, were talking about our first round and getting together as a staff ... Weve still got 20 games to figure that out.

For these Wizards, winning one close game at a time could carry them back into the playoff picture yet.