Arenas, Wizards dispose of Timberwolves
Washington, DC (Sports Network) – Gilbert Arenas poured in a game-high 34
points, pulled down five rebounds and dished off five assists to lead
Washington to a hard fought 90-78 win over Minnesota at the MCI Center.
Caron Butler added a double-double for the Wizards, who snapped a two-game
skid, with 19 points and 12 boards. Antawn Jamison recorded 10 points and
eight rebounds in the win.
Washington was behind by 17 points after the opening quarter and trailed by as
many as 19 in the second before rallying.
“We took daggers early, but we knew if we stayed with it, we would come back,”
Arenas said. “We just kept going at them, kept fighting, and believed in each
Ricky Davis tallied 25 points for the Timberwolves, who lost for the fifth
time in their past six outings. Kevin Garnett contributed just 15 points and
11 rebounds, while Justin Reed scored 10 points off the bench in the loss.
“Every game, our momentum slows down when our opponents go into a zone,”
Garnett said. “We couldn’t get into our breaks, and they got a lot more
aggressive, and it was bad from there on.”
Down by seven entering the final frame, the ‘Wolves scored six of the
fourth quarter’s first seven points to tighten things up. Reed’s lay-in capped
the mini-run and made the score 71-69 with just over 10 minutes left.
Arenas responded by scoring seven straight points for the Wizards over the
next three minutes to give the home team some breathing room at 78-71. The
All-Star guard drained a jumper, hit a pair of free throws and nailed a
triple, while Minnesota could manage only a Davis jumper during the flurry.
Washington continued to hold the Timberwolves at arm’s length. Jamison’s long
three with 2:55 left on the clock gave the Wizards an 82-74 cushion.
Brendan Haywood and Antonio Daniels followed with a pair of free throws each
to put Washington on top by 12, 86-74, with 1:54 on the clock.
The ‘Wolves did not threaten down the stretch as Washington cruised to their
eighth consecutive home win.
Minnesota buried six of their first seven shots and raced out to a 12-0
lead. The ‘Wolves continued to dominate the opening stanza and finished the
first 12 minutes with a 32-15 edge.
Minnesota took its biggest advantage, 36-17, early in the second quarter but
the Wizards answered and finished the frame with an impressive 29-5 run.
Washington’s oppressive defense held the Timberwolves to just one field goal
over the final nine minutes of the half as the Wizards forged their way to the
lead. Washington’s Antonio Daniels’ three-point play with just 0.2 ticks left
in the half made the score 46-41 at intermission.
Arenas had 18 points at the break on 9-of-12 from the field. Davis paced
Minnesota with 16 on 7-of-11 shooting.
Washington extended their lead to 70-63 after an evenly played third quarter.
Arenas has scored 30+ points in 25 games this season…Washington, which will
visit LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, is 19-9 at home this
season…The Timberwolves, who will start a two-game homestand against Denver
on Friday, are 8-18 away from home this season…The Timberwolves have now
dropped seven of their last 10 games in Washington.