They might be the worst team in the NBA, but the Minnesota Timberwolves certainly did not play like it tonight against the Wizards. They were able to keep within 10 points for most of the game, but the Wizards behind their bench play pulled away in the fourth quarter defeating the hapless Timberwolves, 102-88.
The Wizards were led by another impressive effort by Antawn Jamison with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Jamison continues to deliver in the absence of Gilbert Arenas, both offensively and defensively.
“We understand that Caron, myself — it just can’t be us. We need the rest of these guys to contribute on the offensive end,” said Jamison. “Guys are accustomed to just letting the Big Three get their shots up and carry the team. We need everybody.”
Washington’s best performance of the night came from their bench led by Roger Mason, who set the nets on fire from long range with 17 points.
Even though the Wolves could not find ways to cut into the fourth quarter deficit, Head Coach Randy Wittman knows that this team will find ways to hurt you on any given night.
“That is how they have been without Gilbert Arenas,” said Wittman, who returned to the sideline after missing three games because of back surgery. “They have different guys stepping up.”
The Timberwolves dropped to 1-8 on the road and 3-16 overall, and they were trying to win consecutive games for the first time this season. But they couldn’t follow up their victory over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday.
Minnesota was led by Craig Smith with 36 points and 8 rebounds and forward Al Jefferson, 14 points and 7 rebounds.
The biggest difference on the night was the rebounding margin for the Wizards. They outrebounded Minnesota 57-35.
Washington was up by as many as 20 points, 66-46, after a 10-0 run to begin the third quarter. Washington’s lead was down to 85-79 with 8:30 remaining in the game. The Wizards woke up again from a short rest and responded with a 7-0 run to get some room to pull away in the final minutes.
Antawn Jamison had his seventh consecutive double-double, the longest streak for a Washington player since Rod Strickland had eight in a row in February 1998