Preview: Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic (bruised thigh) and guard Alexey Shved (sprained ankle) did not accompany the team on this two-game trip to Washington and Charlotte. Guard J.J. Barea practiced Thursday despite getting kneed in his thigh late in Wednesday's 91-83 loss to Brooklyn. ... The Wizards have won five of eight games since a 4-28 start under former Wolves coach Randy Wittman. Two of the recent victories came at Denver and Portland on a five-game West Coast road trip. ... The Wolves won the only meeting between the teams last season, 93-72 at Verizon Center.
Players to watch: The Wizards' turnabout has coincided largely with the return of point guard John Wall, who came back seven games ago from a kneecap stress reaction that sidelined him for the season's first 33 games. He is averaging 14 points and 6.9 assists and has given the Wizards that swagger they'd been lacking. ... Former Wolves swingman Martell Webster is starting at small forward, averaging 10 points and shooting 43 percent.
Injuries: Wolves G Barea is probable, C Pekovic, G Shved, F Kevin Love (hand surgery), F Chase Budinger (knee), G Brandon Roy (knee) and G Malcolm Lee (knee, hip surgery) are out. Wizards G Cartier Martin (hyperextended knee) is out.