Wolves strong in return from holiday, dominate Washington

All five Timberwolves’ starters had scored in double figures by the third quarter as Minnesota defeated the Wizards for the fourth straight time at Target Center.

 

The Wolves returned from their holiday break looking more like the team they want to be, crushing the Washington Wizards 120-98 on Friday at Target Center as they shook off an early deficit and let Wizards guard John Wall do his thing in the first half.

All five starters had scored in double figures by the third quarter. Kevin Love finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Nikola Pekovic had 18 and 10. Ricky Rubio had 11 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. And even J.J. Barea and Alexey Shved combined to score 30 off the bench. The Wolves defeated the Wizards for the fourth straight time at Target Center.

And the foot stayed on the throat this time, as the Wolves eased to a 21-point win. That certainly help shake off their game on Sunday against the Clippers, where they choked away a lead in the last minute.

Everyone was in a bad mood after that game. Head coach Rick Adelman and guard Kevin Martin declined to elaborate on their feelings to avoid getting fined, and Kevin Love indicated that the loss would linger for a while. But there had to go down just a smooth as their Christmas egg nog as they dominated the Wizards in several categories.

The Wolves now head to Milwaukee with a chance to take both games of their back-to-back weekend when they face the team with the worst record in the NBA in the Bucks

Washington opened a with a 9-0 spurt, fueled by six missed shots by the Wolves, two of them missed layups by Pekovic and Kevin Martin. Adelman rose from the seat and paced the sidelines, but wouldn’t call a timeout. It was 11-4 when Adelman finally made the signal, and Love roared out of it with a 11 consecutive points to bring the Wolves with 15-13. Former Wolf Martell Webster threw an errant pass, Martin drove for a layup, and the Wolves were all the way back.

The Wizards still led 23-22 after the first quarter, during which John Wall scored 11 points. The third-year guard’s game continues to evolve, as he’s more efficient when he levitates toward the basket and his 9.1 assists entering the game show he’s finding the right teammates at the right time.

“If he doesn’t get to the basket he’s finding them,’’ Adelman said.

Adelman said before the game that not just Ricky Rubio, who would likely draw the assignment of defending Wall but the entire team would have to pitch in to stop his attacks toward the basket.

If everyone tried to help on Friday, then Wall scored on everybody as he had 22 points by halftime.

But the Wolves opened up the second quarter with a 13-3 run, including four points from Barea and Pekovic. They outscored the Wizards 39-24 in the second quarter to take a 61-47 lead at the break. Love had 18 points. Pekovic had 12. The Wolves shot 60.8 percent from the field, enjoyed a 26-19 rebounding advantage and went to the free throw line 21 times (making 18) to seven for Washington.

So the Wolves were at that point again. Were they going to close the deal this team or lament another second half meltdown? Playing at home, the Wolves didn’t fall apart in the second half. It was the best way to begin a stretch during which six of their next eight games will be at Target Center.

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New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Detroit 37 3rd Qtr
Philadelphia 48
Portland 44 2nd Qtr 0:01
Cleveland 54
Sacramento 22 2nd Qtr
Toronto 26
Boston 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Dallas 7:00 PM
Houston
Denver 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Brooklyn 7:00 PM
Atlanta
Oklahoma City 7:00 PM
New York
Charlotte 7:30 PM
San Antonio
LA Clippers 8:00 PM
Utah
Washington 9:30 PM
Phoenix
Toronto 0 1st Prd 7:00
New Jersey 0
Pittsburgh 7:00 PM
Washington
Chicago 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Temple 37 2nd Half
UCF 18
Winthrop 35 2nd Half
Coastal Carolina 34
Lafayette 25 2nd Half
Colgate 32
Northeastern 33 2nd Half 16:50
Drexel 30
Wake Forest 33 2nd Half
Florida State 27
Rhode Island 31 2nd Half
Fordham 32
Delaware 42 2nd Half 17:12
James Madison 50
South Carolina 28 2nd Half
LSU 29
New Hampshire 23 2nd Half
Maine 20
Seton Hall 42 2nd Half 17:39
Marquette 30
Binghamton 30 2nd Half
UMBC 24
American Univ 34 2nd Half
Navy 37
Elon 23 2nd Half
UNC-Wilmington 47
Wright State 33 2nd Half 20:00
Oakland 28
Minnesota 23 2nd Half 20:00
Penn State 33
Duquesne 27 2nd Half
Richmond 49
SMU 32 2nd Half 18:37
South Florida 26
Hartford 28 2nd Half 18:55
Stony Brook 27
Albany 25 2nd Half
Vermont 17
Hofstra 34 2nd Half
William & Mary 54
UNC-Asheville 37 2nd Half
Longwood 31
Radford 24 1st Half 9:30
Char Southern 14
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 24 1st Half 5:27
Notre Dame 28
Texas Tech 11 1st Half 4:49
Oklahoma 22
Oregon State 4 1st Half 18:34
Arizona State 0
Morehead State 7:00 PM
Austin Peay
Drake 7:00 PM
Bradley
Lehigh 7:00 PM
Bucknell
Rice 7:00 PM
Houston
Missouri State 7:00 PM
Illinois State
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Wichita State
Nebraska Omaha 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
Northern Iowa 7:05 PM
Southern Ill
Louisville 8:00 PM
Boston College
St Johns 8:00 PM
Creighton
East Carolina 8:00 PM
Memphis
Georgia Tech 8:00 PM
Miami-Florida
Miss State 8:00 PM
Ole Miss
Clemson 8:00 PM
NC State
Indiana 8:00 PM
Purdue
Kansas 8:00 PM
TCU
Oregon 9:00 PM
Arizona
Air Force 9:00 PM
San Jose St
Stanford 10:00 PM
Washington
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
UMBC 34 2nd Half 19:17
Binghamton 31
Akron 23 2nd Half 19:34
Ohio U 32
Ball State 44 2nd Half 20:00
Miami-Ohio 17
Memphis 31 2nd Half 17:52
Cincinnati 22
East Carolina 18 2nd Half
(2) Connecticut 47
Murray State 31 2nd Half 20:00
Eastern Illinois 33
Kent State 26 2nd Half 20:00
Central Michigan 35
UT Martin 44 2nd Half 16:08
Tennessee St 32
Eastern Michigan 33 2nd Half
Western Mich 42
Bucknell 35 2nd Half 19:18
Lehigh 34
Indiana 28 2nd Half 19:18
Michigan State 40
Colgate 44 2nd Half 18:02
Lafayette 24
Fordham 39 2nd Half 17:01
Davidson 28
Duquesne 32 2nd Half
St Bonaventure 24
George Mason 28 2nd Half
VA Commonwealth 34
Detroit 27 2nd Half 15:52
Youngstown St 35
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
SMU 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Oklahoma St 7:00 PM
Kansas State
West Virginia 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
Denver 7:00 PM
South Dakota
Northwestern St 7:00 PM
Central Arkansas
Kansas 7:00 PM
Iowa State
Bowling Green 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
Penn State 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Austin Peay 0 1st Half 19:04
SIU-Edwardsville 5
San Jose St 8:00 PM
Air Force
Boise State 8:00 PM
Colorado State
Utah State 8:00 PM
Wyoming
San Diego State 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Nevada 9:00 PM
UNLV

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