NBA Previews

Wizards vs. Timberwolves Preview and Predictions

By Gracenote

Andrew Wiggins is playing like a former No. 1 overall draft pick and the Minnesota Timberwolves certainly like the results. Wiggins-led Minnesota goes after its fourth win in the past five games when it hosts the Washington Wizards on Friday.

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Wiggins has scored 30 or more points in four of the past five games, including 30 in Wednesday's solid 129-114 home win over the San Antonio Spurs. "I feel like everybody is happy for each other," Wiggins told reporters after his ninth 20-point effort of the campaign. "When someone does good, there's genuine love." There could be an opportunity for another high-scoring outing against the Wizards, who allowed more than 120 points for the fifth time this season when they fell 140-133 to the host Boston Celtics on Wednesday. "If we continue to work and continue to figure out what we're not doing right and correcting those things, we can be a better defensive team," Washington guard Isaiah Thomas said afterward. "But until then, it's going to be hard to win if we are giving up 140 points in regulation."

TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBCS Washington, FS North (Minnesota)

ABOUT THE WIZARDS (2-7): Shooting guard Bradley Beal poured in 44 points against Boston - two points shy of his season high - on superb 17-of-27 shooting while also contributing six assists and five rebounds against just one turnover. But Beal's exploits weren't able to get Washington a victory in the opener of a three-game road trip as a leaky defense gave up at least 34 points in each quarter. "We're going to fight, we're going to continue to play hard, but we've got to play a little better on the defensive end," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said afterward. "We've got to play smarter. Guys aren't trying to make mistakes and that's what I love about our guys is they're trying to play the right way. They're trying to pick things up as quickly as they can but it's going to take time."

ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (7-4): Wiggins scored 21 points as one of six players who tallied 14 or more when Minnesota cruised to a 131-109 road victory over the Wizards on Nov. 2. That easy win came while big man Karl-Anthony Towns was serving a suspension for an altercation with Philadelphia's Joel Embiid but forward Robert Covington and rookie guard Jarrett Culver stepped up with 20 points apiece. Towns contributed 28 points and 11 rebounds against San Antonio for his seventh double-double of the season.


1. The Timberwolves averaged 133 points while winning the past two meetings.

2. Thomas scored a season-high 18 points and added seven assists against Boston, one of his former employers.

3. Minnesota PG Jeff Teague (illness) returned from a four-game absence to record 18 points, six assists and two steals against the Spurs.

PREDICTION: Timberwolves 128, Wizards 119   Bet Now

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