Without Andrew Wiggins, Timberwolves stumble in loss to Wizards

Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards in action while Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves defends. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards in action while Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves defends. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

With Andrew Wiggins out for personal reasons, the Minnesota Timberwolves fell flat to the lowly Washington Wizards on Friday night in a blowout loss.

137. 142. 116. 86. Final

The Minnesota Timberwolves have a new worst loss of the season.

With Andrew Wiggins unavailable due to personal reasons, the Minnesota Timberwolves were still a heavy favorite to defeat the visiting Washington Wizards at home on Friday night.

After all, the Wolves beat the Wizards in Washington by 22 points just a couple of weeks ago without Karl-Anthony Towns available.

Alas, the Wolves dropped this one by 21 points with Towns on the floor but sans Wiggins.

The Wizards led for multiple possessions for much of the game, although the Wolves pulled to within three points at halftime and took a couple of brief leads in the third quarter. But the Wizards never gave up, and the Wolves’ atrocious defense caught up to them.

The Wizards were one of the league’s worst defensive teams coming into the game, but it was Minnesota who had the hideously porous defense in this one.

Towns was a monster early, dropping 19 points in the second quarter and 25 points and seven rebounds at halftime. He continued to play well in the second half, but there weren’t very many of his teammates that came to play alongside him.

Towns’ plus-minus of -3 was the best mark on the team in this one, as any minutes without KAT on the floor were beyond disastrous. The biggest issue was rebounding, as the Wolves were rebounded by a 51-43 margin, and Washington grabbed 13 offensive rebounds on the night. Not having Wiggins’ solid defense and rebounding hurt, and although it may be the only time I’ve ever typed that phrase, it was absolutely the case in this one.

Bradley Beal was able to get whatever he wanted, scoring 44 points on 15-of-22 shooting. For as good a job as Treveon Graham and others did on Beal in D.C. a couple of weeks ago, the Wolves simply could not slow Beal down on Friday night.

While the Wolves were close for much of the third quarter, the Wizards pulled away over the final quarter and a half, and the last five minutes of the game were officially garbage time.

Wolves’ Star of the Game

Karl-Anthony Towns: 36 points (13-18 FG, 4-6 3P, 6-8 FT), 10 rebounds, 3 assists, one block

Towns was awesome, although he was careless with the ball and did miss some key opportunities to grab defensive rebounds when he was over-committed to help defense in the paint. Most of his sloppiness came early in the game, as it was more the Wolves’ perimeter defense and team rebounding that hurt them late in the contest.

Outside of a couple of careless turnovers, Towns was utterly dominant on offense throughout the game.

Notable Stats

  • The Wolves were 11-of-37 (29.7 percent) on 3-point attempts.
  • Minnesota was out-rebounded by a 51-43 margin.
  • Robert Covington had 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting and six rebounds with zero turnovers in 27 minutes.

The Timberwolves don't need a point guard. dark. Next

Next Up

The Wolves have to turn around and host the Houston Rockets on Saturday night at 7 p.m. CT. The Rockets have won six consecutive games, including a nine-point win over the Pacers on Friday night.