The Washington Wizards entered Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves losers of five of their past six games, but put together one of their best offensive efforts of the season in a 135-121 victory at Capital One Arena.
Bobby Portis had 26 points and 12 rebounds to pace three Wizards with at least 22 points, including All-Star guard Bradley Beal, who had 22 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.
Portis had admittedly struggled with his shot coming out of the All-Star break, shooting just 25 percent over the past four games, but his touch appeared much better Sunday, going 10-of-18 from floor and 3-of-6 beyond the arc.
“I’ve been rebounding the ball pretty well at a high level, but I haven’t had that good shooting night that I wanted,” he said. “I was due for one and tonight it happened for me.”
Recently acquired forward Jabari Parker, who came over with Portis from the Chicago Bulls last month in the trade for Otto Porter Jr., scored 11 of his 22 points in the third quarter, in which Washington outscored Minnesota 35-23.
“My game is looking for others, but if I don’t look out for myself, then I can’t create for others, so I just try to keep that in mind and that kind of helped,” said Parker, who also had six rebounds.
When asked what made the team’s offense click so well, Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said “everything” except for the team’s 3-point shooting at 11-for-33, or 33 percent.
“[Beal] did a great job of keeping their guards out of the paint and he was playmaking [with] a lot of assists to a lot of his teammates,” Brooks said. “Then Jabari and Bobby were clicking, rolling. Tough matchups.”
Washington (26-37) committed only nine turnovers after averaged nearly 20 per game in the previous three contests, which tied the New Orleans Pelicans with the most in the NBA during that stretch.
Minnesota (29-34) did score 52 of its 84 points in the paint in the first half. However, the team committed seven of its 12 turnovers and shot 45 percent from the floor in the third quarter.
Against one of the worst 3-point defensive teams in the league, the Timberwolves shot only 4-for-27 (15 percent) from the 3-point line.
Timberwolves All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns scored a game-high 28 points along with 10 rebounds and seven assists.
“It’s hard to win in the NBA. It’s even harder to win on the road. It’s even harder to win on the road in the NBA when your defensive intensity is not there,” said Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders. “It hasn’t been there in these three games.”
Washington’s next game will be in the District against the Dallas Mavericks (27-35).