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Wizards Slaughter The Wolves In Their Cave

Wizards 104
Wolves 98

March 2, 2016 – Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

NBA Stats Box Score

We’ve all seen this movie before:

The Wizards appear to be finding their groove. They go in to face a 19-41 team, an “easy” opponent in a “must-win” feeling kind of game. And they choke. They let the fans down, they let the city down, and they let themselves down.

So when the Timberwolves opened a 21-9 first quarter lead, fueled by predictable early turnovers, the way the game would play out seemed so predictable that CSN may as well have been broadcasting a classic Liam Neeson movie.

Except…enter the Wizards Bench:

Bradley Beal and Alan Anderson entered the fray with a vengeance, and suddenly, Beal was slicing up Wolf, while Anderson was holding up three fingers dripping Canidae blood.

The two would combine for 23 points on 8/13 shooting in the first half, leading DC to a 60-54 half time lead.

The Wolves would fight for their Minnesota Alpha-Dog status in the third, with Andrew Wiggins and Gorgui Dieng leading a charge that would help Minnesota regain a two point lead. But when the real Alpha-Dog joins the fight, there is no doubting the end result.

Enter John Wall. Wall took the reigns in the second half, leaving plenty of meat on the bone for his teammates to feast. He dished out 8 second half assists, many for wide open threes for Beal (26 points, 3/4 on threes) and Anderson (18 points, 4/7 on threes).

Wall would finish with 14 points and 12 assists, and when the time came to deliver the final strike to the barely breathing Timberwolves, Wall was up to the task:

Wizards 104. T-Wolves 98. End scene.


The Game’s Top Performer

The Wizards bench

The Wizards bench outscored the Minnesota bench 64-18. SIXTY FOUR to EIGHTEEN. That’s a 46 point bench differential. The bench as a group shot 25/39 (64%), including 9/17 (53%) from three. They were led by Beal, the team’s leading scorer on the night, with 26 points on a scorching 10/15 shooting.

The newly healthy Alan Anderson added 18 points on 6-9 shooting, including 4-7 on threes, and showing signs that all his injury rehab may well have been worth the wait.


A forgettable night for..

The youth.

The Wolves fearsome youngsters flashed their dangerous fangs Wednesday night, but their bite never truly sank in. Ricky Rubio scored 22 points, but had just 3 assists. Zach LaVine scored 21, but just 10 after a hot first quarter. Andrew Wiggins managed 17 points. Karl-Anthony Towns impressed with 14 points, 15 rebounds, and 5 assists, but unfortunately for his psyche, this also happened:

The Wolves showed their youth, failing to come up with any of the big plays they needed to subdue the Wizards.

Oh, and speaking of forgettable nights for youth…another DNP for Kelly Oubre Jr., who had to sit and watch the T-Wolves youngsters learning on the fly.


Notables:

#AnalyticsThis:

I know Randy Wittman stated “analytics has never won a basketball game.” But Randy Wittman also did this…

The Wizards were stellar from the most efficient, analytics loving areas last night. They scored 50 points in the paint on 25/35 shooting, and launched 29 threes (tied for their 5th most this season), making 11.

Ramon Sessions:

In just 10 minutes of game action, Ramon Sessions scored 7 points, and the Wizards were +11 in his time on the floor. He did commit 2 turnovers, vs. zero assists, but with his aggressive mentality, we’ll take it.

Having fun again:

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