Wizards come back from down 20 points to beat Minnesota Timberwolves

Wizards come back from down 20 to beat T-wolves originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Washington Wizards beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 114-106 on Thursday night. Here are five takeaways from what went down…

On a high note

It was not looking great for the Wizards early on Thursday night, as they went down 20 points to the Timberwolves in the first quarter. But they stuck with it to complete a big comeback and head into the All-Star break having won four of their last five.

It was a role reversal of sorts, as the Wizards had left a few 20-point leads of their own slip away in recent games. This time they were able to erase a significant deficit, largely thanks to a huge fourth quarter from Bradley Beal.

Washington has won 10 of their last 14 games. They now get a full week off for the All-Star break, as they sit 28-30 on the season. They pick back up next Friday at home against the Knicks.

Beal closed them out

Just about everyone on the Wizards was struggling early against the Timberwolves, but Beal was one of the first to find a rhythm. He had 14 points in the first half, which was solid but nothing like what he had in store for late. Beal ended up dropping 21 points in the second half, including 17 points in the fourth quarter.

It was a master class of tough shots around the rim, several to evade Rudy Gobert’s outstretched arms. Beal also made a series of timely threes down the stretch. All of it added up to a season-high 35 points for the night. He also had six rebounds, five assists and three steals. The Wizards are now 13-4 in Beal’s last 17 games.

Kispert was good

After the Wizards went down by 20 points in the first half, they bounced back by winning the second quarter in large part thanks to a spark lit by Corey Kispert off the bench. He got to halftime with 12 points and finished the night with 15 points, shooting 4-for-6 from three.

Kispert had attempted just four shots in each of his previous two games, scoring a combined nine points. But he was more aggressive in this one with seven attempts for the game. When Kispert attacks and looks for his own shot, good things generally happen.

Deni woke up

The do-it-all, scoring version of Deni Avdija who earned the nickname ‘Turbo’ had slowed down in recent games. He had seven points against Golden State and then just two against Portland. He then had one point on 0-for-5 from the field in the first half against Minnesota.

Avdija, though, showed some signs of life in the second half as the Wizards started running the offense through him late in the third quarter. He broke free for a transition dunk, drove and kicked a laser of a pass to Kuzma in the corner and then held Anthony Edwards off with a hostage dribble to earn an and-1. Avdija had nine of his 10 points in the third quarter.

Wright gave a lift

Delon Wright was one of the Wizards’ most impactful players in this game despite only scoring 10 points. He did a little bit of everything with six rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block. In a game the Wizards went down by 20 points, he was a +25 in the box score.

Of Wright’s six rebounds, four were on the offensive end. He had a terrific sequence in the fourth quarter where grabbed an offensive board, passed to Kispert who missed a three, then tapped it out to Avdija who found Beal for a three. Wright didn’t get the assist, but it was a winning play that proved key in their comeback.

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