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Rough 2nd quarter dooms T-Wolves in loss to Washington

MINNEAPOLIS -- Bradley Beal scored 26 points off the bench to lead the Washington Wizards to a 104-98 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center on Wednesday.

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Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal goes to the basket during the first quarter Wednesday at the Target Center in Minneapolis. (Photo by Jeffrey Becker - USA Today Sports)

MINNEAPOLIS - Bradley Beal scored 26 points off the bench to lead the Washington Wizards to a 104-98 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center on Wednesday.

Beal shot 10-for-15 from the floor as the Wizards climbed back to the .500 mark at 30-30 on the season. Washington is one-half game behind the Detroit Pistons for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Wizards also have one game in hand.

After a back-and-forth first quarter, the Wizards took control in the second quarter, outscoring Minnesota 31-22 to take a 60-54 lead into the break.

Minnesota led by five points two minutes into the second before the Wizards went on a 16-8 run to take a 56-48 advantage. The Wolves got within four points on Andrew Wiggins’ driving floater with four seconds remaining in the first half, but John Wall’s dazzling, end-to-end driving layup at the horn pushed the lead back to six points.

Wiggins’ long 2-point jumper with four minutes left in the third gave Minnesota its first lead since the midway through the second.

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Washington’s Jared Dudley and Ramon Sessions scored the final five points of the quarter as Washington took an eight-point lead to the fourth at 85-77.

Back-to-back buckets by Alan Anderson pushed Washington’s lead into double digits for the first time at 90-79, and Nene added four points down the stretch to help the Wizards maintain their lead.

Wall finished with 14 points and 12 assists for his 35th double-double this season but shot just 6-for-18 from the floor. Marcin Gortat also had 12 points and chipped in four rebounds.

Four Timberwolves starters finished in double figures, led by Ricky Rubio’s 22 points. Zach LaVine added 21 points, and Wiggins finished with 17.

Wolves rookie Karl-Anthony Towns had 14 points to go with 15 rebounds, also locking up his 35th double-double.

Washington shot 42-for-84 as a team and outscored Minnesota 50-30 in the paint. The Wolves were 32-for-75 (42.7 percent) from the floor.

NOTES: Wizards G Gary Neal did not travel with the team and remains out with a thigh injury. ... Wizards G Jarell Eddie was also declared inactive. ... Timberwolves F Greg Smith was active one day after signing a 10-day contract with the club. Smith spent parts of four NBA seasons with the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks from 2011 to 2015. ... Washington will finish a two-game road trip against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday at Quicken Loans Arena. ... Minnesota plays the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday at BMO Harris Bradley Center.

Related Topics: MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES
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