Playing at home inside Capital One Arena for the first time in 10 days, it took the Washington Wizards a little time to get the feeling back in Wednesday’s game against Minnesota. But one the Wiz got rolling, it was back to their winning ways.
Bradley Beal scored 19 points and dished out nine assists as the Wizards topped the Timberwolves 115-107.
DUUUUUUUUBs for everyone!! pic.twitter.com/MFpuGvJzax
— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) December 2, 2021
Breakout big man Montrezl Harrell continued his stellar first season in Washington with a team-high 27 points off the bench, on a nearly perfect 11-of-12 from the field, and afterward he noted the importance of taking care of home court at the start of a month the Wizards will play just five of their 15 games at home.
“You don’t want to lose that edge at home, you don’t want to lose that home-court love and energy that you have at home,” Harrell said. “When you know you’re not going to be in your home arena a lot throughout the month, you don’t want to try to drop those games while you’re at home.”
Washington didn’t get off to the start they were hoping for at home, struggling to score at their usual clip in the first half. They also had some issues containing the Minnesota offense in the second quarter, surrendering 33 points to the Timberwolves on 52 percent shooting. This led the visitors to a four-point halftime lead.
However, Brad and the Wiz got going in the third, scoring 38 points, including 9 on 4-of-5 shooting from No. 3. That was a part of a highly efficient 13-of-19 effort from the field for Washington in the quarter, which wound up being a turning point. Beal had three assists in the quarter and two of them went to Harrell. Brad then put an exclamation point on the final frame with a trey to give Washington a 91-88 lead heading for the fourth.
Minnesota tied the score twice in the fourth, however a 9-2 run by Washington, driven by a bucket by Brad, followed by a 2-for-2 trip to the free throw line, allowed them to pull away. Harrell then put the finishing touches on with a pair of late game dunks, including an alley-oop throwdown off a dime from No. 3, which also drew a foul to make it a three-point play.
“His ability to come in and change the complexion of a game — though the hustle plays, the scoring, the energy, the rebounding, whatever it is. He has an impact,” coach Wes Unseld Jr. said of Harrell.
The Wizards finish up their brief two-game homestand on Friday night when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers. Tip-off is slated for 7p.m. ET and the game can be seen on NBC Sports Washington.