Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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NBA Preview: Minnesota Timberwolves (30-13) at Washington Wizards (7-35)

The Minnesota Timberwolves aim to avert their first three-game losing streak this season on Wednesday when they open a four-game road trip against the Washington Wizards.

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 19 points in a 102-97 setback to Oklahoma City on Saturday and erupted for a franchise-record 62 two nights later in a 128-125 defeat to Charlotte. The three-time All-Star drained eight of his nine 3-point attempts during his 44-point first-half performance against the Hornets.

Minnesota’s setback came against a Charlotte club that had lost 18 of its previous 20 games before rallying to its 10th win of the season on Monday. Now, the Timberwolves will look to prevent letting their guard down versus the Wizards, who have dropped 10 of their last 11 games and 35 of 42 overall this season.

Washington has been idle since its 113-104 setback to the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.

Kyle Kuzma scored 17 points, Tyus Jones collected 15 points and 13 assists and Daniel Gafford added 15 points and seven rebounds in his return from a two-game absence due to a concussion.

Unfortunately for Gafford, his return came against Nikola Jokic. The two-time NBA MVP erupted for a season-high 42 points to go along with 12 rebounds and eight assists.

Gafford will get a first-hand look at Towns on Wednesday. Towns scored just eight points on 2-of-6 shooting in his lone game against the Wizards last season, a 142-127 setback. Washington added a 114-106 victory a few months later to sweep the season series. The Wizards have won the last seven meetings.

Marvin Bagley III has made quite the early impression after being acquired from the Detroit Pistons. He became just the third player all-time to record at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in his first two games with his new team following an in-season trade, joining Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain (1965) and Antoine Walker (2005).

Bagley followed that up with 14 points and seven boards in the loss to the Nuggets.

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