The Washington Wizards committed a season-high 24 turnovers Wednesday in an 87-82 road loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Wizards stayed within striking distance but couldn't stop reserve T-wolves guard Jose Barea, who scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter.
Washington guard Bradley Beal had to sit Wednesday due to his left ankle, which he sprained Sunday in a victory over the visiting Philadelphia 76ers. The undermanned Wizards looked for a replacement, and found it in forward Trevor Ariza. Martell Webster slipped down to shooting guard and Ariza scored 16 first half points. Unfortunately for the Wizards, Ariza would stay at 16 for the remainder of the night.
Much like Ariza's scoreless second half, John Wall struggled after a hot start. He nailed his first five shots--all jump shots--yet only made two baskets after his first miss (a blocked layup attempt). The third-year point guard finished with 19 points (7-for-15), 7 assists, and 6 turnovers. The good news is Wall looked comfortable in the first quarter after a season and a half of intense criticism regarding his jumper. The bad news is that confidence quickly faded.
T-wolves point guard Ricky Rubio finished with a much stronger 15 points, 11 assists, 7 rebounds, and 3 turnovers line. Rubio assisted Barea on three of his four fourth quarter makes as the Wizards continued to cough the ball up due to poor ball handling.
Nene suffered 7 turnovers to Wall's 6, while Minnesota suffered 14 as a team. Washington could use a home stretch to sort things out, but they'll have to get tough on the road if they hope to remain in line for a Playoffs berth.
The Wizards will tackle the Brooklyn Nets Friday (7:30 p.m. ET, CSN) then return home Saturday to host the Charlotte Bobcats. Washington can only afford to lose one more of their remaining 23 games if they want to achieve .500 ball.