Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 12/26

Game 1: Sunday, December 26th
Game 2: Saturday, January 8th

Timberwolves 114

(17-15, 8-10 away)

Wizards 117

(19-13, 12-5 home)

Coverage: WBDC

7:00 PM ET, January 8, 2005

Verizon Center, Washington, DC

1 2 3 4 T
MIN 22 33 31 28114
WSH 33 21 33 30117

Top Performers

Min: K. Garnett 25 Pts, 19 Reb, 8 Ast, 4 Blk

WSH: L. Hughes 28 Pts, 11 Reb, 8 Ast, 1 Stl

KG has 25 and 19 in Wolves' 5th loss in 6 games

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Washington Wizards were determined to atone for their worst loss in nearly two years. Gilbert Arenas made it happen.

Arenas scored seven of his season-high 40 points in the final 2:19 to lead the Wizards to their fourth consecutive victory, 117-114 over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night.

On Dec. 26, Washington scored only 36 points in the first half of its worst loss of the season, a 109-74 setback at Minnesota. The losing margin was the Wizards' largest since a 116-67 loss to the New Jersey Nets on Jan. 16, 2002.

In their rematch with Minnesota, the Wizards opened a 12-point lead and scored 33 in the first quarter of a victory that ended a seven-game losing streak against the Timberwolves.

"We had to get them back," Arenas said. "We didn't get them as bad as they got us, but a win is a win."

Larry Hughes had 28 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for the Wizards, who at 19-13 are off to their best start in 20 seasons. Antawn Jamison added 23 points and 10 rebounds for Washington.

"We wanted to get one against those guys," Hughes said. "After what they did to us, we had to show them that we're not going down like that. Respect is big in this league and people need to know that we're coming to fight every night."

Kevin Garnett, who finished with 25 points, 19 rebounds, eight assists and four blocks, scored 12 in the fourth quarter and gave the Timberwolves a 112-106 lead on a turnaround jumper with 2:02 remaining. But the Timberwolves couldn't close out the Wizards and lost their seventh consecutive road game.

After Wally Szczerbiak missed a layup with 18 seconds left, Jamison rebounded for the Wizards but missed two free throws with 17.2 seconds left. Garnett missed a turnaround jumper with 5 seconds left and Jarvis Hayes answered with two free throws with three seconds left to seal the victory for Washington.

"We heard that they were really jacked up for this game and we were really jacked up for this game," said Garnett, who also missed a jumper with 50 seconds left and launched a desperation 3-pointer that bounced off the front of the rim at the buzzer. "It was a tough night. I thought Wally had the layup, just like I thought I had the turnaround jumper. They came out at us with explosiveness.

"It just came down to making plays at the end and we didn't do that."

The Wizards pulled to 114-113 on Arenas' 3-pointer and two free throws by Jamison with 1:12 left.

Arenas made two free throws that gave Washington a 115-114 lead with 27.4 seconds left.

"We just had to dig down, make some smart decisions, play some great team defense, and Jared (Jeffries) did a great job on KG in the end," Arenas said.

Latrell Sprewell scored 19 points for Minnesota. Anthony Carter added season-highs of 13 points and six assists.

"We did some positive things tonight," Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders said. "The disappointing thing was the last minute and 40 seconds we had some good looks and we did not finish."

The Wizards led 87-86 after a third quarter that featured four ties and seven lead changes.

Fred Hoiberg's 3-pointer gave the Timberwolves their first lead, 48-47, with 2:30 remaining in the second quarter.

Hughes scored on a dazzling, up-and-under drive that gave the Wizards a 16-9 lead midway through the period. He delighted the crowd again in the second quarter with a tomahawk slam off a baseline drive for a 45-39 lead. In the third, Hughes provided another highlight with a slam off Arenas' missed layup.

"We were down and we just had a killer instinct," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. "Jared (Jeffries) did a terrific job on (Kevin) Garnett coming down the stretch. Our guys want every game and that is the beautiful thing about out group."

Game notes

Timberwolves guard Sam Cassell missed the game with a right hamstring strain sustained in the fourth quarter Friday against Philadelphia. ... Minnesota also played without forward Mark Madsen, who fractured his left thumb in the first quarter against the 76ers. He is out indefinitely. ... Washington forward Kwame Brown missed the game with a strained right ankle tendon. ... The Wizards had their second sellout crowd of 20,174 this season against the Timberwolves. The other full house was for the defending champion Detroit Pistons.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 114 117
FGM-FGA 42-88 (.477) 40-88 (.455)
3PM-3PA 6-18 (.333) 8-21 (.381)
FTM-FTA 24-27 (.889) 29-36 (.806)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-40 18-47
Assists 23 17
Turnovers 9 10
Steals 2 4
Blocks 5 0
Fast Break Points 17 22
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (1/0) 21 (0/0)
Largest Lead 7 12

Top Performers

Kevin Garnett Garnett
Points: 25
Reb: 19
Ast: 8
Stl: 0
Blk: 4
Larry Hughes Hughes
Points: 28
Reb: 11
Ast: 8
Stl: 1
Blk: 0