The Minnesota Timberwolves hope to snap a six-game losing streak on Wednesday night when they welcome the Washington Wizards to the Target Center.
The Wolves' last victory came in their first outing after the All-Star break, a 94-87 win at home over the Philadelphia 76ers. It's been two weeks since victories and the T'Wolves' most recent loss really stung.
Minnesota battled the defending champion Miami Heat all game, but fell 97-81 in a game where the score was not indicative of the closeness.
With about eight minutes to go in the game, and the Heat up six, Minnesota's J.J. Barea was whistled for a flagrant 2 foul call against Ray Allen. Barea was ejected and head coach Rick Adelman was pegged for a technical foul. Allen knocked down all three free throws and the lead ballooned to nine.
"He pushed off, hit me with an elbow close to my neck," Barea said of his contact with Allen. "Part of the game, then I gave him a bump back. I've been in the NBA for seven years, I get hit harder than that every night."
The Heat scored seven of the next eight to pull away.
"I thought our guys played really hard," Adelman said. "We didn't shoot the ball very well again. Competed and had a chance right there in the middle of the fourth quarter, and they opened it up."
The Wizards have won four of six and won their last road outing, a 90-84 decision last Monday.
Washington defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 90-87 on Sunday. The Wizards were down late in the final frame, but John Wall scored the game's final six points to snap a two-game losing streak.
Wall drained a pull-up jumper from just inside the 3-point arc
"Well I know it's tough in this league to get to the basket and try to make a tough shot," said Wall. "And I know you don't get too many calls at the end of the game. I tried to get in the comfort zone and I was feeling good as well as making a couple of those shots today. So I just took it and had confidence."
Rookie guard Bradley Beal sprained his ankle late in the fourth and was carried off the floor. It was only a sprain and he's listed as day-to-day.
"I'm grateful it wasn't my knee, but it still felt bad," said Beal. "Whenever you have something like that, like an ankle sprain where it rolls over completely, it feels bad."
The Wizards and Wolves have split the last six meetings and Minnesota is 2-0 in its own building. The Wizards bested the T'Wolves 114-101 at home on Jan. 25.