Here's your recap roundup from a frustrating 87-82 Wizards loss to the Timberwolves. As always, check out our StoryStream and view postgame interviews of John Wall, Trevor Ariza, Nene and Randy Wittman on Monumental Network.
"I lost the game, really, when I took the three and we were down one," Wall said , adding that the Wizards paid the price for their turnovers: "Twenty-four possessions without no shot attempts."
"I just think we weren't into the flow of the offense early. I think we just had careless turnovers. There were passes that were there, but we waited too long or made it a tougher pass than it was," Wall said. "They had 30 points off our turnovers and that kind of let them get themselves back in the game. We feel like we just gave this game away."
Every time the Wizards took control, they bumbled and stumbled away their leads. In the end, they had a season-high 24 turnovers that led to 30 points for the Timberwolves.
"We're not going to beat anybody with the carelessness we had," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "We just don't value the basketball at all. ... We just throw it all over."
John Wall stepped up in a big way for three quarters, and carried the offense while also serving as a harassing presence on the defensive side of the ball. But his six costly turnovers, as well as a substantially cooled jump shot proved critical in the game's winding moments. He needs to continue to improve his ball handling skills, as well as his decision making about when to drive, when to pull up, and when to look for the open man. Wall should look no further than his counterpart tonight about how to affect a game in other ways when the jumper isn't falling. Ricky Rubio is adept at getting his teammates involved and putting pressure on the defense by attacking the basket and he put on his best Rajon Rondo impression by stuffing the stat sheet across the board.
All five of the Wizards' starters - Ariza, Wall, Webster, Nene and Okafor - tallied double-digit points when all was said and done. The Wizards even outshot the Timberwolves from the field - 44.6 percent compared with Minnesota's 40.8 percent. In fact, so far as percentages go, the Wizards outshot Minnesota in virtually every category - save for opportunities, that is.
Finally, I will leave you with this thought: I don't care how bad this team is, as long as RR is on the Wolves, they will be worth watching to me. If he's not a once-in-a-generation player like KG, he has the potential to be close. Here's hoping he spends his summer working on his jumpshot.
Luke Ridnour punctuated the victory by making a pair of free throws with 11.5 seconds after a sequence in which Adelman and Rubio differed over what to do coming out of a timeout.
"He gets a little hard-headed," Adelman said. "We wanted him to take the ball out at the end there, and he didn't want to take the ball out. He wanted the ball in his hands. I explained to him, ‘You're our best passer, the best decision-maker we have.' Taking it out of bounds is what we needed, and Luke's the best free-throw shooter, so we tried to set that up.
"He's just trying to do everything. He was unbelievable at the end of the game. Those steals were huge, I think he had more than that. He plays with such energy. Hopefully, it'll rub off on everybody else."
In fairness, both players deserve credit for getting the ball away from Wizards guard John Wall with 31.9 seconds left in the fourth quarter and the Wolves clinging to an 83-82 lead. But the steal was officially credited to Rubio, who slapped the ball away from Wall near mid-court. Barea scooped up the loose ball and drove in for a layup.
"That was me," Barea said with a smile. "I don't get steals too often. Ricky gets a lot. When I get one, you've got to give it to me."
"I haven't seen [the locker room] this happy and excited in a while," forward Derrick Williams said. "We lost, what, six in a row? Any time we get a win, it's good. I think everybody has a different mood."
"I never got to enjoy the game while I was here," Webster said. "I was more focused on 'I hope I don't get injured again.' That was the way my mind was the whole time I was here."
He went to Florida to train and Kahn came down to watch him workout. Kahn told him they were definitely considering keeping him around and that they'd be in touch. But Webster's phone never rang and he found out he was done in Minnesota while watching TV.
"It just would have been more respectful if I would have gotten a phone call (from Kahn) instead of seeing it on the ESPN ticker," Webster said. "That is just me. Maybe that is the way it is done, but I think it would have been a bit more tasteful if I would have gotten a phone call."