The Washington Wizards let the Unicorn loose on the Minnesota Timberwolves to snap their three-game losing skid for a 142-127 win on Monday.
The game started off with not one, not two, but three Kristaps Porzingis triples to help propel the Wizards to an early double-digit lead. That set the tone for how the rest of the night was going to be.
KP gonna KP— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) November 29, 2022
3 for 3 from beyond the arc already. pic.twitter.com/wVQGhDMDNq
KP’s torrid shooting to start allowed Washington to take a 21-6 advantage early. The Timberwolves did battle back with a run of their own which trimmed the first quarter lead, 38-33.
The bench unit was tasked to nurse the lead to start the second, but went even further by helping pad it with a 15-5 run to begin the quarter. One particularly fun sequence was Daniel Gafford denying Anthony Edwards at the rim, which led to a Corey Kispert rim-rattler that had the bench pumped up.
puttin' in work on both ends of the floor pic.twitter.com/uPJOBZ6ya3— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) November 29, 2022
Once Porzingis was reinserted back at the 4:38 mark, it’s like he didn’t miss a beat.
The bench stint did little to cool him off as he immediately scored 13 points in a row to push the lead further to 27. Just look at him hustle for the loose ball and come right back down to drain his sixth triple of the half to help the Wiz take a 77-58 lead at the break.
Kristaps Porzingis is COOKING right now— NBA (@NBA) November 29, 2022
He has 29 POINTS in the first half for the @WashWizards on NBA League Pass! Use code NBA50 at checkout for 50% off ➡ https://t.co/kv8oudlxUm pic.twitter.com/uNUq12UdUF
The second half was simply a matter of playing keep-away with the lead. The Timberwolves made things a bit more interesting by starting the third quarter with a 10-0 run. But the Wizards managed to keep their opponents at arm’s length the entire time, making timely buckets to stifle any Minnesota momentum.
A scary-looking Karl-Anthony Towns leg injury in the third quarter seemed to sap whatever energy they had left to mount a comeback.
Kristaps Porzingis was nothing short of spectacular in this one. He finished with a career-best 41 points on the night on just 18 shot attempts and a perfect 11 of 11 from the stripe. He’s continuing to prove that this is the healthiest season he’s had in years.
Bradley Beal and Kyle Kuzma both followed his lead in the efficiency department, combining for 45 points on a 60 percent shooting clip. Kuz was also two rebounds and an assist shy of a triple-double.
The Wizards will have a chance to start a new streak as they pay a visit to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.