Johnson: Too much Love for Wiz to handle

Johnson: Too much Love for Wiz to handle
January 14, 2011, 3:38 am
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Thursday, January 13, 2010 10:31 p.m.
By Dave Johnson
CSNWashington.comMinneapolisOn Wednesday Ozzy Osbourne played Target Center as part of his Scream Tour 2011. On Thursday the Wizards, had a reason to scream and, to borrow from Osbournes song catalog, were still on the Crazy Train after a 109-97 loss to the Minnesota TimberwolvesLife on the road for the Wizards in 20102011 is a bit like the Osbourne song with a train off the rails. To be sure it is afrustrating journey for the Wizards who are now 0-19 away from Verizon Center. Signs of progress overall are overshadowed by frustrating slips and challenges at critical moments on the road.With Kevin Love leading the way the Timberwolves closed the game with a 19-3 run over the final 5:46. Love completed his 26th consecutive doubl double with 35 points and 11 rebounds. The Timberwolves record for consecutive double-doubles is 37 held by Kevin Garnett.It could have been different for the Wizards. A frustrating three-quarter chase of the Timberwolves, turned early in the fourth quarter as Kirk Hinrich and John Wall helped engineer a 12-2 run. The run was punctuated when Hinrich was able to dig out a steal from Love in the post and then find Nick Young at the other end for a three pointer to give the Wizards a 94-90 lead. The Wizards lead didnt last. Mistakes played a role. Yi was whistled for an illegal screen and the Timberwolves closed to within two points on a Darko Milicic hook shot in the lane. After a Love three-pointer gave the Timberwolves the lead back at 95-94, the momentum then took a final turn in the home teams direction on another Wizards miscue.With 3:44 to go in the game Walls attempt to pass from the right wing to Young beyond the arc on the left wing was intercepted by Corey Brewer. The fast-break finished when the Timberwolves Wayne Ellington drew attention to his drive on the baseline and then fed Milicic for a monster slamtoput the Timberwolves up 97-94It was not an insurmountable deficit for the Wizards to deal with, but they would not score again until a runner in the lane by Hinrich with 12 seconds left. In the games final 3:36, the Wizards missed 3 layups and 3 three-point attempts. After trailing by as many as 10 points in the first half, Rashard Lewis helped the Wizards respond by scoring 9 of his team-high 19-points in the third quarter. Lewis played a pivotal role in helping the Wizards start the second half on a 10-2 run to take a 58-57 lead. The Timberwolves then responded with an 11-2 run of their own to add to a pattern that played out several times during the game.Rebounding was critical to the Timberwolves success. Like Love, Milicic also had 11 rebounds and as a team the Timberwolves had a 47-38 edge on the boards including 15 offensive rebounds. The Timberwolves work on the offensive glass resulted in a 22-10 advantage in second chance points.Milicic and Love were among six Timberwolves in double figures in points. Luke Ridnour had 16 points to go with 9 assists. As a team the Timberwolves also hurt the Wizards from the outside by shooting 12 of 20 from three point distance. Love on the season is a 44 percent three point shooter, but last night was 5 of 6 beyond the arc.Wall did have a double-double with 14 points and 10 assists and Hinrich added 18 points.Both teams were missing key starters. The Wizards had to go without Andray Blatche who was sidelines with a sprained right shoulder suffered in the win over the Kings. The Timberwolves were without Michael Beasley who was on the bench with a sprained left ankle.