Bradley Beal scored 31 points to lift the Washington Wizards to their first win of the season, 130-109 over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday in Minneapolis.
Beal became the first player in franchise history to start a season with at least 25 points in the team’s first six games.
Beal, who made 12 of 20 shots from the floor, tormented the Timberwolves in his past two meetings. He poured in 30 points in Washington’s 131-109 loss to Minnesota on Nov. 2, 2019, and added 44 points and 10 assists in a 137-116 win against the Timberwolves later that month.
Thomas Bryant finished with 18 points after making all seven of his shots from the floor. The sharp-shooting performance came one day after Bryant went 10 of 11 from the field for 28 points in the Wizards’ 133-130 loss to the Chicago Bulls.
Jerome Robinson scored 13 points off the bench for Washington, which took control of the game after outscoring Minnesota by a 40-14 margin in the third quarter.
Raul Neto scored 12 points while starting in place of Russell Westbrook (rest), who sat out the second of back-to-back games for the Wizards. The former NBA MVP also sat out on Sunday, which was the previous time Washington competed on consecutive nights.
Malik Beasley scored 12 of his 21 points in the first quarter for the Timberwolves, who have lost three in a row while playing without star Karl-Anthony Towns (dislocated left wrist).
Washington saw its robust 16-point lead with 8:53 to play in the second whittled to three at halftime after Minnesota went on a 27-14 run to end the quarter.
Undaunted, the Wizards found their stroke from the perimeter to begin the third quarter. Beal sank a 3-pointer before Neto converted from beyond the arc on consecutive possessions to push Washington’s lead to 68-57.
The Wizards didn’t let up, with Bryant adding a pair of dunks and rookie Deni Avdija and Beal each draining a 3-pointer as part of a 15-0 run. That surge gave Washington a 92-66 advantage, and the Wizards didn’t look back.