- Associated Press - Friday, January 1, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Bradley Beal had 31 points and seven assists, and the Washington Wizards beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 130-109 on Friday night without Russell Westbrook for their first win of the season.

Westbrook sat out for rest on the second game of a back-to-back, but the Wizards (1-5) didn’t look like the same team that lost the night before at home to Chicago. Washington jumped to an early lead and answered every Minnesota challenge.

With Beal leading the way, the Wizards finished the third quarter on a 29-7 run and scored 40 points in the period for a 100-79 lead. Beal had 14 in the quarter.

Malik Beasley scored 21 to lead the Timberwolves (2-3), who have lost three in a row with star center Karl-Anthony Towns missing all three games because of a dislocated left wrist. D’Angelo Russell had 14 points for Minnesota.

Thomas Bryant added 18 points and seven rebounds for Washington, which had eight players score in double figures and shot a season-high 55.1% from the field.

Westbrook missed his second game of the season, but Beal has grown accustomed to playing without a star backcourt mate. John Wall missed all of last season and played 73 games over the previous three seasons while Beal developed as one of the NBA’s top scorers.

Beal scored 14 points in the first quarter as the Wizards led by as many as 12 and went without a turnover. He didn’t play in the fourth.

Russell, the Wolves’ sidekick for Towns, couldn’t pick up the slack without him. He shot 6 of 16 from the field and had five turnovers.

Without their main man in the middle, Minnesota allowed more than 120 points for the third straight game.


Wizards: Raul Neto made his second start this season in place of Westbrook and had 12 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. … Beal has scored at least 20 points in 29 straight games, the longest current streak in the NBA. Kawhi Leonard started the day second on the list with 14 in a row. Beal is the first player in team history to score at least 25 points in the first six games of a season. … Davis Bertans was 3 of 7 from 3-point territory a day after going 0 of 8.

Timberwolves: Minnesota was also without forward Josh Okogie, who missed his second straight game with a left hamstring strain. … No. 1 overall pick Anthony Edwards had 17 points. Naz Reid scored 17 starting in place of Towns.


Wizards: Continue their road trip Sunday at Brooklyn, which has lost three of four.

Timberwolves: Start a series of two games against the Nuggets, beginning Sunday at home before playing at Denver on Tuesday.


More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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