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Wall keys Wizards to win; Love gets 50th straight double-double

Mar 6, 2011 - 5:07 AM Washington, DC (Sports Network) - John Wall finished with 18 points, a career- high 11 rebounds and eight assists to lead five Wizards in double figures, and Washington topped Minnesota, 103-96, despite another double-double from Kevin Love.

Andray Blatche scored a team-high 20 points with seven rebounds and seven assists as Washington snapped a seven-game skid. Maurice Evans added 15 points in a reserve role while JaVale McGee scored 14 with seven boards in the win.

Rashard Lewis rounded out the double-digit scorers as the Wizards played with an increased passion in the return of head coach Flip Saunders.

Saunders had missed the team's three previous games while dealing with the death of his mother, Kay, and the Wizards coach returned for one game before missing the team's next contest while attending her wake and funeral.

"It meant a lot," Saunders said of the win. "I know how (much) an avid supporter she is of me individually, but also how much of a supporter and a fan she was."

Love paced the Timberwolves with 20 points and 21 rebounds for his 50th straight double-double -- one shy of matching Moses Malone for the league's post-merger record.

Malone posted 51 straight double-doubles from December 29, 1978 to October 12, 1979.

"Individually, I'm playing good basketball right now and a few guys are, but as a team we need to put all those guys playing well together and start winning some games," said Love.

Michael Beasley totaled 18 points while Wayne Ellington added 15 points, five boards and four assists in the loss, Minnesota's third in four games.

Minnesota took a 72-68 lead into the fourth, however, a Wall driving layup at 8:40 gave the Wizards a 77-76 edge. Four separate Washington players -- all double-digit finishers -- accounted for points in the spurt, and after trading baskets, Evans gave Washington an 83-81 lead on a three-pointer with 7 1/2 minutes remaining.

The T-Wolves held an 85-84 lead with a Love reverse layup a little later, but the advantage was short-lived as six straight points from Trevor Booker put the Wizards up 90-85.

Minnesota made it a one-possession game on the next trip down the floor -- a Anthony Tolliver jumper and conversion -- but a Wall bank-shot and consecutive Evans baskets extended Washington's lead it would not relinquish down the stretch.

Blatche paced the Wizards with 10 points in the first quarter, however, Minnesota shot an impressive 59 percent from the field, holding a 29-25 edge after one. Washington responded in the second, scoring 16 of its 26 points in the low-post, and took a slim 51-49 lead into the break.

Both teams shot poorly in the third.

Game Notes

Booker finished with seven points and as many rebounds...Luke Ridnour and Nikola Pekovic scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, in the loss...Minnesota held a 48-44 rebounding advantage but committed 21 turnovers...Wesley Johnson (flu-like symptoms) and Darko Milicic (personal reasons) missed the game for Minnesota; Nick Young (illness) and Josh Howard (left hamstring) were unavailable for Washington.