The Wolves found their defense at the right time in Washington D.C. and it led them to a 116-111 victory over the Wizards.

    Once again Karl-Anthony Towns was the hero offensively, but like the game against the Warriors it was an entire team effort on the defensive end that allowed KAT to put the game away.

    In the first three quarters, the defense was not pretty. The Wolves were running through the motions, there wasn’t much communication and they were seemingly conserving energy for later on. The Wizards had 90 points on 56.5 percent shooting.

    Markieff Morris was a tough matchup for Taj Gibson, scoring 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting through the third quarter. Andrew Wiggins was good-not-great containing Bradley Beal, who had 12 points and five assists on 6-of-9 shooting.

    Whatever was holding the Wolves back through three quarters, all of it turned around come the final one. The Wizards shot just 35 percent from the field and scored 21 points to close out the game.

    There was a slight change in the matchups in the fourth. Bjelica played the entire quarter, and Crawford was in there for Taj for all but 30 seconds. Beli proved to be a much better matchup for Morris, holing him to just two points in the final quarter. Crawford and Wiggins interchanged between Beal and Porter, who combined for 3-of-10 shooting and just nine points.

    The defense clamping down in the fourth allowed Towns to lead the way on offense. He had yet another monster game with 37 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three 3-pointers on 13-of-17 shooting, 3-of-3 from the arc and 8-of-8 from the line.

    In the fourth quarter Towns hit two key 3-pointers to bury the Wizards, including an incredibly smooth one in the deep corner with 30 seconds left.

    Towns wasn’t alone in the fourth, though. In fact the leading scorer, and arguably best player in the fourth, was Bjelica. Beli scored 13 points in the final frame on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting, with three 3-pointers.

    Bjelica was 2-of-11 going into the fourth before catching fire, and was also able to contribute in other ways. He had eight rebounds, seven assists, one steal and one block on the night, and was key in holding Otto Porter Jr. to just six points, before shifting to Morris in the fourth.

    Once again, Bjelica is proving that he’s a key piece for the Wolves going forward, especially with Jimmy Butler out indefinitely.

    In the final quarter, thanks to the defensive adjustments and the frontcourt duo of Beli and KAT, the Wolves out-scored the Wizards 34-21 to secure their 40th win of the season.

    The Wolves are finally turning a corner. They are now 4-3 without Butler and back into the fifth-seed in the West. The quick two-game road trip concludes in San Antonio on Saturday. Normally this would be a daunting task, but the Spurs are reeling big-time at the moment. Kawhi Leonard is still out, but perhaps could be back by this matchup.

    Even with Kawhi potentially returning, he’ll surely be on a minutes restriction and the Spurs have won just three of their last 12 games, and currently sit in 10th in the West.

    I’ll leave you with one last play, the final nail in the coffin for Washington D.C.

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