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Minnesota at Washington

Venue: Verizon Center
  •  

The Washington Wizards have already been active in anticipation of the upcoming trade deadline, and they might not be done dealing.

The Minnesota Timberwolves, meanwhile, continue to struggle with the same faces in the lineup.

Following a roster shakeup designed to help the team's long-term outlook, the Wizards hope their new additions can help lead them to a sixth consecutive home win over the Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

Washington (17-33) didn't wait for Thursday afternoon's deadline to make a move. It sent star swingman Caron Butler, top rebounder Brendan Haywood and reserve DeShawn Stevenson to Dallas for former All-Star Josh Howard, journeyman Drew Gooden and backups James Singleton and Quinton Ross over the weekend.

The deal came a month after star Gilbert Arenas and reserve Javaris Crittenton were suspended for the season by the NBA after admitting to bringing guns into the locker room. Team president Ernie Grunfeld hopes a new look will bring success for his underachieving team.

"We're all disappointed in how our season has gone," Grunfeld said of the Wizards, who are ahead of only New Jersey in the Eastern Conference. "We want to remain competitive and maybe this group can provide a spark."

There might be more change to come for the Wizards before the deadline. Grunfeld refused to speculate on the possibility of moving star Antawn Jamison (20.5 points, 8.8 rebounds per game).

"There's still a lot of conversations going on," Grunfeld said. "We're still exploring things. We want to see what this group does."

It's uncertain if Howard fits in the Wizards' long-term plans. An All-Star in 2007, Howard has averaged 12.5 points while being limited to 31 games this season as he recovers from offseason ankle surgery.

"I'm coming here with a positive attitude, playing hard and trying to get us into the playoffs," Howard said.

Though it was reported that Gooden (8.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg) - on his eighth team in eighth seasons - could negotiate a buyout of his contract, all four new Wizards are expected to be available Wednesday as the club tries to avoid a second consecutive defeat.

Mike Miller had 19 points and Jamison added 16 in Washington's 94-92 loss at Charlotte on Feb. 9. The Wizards are averaging 89.3 points while losing three of four.

If Jamison's on the court, he'll look to continue his success against the Timberwolves. He's averaging 24.3 points and 8.5 boards in his last four games against Minnesota.

Though the Timberwolves (13-41) snapped a four-game losing streak to the Wizards with a 101-89 home win Dec. 26, they haven't won in Washington since Dec. 12, 2003. The Wizards are averaging 106.4 points during their five-game home winning streak versus Minnesota, which is last in the West and 4-23 on the road this season.

The Timberwolves' road struggles continued Tuesday with a 108-85 loss at Detroit. Kevin Love had 22 points with 15 rebounds and Al Jefferson added 14 points as Minnesota suffered its third straight loss since winning a season-high four in a row.

Though Jefferson (17.7 ppg, 9.7 rpg) and Love (15.1 ppg, 11.4 rpg) are the team's top big men, the club could deal one for someone who plays a different position at some point, but that probably won't happen by Thursday. President of basketball operations David Kahn said it was unlikely one of the core players would be dealt this week.

"I think any of us could be gone, to tell you the truth," said Love, who's averaging 16.7 points and 10.7 boards in three games versus Washington.

Jefferson is averaging just 10.0 points in 13 career contests against the Wizards.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Minnesota 4.5 Washington -4.5
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Minnesota5th Northwest 520.200151-9Lost 4
Washington1st Southeast 196.76009-1Won 6

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Injuries
Minnesota
PlayerInjury
R RubioAnkle
Washington
PlayerInjury
M WebsterBack
 
Key Players
Al<br>Jefferson
Al
Jefferson
, PF
32.4 Min. Per Game 27.9 Andray<br>Blatche
Andray
Blatche
, C
17.1 Pts. Per Game 14.1
1.8 Ast. Per Game 2.1
9.2 Reb. Per Game 6.3
49.8 Field Goal % 47.8
0 Three Point % 29.5
68.0 Free Throw % 74.4
 
Team Rankings
TeamRankPoints
Minnesota Timberwolves2771.17
Washington Wizards2968.38
 
Series Game Log
DateLocationResults
Dec 21Washington 
Jan 28 @ Phoenix 
 
Other Games
SA 90 Final
Ind 87
Det 91 Final
Orl 116
Mem 109 Final
Tor 102
Mia 87 Final
NJ 84
Chi 115 Final
NY 109
Utah 98 Final
NO 90
Hou 127 Final
Mil 99
Pho 97 Final
Dal 107
Sac 98 Final
GS 130
Atl 110 Final
LAC 92