Washington (23-52) at Minnesota (52-24)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Minneapolis, MN
Temp: 73° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Fri Apr 2, 2004
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The Minnesota Timberwolves continue their pursuit of their first Midwest Division title and the top seed in the Western Conference when they host the Washington Wizards.

Latrell Sprewell scored 27 points, including six 3-pointers, to help Minnesota hold off the Seattle SuperSonics 90-83 on Wednesday night and set a team record with 52 wins.

The Wolves, who lead San Antonio by 1 1/2 games in the Midwest and are battling Sacramento and the Los Angeles Lakers in the race for first place in the West, have won six of eight and three in a row.

“We’re not playing a team—we’re playing ourselves, so to speak,” Sprewell said. “We’ve got to go out, play hard and try to get wins … We know what the situation is.”

Kevin Garnett had 27 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for Minnesota on Wednesday. Although he remains the team’s unquestioned leader, he thinks the addition of Sprewell has been the difference for a Wolves club that has never advanced past the first round of the playoffs.

“It’s good to see progress,” Garnett said. “Every game, I’m just telling (Sprewell) to be aggressive. I feel like I need to keep on doing that. … It sort of makes everybody else aggressive, too.”

Minnesota will be looking for its fourth straight victory, and fifth in a row over the Wizards.

Washington won six of its first seven visits to Minneapolis, but has since gone 2-4 at the Target Center, including losses in its last three games there.

The Wizards dropped their fourth straight Wednesday, 103-99 in overtime to the New Jersey Nets at MCI Center.

Washington had one assist in the second half and went without a field goal in the final four minutes of regulation.

“We just aren’t G-O-O-D enough,” Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. “We have a lot of heart to play hard, we’re just not talented enough to win the game.”

Gilbert Arenas finished with 29 points, and Larry Hughes had 22 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough as the Wizards lost for the sixth time in seven games.

“Gilbert has his touches, Larry gets his touches, and that’s where we have to go,” Jordan said. “Nobody else can score for us. Nobody else can make a play for us, so that’s where we are talent-wise.”

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