Wizards Hold Off 'Wolves, Mark .500

Strong ensemble performance earns victory, despite injuries
By Lev Weinstein,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2007 1:54 AM CST
Washington Wizards' Antawn Jamison, center, beats out Minnesota Timberwolves' Al Jefferson, left, and Craig Smith, right, for the ball during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Dec....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Despite surviving forward Craig Smith's career-best 36 points, and a late surge in which the Timberwolves pulled within six, Washington pushed back with a late run of their own and strong defense, defeating Minnesota 102-88, the Washington Post reports. The victory also earned Washington a winning record for the season, a fitting reward for a decisive 4-1 homestand.

"We knew we had to make a run down the stretch. They don't get blown out, so we knew we would have to fight them off and we did that collectively as a team," said Brendan Haywood after the game. The forward's 11 points made him one of six Wizards to score in double digits for the second game in a row.