Moritz Wagner makes history with the Washington Wizards

Washington Wizards Moritz Wagner (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Moritz Wagner (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

The Washington Wizards were hoping to avoid another blowout loss versus the Timberwolves. Thanks to Moritz Wagner, they did.

Earlier this season, the Minnesota Timberwolves came to D.C. (without Karl-Anthony Towns) and beat up on the Washington Wizards, defeating them 131-109. In their second and last meeting with the Timberwolves this season, the Wizards were looking to avoid a similar fate in Minnesota. They did, thanks to Moritz Wagner.

There’s no other way to put it. In Minnesota, Wagner put on a show. He posted career-highs in both points and rebounds, scoring 30 points and grabbing 15 rebounds in just 25 minutes off the bench. Per Basketball-Reference, the last person to do that was Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets back in 2002. What Wagner did in Minnesota hasn’t been done in an NBA game in nearly two decades!

Wagner also joins Yao Ming on the extremely short list of reserves that have gone for 30 points and 15 rebounds on 80 percent shooting. Per Elias Sports, Wagner’s the only reserve to ever reach those number while also knocking down four three-pointers.

On the offensive end, Wagner was lights out. He hit all four of his three-point attempts and made nine of eleven shots from inside the arc. That was good enough for 86.7 percent shooting on the night, making it his second game of the short season shooting at least 80 percent from the field.

Since 1960, only 18 players have recorded 30 points and 15 rebounds off the bench. Wagner did it in the second-fewest amount of minutes. Only Johnny Green of the San Diego Rockets got a 30-point,15-rebound double-double quicker than Wagner did in Minnesota, and he still only beat Wagner by 25 seconds.

But points and rebounds aren’t all Wagner is good for. Quickly, Wagner is making a name for himself in D.C. as a charge-drawing genius. He’s already drawn ten charges in just ten games, a number that leads the entire league, per That doesn’t include the handful of reversed calls that Wagner’s been on the wrong end of, either.

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If the charges themselves were no indicator, Wagner is looking like a perfect match for the Wizards’ new culture of accountability. After his career-night, Wagner was anything but boastful in his post-game comments to Candance Bucker of the Washington Post.

Wagner has been a bit up and down this season. I wrote about it last week. But the performance against Minnesota shows he’s moving in the right direction. Wagner likely won’t go for 30 and 15 nightly, especially as he continues to sit behind Thomas Bryant, but the future is bright for this 22-year-old stretch five. And Scott Brooks seems to agree.