MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 1 (Ticker) -- Pau Gasol
did enough damage in the
third quarter that the Memphis Grizzlies were able to survive
him disappearing in the fourth.
Gasol scored 14 of his 23 points in the third quarter as the
Grizzlies erased a seven-point halftime deficit and posted a
104-95 triumph over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
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Gasol attempted just four shots in the first half but broke out
when his team needed him most.
"I was getting into a good rhythm (in the second half)," he
said. "I didn't get a whole lot of chances to attack in the
first half. I felt I had to do it at one point. It was the
After Timberwolves forward Wally Szczerbiak
made a 3-pointer to
extend Minnesota's lead to 67-56 less than three minutes into
the third, Gasol took over. He scored 14 points during a 25-9
run to close the quarter and gave Memphis the lead for good,
77-76, on a layup with 60 seconds remaining.
"The defense was opening up, and that allowed me to get into a
good rhythm - make my shots and attack the basket, make my free
throws - and we were able to get the lead," Gasol said.
When the Timberwolves turned their attention to Gasol in the
fourth, Earl Watson
finished them off with three 3-pointers.
"We were attacking. We were being more aggressive, and we
really shot well with the 'three'," Gasol said. "Earl had a
great night beyond the three-point line. That really makes a
difference in a game."
Watson made a career-high five from the arc in as many attempts,
his last on an assist from Gasol that put the Grizzlies on top,
98-90, with 3:30 left.
"I just go out there and play, and whatever happens, happens,"
said Watson, who finished with 20 points. "I just try to be
aggressive, be positive, and leave it all on the court."
The Grizzlies bench poured in 51 points in support of Gasol, led
by Watson and Bonzi Wells
, who added 18 points and eight
rebounds. Minnesota's bench provided just 25 points on 9-of-25
"Obviously, that group that came in off the bench had such a
tremendous impact for us," Memphis coach Mike Fratello said.
"They found the right combination of energy, or whatever it was,
to get us back in the game."
scored 10 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter
but Minnesota lost for the sixth time in nine games following a
"It's not something where we can just click our heels and end up
in Kansas and it's all beautiful," Garnett said. "We've just
got to continue to work, and sooner or later we're going to see
the light at the end of the tunnel and come out of it."
scored 17 points to pass the 16,000 career
point mark. He finished the night with 16,010, passing Derek
Harper and moving into 71st on the all-time list.