Gasol Lifts Grizzlies Past Timberwolves
Memphis 107, Minnesota 87
MEMPHIS, Tenn., Jan. 25 (Ticker) -- Pau Gasol put an early end to his slump and Eddie Jones never gave the Minnesota Timberwolves a chance to recover.
Gasol scored 18 of his 30 points in the first half and Jones added 10 of his 22 in the fourth quarter as the Memphis Grizzlies opened a big lead and rolled to a 107-87 victory over the Timberwolves.
However, Gasol hardly looked like he was struggling in this one, scoring six points in the first six minutes as Memphis raced to an early 14-4 lead and led thereafter.
"Obviously when you don't play well, you want to bounce back, get on the right track and win," Gasol said. "We looked like ourselves tonight, more so than we did with the road games. We played together."
Gasol did not miss in the first 24 minutes, making all five of his shots and 8-of-8 free throws to help the Grizzlies to their highest-scoring first half of the season and a 62-38 advantage.
"They had one of those nights where everybody's contagious. They didn't miss a shot," Minnesota forward Kevin Garnett said. "It deflated us a little bit because we were playing catch-up from the giddy-up. I think in the first half they shot 66 percent or something like that. That's crazy."
Gasol finally missed a shot 1:13 into the third quarter. He finished 9-of-14 from the field and 12-of-12 from the line.
"Pau played the type of game we have come to expect," Memphis coach Mike Fratello said. "He really took it inside early and began hitting the open men after the double(-teams) started coming."
Garnett attempted to rally the Timberwolves, draining a 3-pointer at the buzzer of the third period and converting a three-point play with 10:44 left, cutting the deficit to 82-70.
After Mike Miller and Garnett traded baskets, Jones scored 10 consecutive Memphis points, pushing the advantage to 94-78 with a three-point play with just over seven minutes to go.
"I saw that we were sort of struggling to get points. We'd let (Minnesota) get the game manageable," Jones said. "When I came in the game, the opportunity presented itself so I took advantage of it. I was just being aggressive because I had legs."
Jones got into early foul trouble against his former team Tuesday and managed just two points on 0-of-7 shooting.
"Eddie was disappointed obviously after the game last night in Miami," Fratello said. "He was rushing things and maybe pressing a little bit because he wanted to do well."
Miller scored 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including 5-of-6 3-pointers. Bobby Jackson contributed 15 points for the Grizzlies, who won for just the second time in seven games.
"We've been in a stretch where we would have one good quarter and then one bad quarter," Fratello said. "Except for one stretch where Minnesota cut the lead in the fourth, I thought we did a much better job tonight than we've been doing lately."
Garnett had 29 points and nine rebounds for Minnesota (19-21), which has lost four of its last five and dropped to 10th in the Western Conference.
"We've got to regroup," Timberwolves coach Dwane Casey said. "We've got to come back together. This is us. Nothing is changing. No one else is coming in this locker room. ... I know there are trade rumors, but this is us. No one else."