Final Score: Grizzlies 85, Timberwolves 80 - February 8, 2012
Key Stat of the Night
Memphis outrebounded Minnesota 59-47 and 21-10 on the offensive glass… The Grizzlies’ 59 total rebounds and 21 offensive rebounds were each season highs.
Key Run of the Night
Leading by six points (40-34) with 1:15 left in the first half, the Grizzlies scored 10 consecutive points bridging the second and third quarters to take a 16-point advantage... Minnesota would get no closer than five points by the end of the game.
Starting his second consecutive game, Quincy Pondexter scored a career-high 17 points and grabbed a career-high six rebounds.
Marreese Speights finished with six points and a career-high tying 15 rebounds, including two points and 10 rebounds in the first half alone… Speights also grabbed a career-high eight offensive rebounds.
Dante Cunningham scored a season-high 12 points, surpassing his previous high of 10 (Jan. 10 vs. Oklahoma City).
Rudy Gay tallied 19 points as the Grizzlies beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 85-80 at home on Wednesday night. Quincy Pondexter scored 17 while Dante Cunningham chipped in with 12 points and seven rebounds coming off the bench.
On the game:
“He’s (Dante Cunningham) getting more comfortable as are all the newer guys who haven’t been around for a while, They’re all starting to get a little bit more comfortable. We’re trying to get through to the All-Star Break so we can really practice. We have some days in between. We haven’t had multiple days off since the start of the season, and we won’t until the All-Star break. When we come back, we’ll have two days where we play then after we play, we have three more days and then another game and two more days so at that point, hopefully we’ll be able to really get out schemes down and get our plays down. There are guys that still don’t know what we’re doing. We’re drawing things up, we’re showing them on film but repetition is definitely the best way to improve. We’re just holding on and like tonight, it’s just a scrappy night. Dante did a nice job of getting us some extra possessions. He did a nice job defensively, and so did Mo (Marreese) Speights, who had 11 rebounds at halftime, which was huge for us to get out into that lead. We just made it stand up. We had a 10-point lead and at the end, we gave up some threes and some fouls.”
On the rotation:
“My plan was to not play them an extended length of minutes, give them a break and break it up some. You can still get a chance to sit down, and you don’t deplete all of your energy. It worked pretty well because the guys who came in played pretty well. (Jeremy) Pargo played pretty well, Dante (Cunningham) played well, O.J. (Mayo) played well and so we were able to do that and hopefully we’ll continue to be able to do that. I want to commend Quincy (Pondexter). He came in and had a really nice game and played freely. It was something we really needed. All those guys who played well, we really needed it.”
"When you can go out and shoot 37 percent and win, it’s a team victory and a lot of things are going your way other than just the shooting."
On future game rotations:
“Everybody has to play well, and the game has to go in a way that we feel comfortable. I’m not going to just take everybody out of the game, but I acknowledge that our guys are playing a lot of minutes. It’s not the lot of minutes; it’s the long stretches playing without rest. You play 15 minutes without rest; that’s a long time. I’d like to break up the extended stretches of playing, and we’re just going to try to do it and play it by ear.”
On playing freely:
“Just when you have an open shot, take it. When you have a drive, take it. When you have a play to make, make it. It’s not rocket science, it’s just basketball. You do it in the park, you do it at the Y or wherever you play. It’s the same here, there’s a lot more pressure because there’s thousands of people in the stands and you get written about when you play poorly. You just have to be mentally tough and go out there and play the game the way you know how to play it and live with the results. Some nights you’re going to be good and some nights you’re going to be bad and it’s tough on a lot of guys, especially the young guys, to accept that.”
On the win
“It was fun just to get a W. Now it’s back to work and go to practice tomorrow. It’s good to get that win and then have some time to reflect on it and kind of figure out what got us that win.”
On winning against a Western Conference opponent:
“It is good because everybody is kind of clustered. All these wins count especially against those teams.”
On the team’s effort tonight:
“It’s starting to get late. Guys have to start doing those little things that they haven’t been doing before because honestly, guys are getting tired. All across the league, people are getting chances to do things. In New York, you see Jeremy Lin doing things. Everybody needs that kind of kick sometimes.”
On the win:
“It was a must-win especially since we were back at home and in front of our fans. It definitely wasn’t as pretty as we wanted it to be, but we grinded it out and won, which is good.”
On the bench:
“That’s big for us. We’re going to continue needing that.”
On taking advantage of home court:
“It’s very important for us. We need every win we can get, and I feel like at home, we have a good thing going. I think we’ve lost four games at home now, but those were against two of the top teams in the league. We have to keep fighting. Playing at home is our strength and we have to make it count.”
On his performance:
“I just tried to continue being aggressive. After the last few games, I was real disappointed. I stayed aggressive and my teammates did a great job of finding me. You just have to be active on the floor, getting rebounds and doing a lot of the little things that help you be real productive in these types of games.”
On the win:
“This win was very important, especially for us mentally to come out and play how we did today, will hopefully be a building block to what we are going to do the rest of this month. We have a lot of home games this month, and right before All-Star Break everyone is going to try and make a push. I think we have all the tools to do it.”