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Final: Grizzlies 96, Timberwolves 86 - Mar. 26, 2012

Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

Key Stat of the Night

- Despite Marc Gasol (sore right ankle) missing his first game of the season and Zach Randolph playing 23 minutes off the bench, the Grizzlies were still able to collect 14 offensive rebounds and turn them into a season-high 25 second-chance points.

Key Run of the Night

Leading by one point (70-69) with 10:39 left in the game, the Grizzlies went on a 16-6 to push the lead up to 11 points (86-75), Memphis’ biggest lead of the game, with 5:01 remaining.

Player Notes

- Rudy Gay led all five starters in double figures with 21 points and five rebounds… Memphis stands 17-7 this season when Gay reaches 20 points.

- Dante Cunningham finished with a season-high 13 points, a career-high 14 rebounds and a career-high tying four blocks, marking his first double-double of the season.

- Marreese Speights scored 18 points tonight and is averaging 14.0 points in two games since being reinserted into the starting lineup… He averaged 7.0 points in his previous three games, all in reserve.

- Mike Conley scored 12 points and handed out game-high eight assists.

Rudy Gay scored 21 points and Marreese Speights added 18 in the Grizzlies' 93-86 home win over the Timberwolves on Tuesday. Dante Cunningham (13 points, 14 rebounds) tallied a double-double while Tony Allen chipped in with 13. The Grizzlies' win over Minesota was the seventh in a row and 10th in the last 11 meetings between the two teams, including a 3-0 mark this season. The Grizzlies had five players score in double figures.

Highlight of the Night

Game Notes

  • When at FedExForum, Memphis is 13-1 when leading at the end of the first quarter and has a 11-1 record with the lead going into halftime… The only loss came in overtime, 116-111, on March 13 vs. Lakers.
  • Despite the franchise record for field goal attempts, Memphis attempted a season-low five free throws.
  • At 27-21 (.563) the Grizzlies move ahead of last year’s regular season pace (46-36, .561), before the team went on its historic 2011 playoff push.
  • Memphis also lost for the first time at home when leading at the end of the first quarter (11-1) and at halftime (10-1).

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They said...

Coach Hollins

On the rotation:

“That’s why they have 12 players on the roster. I just told our guys you can’t think you are not going to play. Everybody is important for the team. Everyone has a role and there is a time that you have to step up. Dante (Cunnigham) in LA only played one minute because they were really big and I stayed with all the bigs. Tonight they were small so I had to go small and Dante played 40 minutes tonight after only playing one. He was ready and he had a great game.”

On Zach Randolph:

“I didn’t want to move Zach (Randolph) to the starting lineup. I like Zach coming off the bench right now until he is fully conditioned and back to playing. He is not able to go at people the way he wants to go at them, but he’s a force out there. We had 14 offensive rebounds and 25 second chance points. The second chance points were a season high for us. We were able to hang around because we weren’t doing very much offensively but we held them to 38 percent shooting for the game. When you hold them to 38 percent, stop them from making all the threes and beat them on the glass as well, then you’ve had a steady game defensively.”

On Marreese Speights:

“When we first got him we thought he could be a four or five. We haven’t played him much at five because we were going to Hamed (Haddadi) or we were just going small. Now that Zach(Randolph) is back he is probably going to play a lot more five. When he gets consistent minutes and he can tell when he is going to play, he is much better than with spot minutes. He played well in LA. He played well tonight. He is big, athletic power forward, and he got a couple of offensive rebounds and made a couple of blocks. The key is that our whole team came out and we guarded them. We stole the ball from them. We blocked their shots. We were very physical and very aggressive.”

On the game:

"We were taking care of the ball and making good decisions. That’s the point we are trying to get to, making good decisions in the break and making good decisions in offensive. Without Marc (Gasol) who is kind of our facilitator of the ball, he’s our playmaker, we had to battle again with one less player and a key player. Our team has been resilient. They have been warriors. That’s their personality.”

On the back-up point guard:

“There was nothing that Gil (Gilbert Arenas) did that took him back to the bench. We were struggling chemistry-wise and rhythm- wise. I decided that I was going back to the guys that had been here and were playing. (Jeremy) Pargo had been playing, and playing pretty good from two games before I inserted Gil at his spot. I just wanted to get Gil in and get his feet wet. He is not in good enough condition to go out and compete like he wants to. It is going to take some time, but we still need to win games. That was the reasoning for Zach going back to the bench and for Gil going back to the bench. Tonight was a totally different story. Pargo played well; it was just that my mind kept telling me that Juice (O.J Mayo) needed to be in the game. Tony (Allen) was playing well on the guy he had, Rudy (Gay) was playing well on defensive and Mike (Conley) had a bum ankle. This was the best time to move Juice to the point guard spot. He was intense and very aggressive. He got to the foul line, he rebounded. We needed that energy that he brought.”

Tony Allen

On the game:

"We just said defense, and I thought we did a good job of getting out there to those perimeters and shooting the threes and we did a good job of helping the helper. We all tied together on the defensive end and once we can consistently do that for 48 minutes, we get wins like this. I take my hat off to Mo (Marreese) Speights too. He played awesome tonight. He had a huge block that I thought pretty much gave us momentum on the defensive end. When we get stops, that gives us momentum.”

On practice and preparing for the next game:

“I think just paying attention to detail with our pick-and-roll coverage and knowing what we need to consistently do on the defensive end. I feel like guys are going to get their shots on offense. We just need to consistently pay attention to our coverage for 48 minutes.”

Mike Conley

On the game:

“It (the win) means a lot. This is a Minnesota team that was playing very well. Kevin Love is playing some of the best basketball in the league and I thought we did a great job of running out on their three-point shooters and getting a lot of rebounds and making the plays when it counted.” “Dante (Cunningham) and Mo (Marreese Speights), they did a great job of filling in the big fellow (Marc Gasol) and that’s what we need. We need that kind of effort from guys. DC (Dante Cunningham) didn’t play last game (one minute) and came in today with the attitude that he was going to the right things for us to win and that’s the kind of attitude we need. I thought they did a great job.”

On twisting his ankle:

“It’s just one of those things where my ankle gave out on the fast break. It hurt, but I worked it out in the back and got it re-taped and was able to finish the game. I think it will be alright. Luckily we’ve got a couple of days here so I’m probably going to take off and rehab and make sure it’s 100 percent.”

Marreese Speights

On the game

“We just went out there with a chip on our shoulder. We’ve not been playing Grizzlies basketball lately. We knew Marc (Gasol) was out so we had to step up tonight and come through. We did that tonight.”