Wolves Beat Grizzlies 102-88
Going into Wednesday night’s game, the Minnesota Timberwolves were 2-0 when power forward Kevin Love finished with a triple-double. Easy recipe for success, right?
The Wolves moved that to 3-0 against the Memphis Grizzlies at the Target Center, as Love finished with 24 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists in a 102-88 win.
All jokes aside, we know that triple-doubles aren’t easy, but Love sure doesn’t make it look all that hard.
“I thought he played a terrific game tonight,” said Wolves coach Rick Adelman. “Besides the outlet passes, he made a couple passes at the basket that were terrific… Just a solid, solid game.”
The Wolves struggled a bit offensively in the first, scoring just 20 points, which is a low mark for a team that has hit 40 points before. The team’s defense was solid, though, limiting Memphis to 20 points and forcing the Grizzlies to shoot just 39.1 percent.
Center Nikola Pekovic was unable to play in the game due to an ankle injury. The good news was that Ronny Turiaf was available after missing 19 games since Feb. 22. In the first, Turiaf played a minute and hauled in a rebound. Despite his long absence, Turiaf looked good throughout the night, playing nearly 22 minutes. He ended the night with 11 points, seven rebounds and three blocks.
Wolves vs. Grizzlies
Rookie Shabazz Muhammad set the tone for the Wolves in the second quarter, scoring six points, leading the team to an early 9-0 run. Minnesota outscored the Grizzlies 28-21 in the quarter to take a 48-41 halftime lead.
Love was already on triple-double alert at the break, finishing with a game-high 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Marc Gasol led Memphis with 12 points.
Love kept that up in the third, and nearly finished the quarter with a triple-double (22 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists). Ricky Rubio tried to steal a page from Love’s book, hitting Kevin Martin with a full-court pass for the dunk. That gave the Wolves a 66-52 lead with 5:24 left in the third. Minnesota exited the quarter with a 77-61 lead.
The bench came in for a bit in the fourth, and then was replaced with the starters. That’s when Love’s triple-double occurred. After Adelman felt comfortable with the lead, he entered the bench back in the game.
Aside from Love’s night, a few other Wolves had solid nights. Martin had 21 points, shooting 10-of-18 from the field. Rubio had 14 points, seven assists and three steals. He did a nice job of aggravating Mike Conley, forcing him to shoot just 3-of-15 from the field. The Wolves shot 53.1 percent from the field.
Memphis was led by Gasol’s 18 points. Courtney Lee added 14 points, while Ed Davis led the second unit with 10 points.
The Wolves are now 37-37 overall.
Leader of the Pack: Kevin Love
He makes it look so easy. Love finished with his third career triple-double and second in his last three games. The most incredible thing about Love’s game is that it’s so sneaky. You look up at the scoreboard and boom, he’s already got 10 points and eight boards. Amazing how easy he makes it look. Congrats, Kevin.
Don’t Blink Highlight of the Night
It was good to have Ronny Turiaf back. As always, the energetic center was having a fun time on the court. With 7:44 left in the first half, Turiaf threw down a two-handed dunk to score his first two points in 19 games. It gave the Wolves a 31-22 lead.
The Numbers Game
“Tired. Tired. Tired. I was having some fun, though. You know? It’s never easy sitting on the side by yourself.” - Wolves center Ronny Turiaf on what it felt like to get back on the court.
Wolves vs. Grizzlies
The Wolves hit the road to play the Miami Heat on Friday at 6:30 p.m. The game will air on Fox Sports North and WCCO 830-AM. They will stay in Florida on Saturday to play Orlando at 5:30 p.m. That game will air on WCCO 830-AM.