Wolves Fall to Grizzlies


Grizzlies 102 (26-24) - Timberwolves 84 (11-37) | Target Center


MENZIE HENDERSON
Wolves Writer


How it happened:
The Minnesota Timberwolves were out of sync in more areas than one at the Target Center and ultimately fell 102-84 to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Similar to the blowout loss suffered back in October to the Grizzlies in the previous meeting, the Timberwolves were plagued by the exact same mistakes.

The Timberwolves knew they had to be ready to take care of the ball, facing a Grizzlies opponent that ranks at the top of the league in takeaways. Memphis took advantage of Minnesota’s squandering possessions as sloppy execution and lousy ball movement enabled the Grizzlies to score 26 points off turnovers. The Wolves were also killed in transition, allowing 17 fast-break Memphis points.

Zach Randolph led the Grizzlies with 23 points, and Rudy Gay added 22, as both helped fuel a 30-16 third quarter discrepancy that put the contest entirely out of reach for the Timberwolves.

Leader of the Pack:
With point guard Luke Ridnour absent due to a family matter, the Timberwolves offense struggled to coexist. Michael Beasley was the only bright spot on the offensive end, leading the Wolves with 19 points. During a critical third quarter scoring drought for Minnesota, Beasley was the only player striving to score as if to say, “I’ve seen enough, give me the rock.” Beasley scored 10 of his 19 points in the third.

Rookie Report:
Johnson went cold tonight, as shooters periodically do. The rookie scored just four points and went 2-of-11 from the floor. Without Johnson’s threat from downtown, it was difficult for the Timberwolves to score when Memphis went to a 2-3 zone. Even Ray Allen has off nights, so expect Johnson to clear his mind and bounce back with a big game on Friday.

The NUMB#RS Game:
Kevin Love recorded his 34th straight double-double, but it definitely wasn’t pretty. The All-Star hopeful put his streak in serious jeopardy by scoring just 2 points in the first half on 1-of-3 from the floor. Love’s resiliency around the basket kept the streak alive, but the forward struggled to get involved the entire night.

Looking Ahead:
The Timberwolves will head to Toronto to face the Raptors on Friday night, followed by a matchup at home against the Denver Nuggets on Saturday.


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