Wolves Fall To Grizzlies
Grizzlies 104 (32-27) - Timberwolves 95 (13-45) | Target Center
How it happened:
The Minnesota Timberwolves received a late boost from the bench but failed to sustain the momentum, dropping a home loss to the Memphis Grizzlies 104-95 on Wednesday night.
At the end of the third quarter, the reserve unit of Sebastian Telfair, Wayne Ellington, Lazar Hayward, Anthony Tolliver, and Nikola Pekovic provided Minnesota with a 7-3 spark to narrow the Grizzlies lead to single digits. Head coach Kurt Rambis decided to stay with the efficient crew in the opening minutes of the fourth, and the bench kept performing valiantly against the Grizzlies starters. Behind back-to-back three-pointers from Ellington and key buckets from Tolliver, the reserves trimmed the lead to 83-78. With 8:35 left to play, Rambis decided to bring the starters back in and the Wolves lost the fluidity of the offense.
Mike Conley proceeded to quickly regain control for Memphis, closing the door on any hope of a Minnesota comeback.
The Wolves were plagued by another slow start, facing a 10-2 deficit in the early moments. With the offense struggling to execute, Conley and the Grizzlies capitalized on the Wolves errant possessions by scoring multiple easy fast-break buckets.
While Conley paced the Grizzlies backcourt with 22 points and 9 assists, Zach Randolph controlled the paint with his solid frame. Randolph used his size to back down Kevin Love and score inside, finishing with a game-high 24 points and 10 rebounds on 10-of-16 shooting.
Wayne Ellington continues to embrace his role as a spark off the bench as he finished with a team-high 16 points. With the departure of Corey Brewer and the absence of injured Martell Webster, Ellington saw increased minutes tonight and led the reserves in the game-changing run by drilling three treys from beyond the arc that gave the Wolves a chance for a late comeback.
The recent trade of Corey Brewer helped clear the log jam at the small forward and shooting guard positions, leaving Rambis an extended option of playing Lazar Hayward. The rookie with proven potential played a pivotal role in the Wolves comeback tonight. In 16 minutes of play, Hayward recorded eight points and six rebounds.
Highlight to Remember:
Despite the game being out of reach, the highlight reel continued to roll for the Timberwolves. Down 97-86 late in the fourth quarter, Kevin Love came out of nowhere for a two-handed tip-slam off a Michael Beasley miss that helped ease the pain of a loss with an awesome play.
The Numbers Game:
With 15 points and 11 rebounds tonight, Kevin Love's name is sketched into the record books, as he ties Moses Malone’s consecutive double-double streak of 44 straight games.
The 34-25 New Orleans Hornets roll into Minneapolis Friday night as Kevin Love attempts to break Malone’s double-double record.
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