Grizzlies Take Advantage of Wolves Miscues, Win 90-86
Wolves Editorial/Social Media Associate
The Minnesota Timberwolves overcame an early 15-point deficit, battled to a third quarter lead, but faltered in the fourth as they dropped a 90-86 decision to the Memphis Grizzlies at the Target Center here Wednesday night.
With determination they’ve displayed all season long, the Timberwolves managed to stay in the game despite 17 turnovers and 13-of-24 free throw shooting, but Minnesota was unable to overcome a fourth-quarter surge that propelled the Grizzlies to the win.
“I get tired of saying it, but the turnovers, missed free throws, it's too hard," coach Rick Adelman said. "We're right there to win the games and we just make it so difficult on ourselves. Tonight those little things cost you in a close game."
The Wolves bench brought life to a team that started the game shooting 1-for-12 from the floor, and with Ricky Rubio leading the charge—he finished with 12 points and 10 assists—Minnesota trimmed a 15-point deficit down to six at the end of the first. It continued into the second, and when Kevin Love connected for a 3-pointer the Wolves their first lead of the night 46-43.
The Timberwolves (2-4) made it a 43-37 game at halftime, taking the lead at 68-64 in the third and pulling to within 84-83 with 16 seconds left. But the comebacks were not enough as turnovers and missed free throws were the story, as Memphis scored 23 points off 17 Wolves turnovers and benefited from Minnesota’s near 50-percent free-throw shooting.
"We’re young, we know, and of course we’re going to improve, but we have to do it right now,” Rubio said. “It depends on us. We have to improve, we know it."
Down the stretch, Minnesota made it interesting. Kevin Love knocked down a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 78-76, and with 16 seconds to play Ricky Rubio hit from behind the arc to cut the lead to 84-83. But where the Wolves were mediocre from the line, Memphis (3-3) was proficient. The Grizzlies shot 21-for-25 from the line.
"We believe we can win against anybody we play—it's just a matter of doing it," guard Luke Ridnour said. "Especially at home we have to find a way to win those games. Like I said, you have to give them credit but we got to do a lot of little things a little bit better.”
Love recorded his sixth double-double of the season with 27 points and 14 rebounds, and in the process he became the first person since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975 to score 20 points and 12 rebounds in each of his team’s first six games.
Ridnour finished with 13 points and two assists, Michael Beasley had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Anthony Randolph had eight points.
The absence of power forward Zach Randolph did not seem to play too much of a factor in the Grizzlies’ offense against the Wolves. Leading the way for Memphis was guard Tony Allen and forward Rudy Gay with 20 and 19 points respectively. The Grizzlies finished with 48 points in the paint on the night.
"We have to continue to work hard. You definitely can't stop the game out there and dig ourselves a hole,” Beasley said. “For the most part we played well. We gave ourselves a chance to win just didn't pull through.”
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