The Minnesota Timberwolves walked into FedEx Forum riding a four game winning streak. For the Memphis Grizzlies, the goal was simple - win the winnable games, and snap the Wolves streak on Friday night.
The Memphis Grizzlies got off to a quick start against the Timberwolves on Friday night. Behind Jonas Valanciunas’ eight points in five minutes, the Grizzlies pushed themselves out to a 15-8 lead on the Wolves early in the first quarter. The Wolves are a gritty team, despite all of the injuries, and would make a run of their own towards the end of the first quarter.
The Wolves recover from a slow start, but the Grizzlies led Minnesota 30-28 at the end of the first quarter. The Grizzlies (first the first time in a while) outshot their opponent from deep after the first frame.
Following two first quarter fouls for Valanciunas, the Lithuanian big man returned to the lineup in the second quarter scorching hot. Dominating All-Star big man Karl Anthony-Towns, he recorded 13 points and five rebounds in 9:59 minutes of first half action. Jonas picked up his third foul in that second quarter hurting the Grizzlies matchups in the paint.
Due to the foul trouble, the Timberwolves led the Grizzlies in paint points (+8), and second chance points (11-9) at the half. Something that wasn’t normal for Memphis - losing the fast break points battle to Minnesota. The Grizzlies still led the Wolves 68-66 at the half at FedEx Forum in Memphis.
The Grizzlies started the quarter picking up where they were dominating at in that second quarter - dominating in the paint. Unfortunately, Valanciunas would pick up his fourth personal foul early in the third quarter, sidelining him with 17 points in only 14 minutes of gametime.
The Grizzlies would get out and run with Valanciunas’ absence with Brandon Clarke and Xavier Tillman running the front court. Clarke and Tillman played well. The Grizzlies led the Wolves 92-84 heading to the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter, was a continuation of how the Grizzlies closed out the Wolves at the end of the third. Getting stops defensively, and pushing tempo off the stops. Memphis went on a 35-9 run well into the latter part of the 4th quarter.
Memphis’ bench would end up having 56 points from their bench on Friday night. The Grizzlies would end up taking down the Wolves 120-108 at FedEx Form to snap the Wolves winning streak.
Jonas Valanciunas - 19 points, 7/14 FG, 11 rebounds, in 22 minutes
De’Anthony Melton - 14 points, 4/6 3PT FG, 4 rebounds, in 23 minutes
Grayson Allen - 15 points, 5/7 3PT FG, 3 rebounds, in 21 minutes
The Grizzlies will be back in action on Sunday night at 5:30 as they travel to Philidelpia to take on the 76ers.