Grizzlies hand T-Wolves a critical loss
MEMPHIS (SportsNetwork.com) - Mike Conley scored 23 points with six assists to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 109-92 beating of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Zach Randolph notched 17 points, Marc Gasol contributed a 14-point, 12-rebound double-double and Tayshaun Prince dropped in 12 points for Memphis, which has won four of its last five games.
Kevin Love shot 6-for-18, including 2-for-8 from distance, to lead the Timberwolves with 16 points in their third straight setback. Corey Brewer tallied 15 points and Gorgui Dieng deposited 11 points with 17 rebounds in the loss.
Conley scored four straight points to start a 9-1 run midway through the first and stake the Grizzlies to a 15-5 lead.
Nick Calathes made a runner with 3:27 left in the first and Memphis ended the frame on an 11-4 run to double-up the Timberwolves, 30-15, after 12 minutes.
Mike Miller, who finished with 11 points off the bench, hit a 3-pointer early in the second to help the Grizzlies increase their cushion to 39-18.
Alexey Shved knocked down a 3 midway through the stanza to begin a 9-0 run and help the visitors cut into the deficit. Love's layup capped the spurt with over three minutes left and pulled the Timberwolves within 10, 45-35.
Another quarter-ending run for Memphis stretched the lead to 18 at halftime. The Grizzlies outscored Minnesota 12-4 over the final three minutes to claim a 57-39 lead at the break.
Love and Brewer each hit a 3 to open the third, then Dieng followed a Gasol jumper with two straight buckets to cut the halftime margin to 10, 59-49, with 9 1/2 minutes left.
Memphis answered with an 18-4 surge to put the game away. Conley scored the first four points of the burst, then capped it with a layup and 3 to give the hosts a 77-53 lead with 4:43 remaining.
Minnesota scored the final nine points of the quarter and trailed 81-68 heading into the fourth.
The T-Wolves didn't convert a basket in the fourth until Dieng made a hook shot with just over seven minutes left. By that time, Memphis built a game- high 25-point spread and the Grizzlies coasted the rest of the way.