Grizzlies build early lead, top T-wolves 109-92

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 24, 2014 at 11:20 pm •  Published: March 24, 2014
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies jumped out to an early lead and didn't let the Minnesota Timberwolves gain any confidence the rest of the way.

Mike Conley had 23 points and six assists, Marc Gasol added 14 points and 12 rebounds and the Grizzlies easily dispatched the short-handed Timberwolves 109-92 on Monday night.

"We caught a good team on the second night of a back-to-back," Memphis coach Dave Joerger said.

Memphis' goal was to take immediate advantage of a Minnesota team coming off a 127-120 loss to Phoenix on Sunday in which the Timberwolves squandered a 22-point lead. Memphis never trailed and held a double-digit lead from the 3:27 mark of the first quarter to the end.

"We didn't want to give them too much leeway," Conley said. "We've been in the same shoes. You're coming in off a tough game, and you kind of walk through the first part of the game.

"We just wanted to jump out there as early as we could, set the tempo and try to get ahead of them."

Zach Randolph finished with 17 points for Memphis, while Tayshaun Prince and Ed Davis added 12 points apiece. Mike Miller scored 11 as the Grizzlies won their 10th straight home game.

Kevin Love led the Timberwolves with 16 points, but shot 6-of-18 from the field, part of Minnesota shooting 38 percent for the game. Corey Brewer had 15 points and Kevin Martin finished with 13. Gorgui Dieng, in the starting lineup because of injuries on Minnesota's front line, finished with 11 points and 17 rebounds.

The victory left Memphis in the seventh spot in the Western Conference playoff race, a half-game ahead of Dallas and Phoenix.

Meanwhile, the consecutive losses to the Grizzlies and Suns pushed the Timberwolves seven games behind Phoenix and the Mavericks. While not mathematically eliminated, the Timberwolves are beginning to understand their situation.

"We just have to be competitive. That's the biggest key right now — get through the end of the season and play each game competitively," forward Chase Budinger said. "That's how you have to look at it."

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