Timberwolves-Grizzlies Preview

After splitting their first two games, the Minnesota

Timberwolves are feeling confident.

That could change when they hit the road for the first time this

season.

One of the NBA’s worst teams away from home last season, the

Timberwolves try for a second straight victory Saturday night

against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Coming off a 15-win season and one-point opening-night loss to

Sacramento, Minnesota beat Milwaukee 96-85 on Friday. Michael

Beasley had 21 points with 10 rebounds while Kevin Love added 17

and 16 for the Timberwolves, who have not started 2-1 since

2006-07.

Rookie Wes Johnson added 12 points off the bench to help the

Timberwolves overcome a 37.6-percent shooting effort.

“We got a lot of contributions from a lot of people,” coach Kurt

Rambis told the Timberwolves’ official website. “That’s what I like

to see.”

Though Minnesota didn’t record its second victory last season

until its 17th game, this squad appears confident it won’t take

that long this time.

“It’s an attitude and the way we approach the game,” Love said.

“At every position we have guys that can play.”

Love and the Timberwolves need to be at their best during a

daunting three-game trip that also includes stops at Miami and

Orlando. Minnesota allowed 112.4 points per contest while going

5-36 on the road last season with only New Jersey’s 4-37 mark away

from home being worse.

The Timberwolves have lost 12 straight road games since winning

91-88 against Miami – Beasley’s former club – on Feb. 23.

Though Minnesota has dropped two in a row at Memphis, the

Timberwolves won 109-102 in the teams’ most recent meeting Feb. 6.

They also could benefit from the addition of Beasley, who has

recorded 38 points and 17 rebounds in his first two games with the

Timberwolves.

Beasley also has played well in Memphis, averaging 25.0 points

in two games while with the Heat.

The Grizzlies rebounded from a 119-104 season-opening loss to

Atlanta with a 91-90 upset in Dallas on Friday. Rudy Gay had 21

points, O.J. Mayo added 20 and Marc Gasol had 10 with 15 rebounds

after missing the opener with a sprained ankle.

Memphis won despite shooting 38.8 percent. The Grizzlies shot

51.5 percent while going 3-1 against Minnesota last season.

Gay had 21 points and Mayo 20 as the Grizzlies shot a

season-high 58.5 percent in a 135-110 win over the Timberwolves in

their last meeting at FedEx Forum on Jan. 15.

Gay, who has scored 21 in each of the first two games this

season, has averaged 22.7 points on 58.3 percent shooting in his

last three contests against the Timberwolves.

It’s uncertain if Memphis forward Zach Randolph will miss a

second straight game after he bruised his lower back in the first

half Wednesday.