Green, Randolph lead Grizzlies past Timberwolves, 93-71
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Grizzlies are on a four-game winning streak and relying on their reputation of hard-nosed defense.
For the second straight night, Memphis held its opponent under 75 points, sending Minnesota to its worst offensive performance of the season and capturing a 93-71 victory over the Timberwolves on Saturday.
The 71 points were a season-low for Minnesota, which was limited to 39 percent shooting on the night, also a season-low.
Memphis held Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota’s leading scorer at 27.4 points, to seven points as he missed nine of his 11 shots.
"Battle, fight him and try to make everything impossible for him," Memphis coach David Fizdale said. "He missed some shots that he normally makes."
JaMychal Green had 19 points and eight rebounds, while Zach Randolph added 18 points and seven boards for Memphis, which ended a four-game road trip with an 80-64 win at Dallas on Friday night.
"That’s what we do. That’s what we’ve been doing," Randolph said of the defense. "That ain’t no surprise."
The Grizzlies forced 19 turnovers, leading to 27 points.
"Their defense was terrific," Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau said. ".We like to think that we are a pretty good offensive team. We didn’t move the ball the way we needed to."
Mike Conley and Andrew Harrison added 13 points apiece for Memphis, while James Ennis finished with 11 points.
Zach LaVine led the Timberwolves with 22 points, providing a third-quarter push when Minnesota tied the game. Karl-Anthony Towns scored 17.
LaVine kept the Timberwolves within striking distance to open the third, collecting Minnesota’s first eight points, including a pair of 3-pointers.
The game was deadlocked at 48 when Memphis clicked off 14 straight points to build its largest lead of the game at that point.
Memphis would stretch the advantage to as many as 25 in the fourth.
"I just didn’t like the way we played," Thibodeau said, adding: "With 19 turnovers, we can’t win on the road. (The Grizzlies) are going to make you pay for your mistakes, and they did."
Timberwolves: Minnesota’s 39 first-half points were a season-low for a first half. … Minnesota’s previous low for points this season was 92 against Oklahoma City on Nov. 5. … Minnesota is now 0-7 when shooting under 45 percent and 0-8 when trailing after three quarters.
Grizzlies: F Chandler Parsons did not play on the second night of the back-to-back. Parsons, still nursing offseason right knee surgery, had played in all six games since he returned to action Nov. 6. … Vince Carter played in his 1,287th game, moving past Sam Perkins for 23rd on the career list. … Memphis was 33 of 38 from the free throw line, season highs in both categories.
Memphis’ four-game winning streak began after a poor performance in a 106-96 loss at Milwaukee on Nov. 12. "We had a team meeting, and Coach got on us about our effort in the Milwaukee game," Green said. "It looked bad on film, and it opened all our eyes."
Wiggins’ seven points matched his season low. He also had seven at Oklahoma City on Nov. 5. Thibodeau said the poor shooting impacted other aspects of Wiggins’ game. ".You can’t allow that to take away from other things you can do to help the team win," Thibodeau said. "You can do things without shooting well. That’s an area we have to grow in."
NO REST. NO PROBLEM
Memphis has won all three of its games on the second night of back-to-backs this season.
Timberwolves: Host the Boston Celtics on Monday, the only home game in a five-game stretch.
Grizzlies: Begin a two-game road swing through the Eastern Conference beginning Monday at Charlotte before going to Philadelphia on Thanksgiving Eve.