Timberwolves can't topple revamped Grizzlies
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Tayshaun Prince scored 18 points, hitting all eight of his shots from the field, and the Memphis Grizzlies pulled away in the second quarter before coasting to a 105-88 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.
Three other Memphis players -- Zach Randolph, Mike Conley and Austin Daye -- each finished with 16 points. Conley also handed out eight assists, while Randolph grabbed eight rebounds to help the Grizzlies win their second straight.
Luke Ridnour and Ricky Rubio led the Timberwolves with 17 points apiece, and both finished with four assists. Mickael Gelabale scored 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting and Alexey Shved had 10 points and nine assists for Minnesota.
The loss continues a tailspin for the Timberwolves, who have lost 15 of their last 17 -- including eight straight on the road.
Memphis outscored the injury-depleted Timberwolves 50-32 in the paint, and had a 20-4 advantage in fast-break points. The Grizzlies, as they did in Friday's win over Golden State, did a good job in spreading the ball, recording 30 assists on 41 field goals.
There were six ties and six lead changes in the game, but all of those were in the first half.
Memphis matched its biggest lead at 78-57 early in the fourth quarter. The Timberwolves would put together nine unanswered points to pull within 11 near the 7-minute mark, but they could get no closer the rest of the way.
Memphis carried a 47-37 lead into halftime. Conley had 12 points, connecting on 4 of 8 shots, including 2 of 3 outside the arc, in the opening half. That was part of Memphis shooting 48 percent for the half, despite Marc Gasol missing all four of his shots.
Memphis was also able to get out in transition, outscoring the Timberwolves 16-0 on the fast break.
Minnesota was limited to 34 percent shooting and committed nine turnovers in the half. But the Timberwolves made up the difference at the foul line, shooting 21 free throws to eight for Memphis.
Ridnour scored eight first-half points to lead Minnesota.
Memphis extended its halftime lead to 58-39 with an 11-2 rally to open the third. The lead would eventually stretch to 21 near the halfway mark of the period.
Memphis would end up hitting 11 of 17 shots in the third. Despite connecting on 9 of its 16 in the quarter, the Timberwolves trailed 76-56 entering the fourth.
Notes: The wounded Wolves were without F Chase Budinger, F Andrei Kirilenko, F/C Kevin Love, G Malcolm Lee and G Brandon Roy because of an array of injuries, leaving Minnesota with only 10 players. J.J. Barea didn't play because of a left foot sprain. . . . Memphis is 15-0 when scoring at least 100 points. . . . The Timberwolves came in having lost seven straight in the series and nine straight in Memphis. Their last road win in the series was Jan. 6, 2009. . . . Grizzlies F Quincy Pondexter played for the first time since suffering a left MCL sprain on Dec. 29 against Denver. He played 4 minutes in the first half and did not score, missing his only shot. . . . Minnesota coach Rick Adelman arrived about 4 minutes into the game. He flew in Sunday after spending time with his wife, who is dealing with seizures.