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Minnesota at Memphis

Grizzlies 109, Timberwolves 89

CBSSports.com wire reports

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- O.J. Mayo and the Memphis Grizzlies had a sound defensive strategy and, wow, did it ever work against the sloppy Minnesota Timberwolves.

Mayo scored 29 points and the Grizzlies had a franchise-record 22 steals in a 109-89 victory against Minnesota on Saturday night.

"We just wanted to be aggressive on the ballhandlers. Make it tough for them to bring the ball up court," said Memphis guard Mike Conley, who had 14 points, seven steals, and matched his career high with 11 assists. "And when their bigs got it, just try to clamp down on it as soon as possible, and hit them from different sides where they weren't looking and not expecting it."

Rudy Gay added 25 points and Darrell Arthur scored 18 for Memphis, which has won two of its first three games for the first time since the 2005-06 season, the last time the team went to the playoffs.

Wayne Ellington led the Timberwolves with 15 points, and Kevin Love had 14 points and 13 rebounds. Sebastian Telfair scored 12.

Minnesota finished with 30 turnovers and shot 35 percent from the field.

"I feel like we were a disgrace to the game of basketball," said Michael Beasley, who turned it over six times. "We had 30 turnovers. Thirty turnovers, man. That's not basketball. That's not team basketball. That's not basketball at all. Everything we worked on since training camp just went out the window. Defensively. Offensively. We didn't play as a team. It was just bad from every aspect of the game."

Mayo's dunk with 4:36 left extended the Grizzlies' lead to 100-79 and was set up by Conley's record-breaking steal, No. 20 for the game.

Memphis got off to a fast start and maintained a double-digit lead through most of the first half, carrying a 59-46 edge into the break. Mayo had 19 at intermission, including a 3-pointer as time ran out in the half.

Love had 10 points in the first half and got some offensive help from Ellington in the third, but the Timberwolves, coming off their first victory of the season, couldn't sustain any sort of momentum.

"We had the energy before the game, but once the game started, I think we didn't set the tone for the rest of the game," Love said.

Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said his team's ability to control the game was based on the defense that not only contributed to the franchise record for steals, but also disrupted the Timberwolves' offense.

"I think it's effort," he said. "It's getting back to what we do. ... We had 32 deflections and nine times we had three stops in a row. We had some consistency with our effort."


The game featured the league's youngest and least-experienced teams. The Grizzlies are the least experienced (2.6 years to 2.7 for Minnesota), while the Timberwolves have an average age of 24 years and 84 days, compared to Memphis' 24 years, 225 days. ... Memphis F Zach Randolph missed his second successive game with a right hip contusion. Randolph was injured Wednesday in the first quarter of the season opener against the Atlanta Hawks. ... Memphis now hits the road for a West Coast swing, playing four games in five nights. ... Memphis rookie G Greivis Vasquez saw his first action, playing the final three minutes. ... It was the first road game this season for Minnesota, which was 5-36 away from home last season.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Minnesota 1-21927291489
Memphis 2-1 «34252822109
MIN:W. Ellington 15 Pts
MIN:K. Love 13 Reb
MIN:L. Ridnour 3 Ast
MEM:O. Mayo 29 Pts
MEM:M. Gasol 8 Reb
MEM:M. Conley 11 Ast
Players of the Game

O. Mayo

K. Love

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W. Ellington, SG295-132-221315
L. Ridnour, PG253-100-14327
K. Love, PF256-142-2131014
M. Beasley, PF212-62-65136
D. Milicic, C192-62-33026
W. Johnson, SF252-102-37126
S. Telfair, PG233-94-432012
A. Tolliver, PF221-44-58126
C. Brewer, SF203-80-02226
N. Pekovic, PF143-51-25147
L. Hayward, SF120-22-44202
K. Koufos, C61-20-01012
M. Webster, SGDid Not Play
M. Ager, SFDid Not Play
J. Flynn, PGDid Not Play
G. Stiemsma, CDid Not Play
Totals 31-8921-3257152189
R. Gay, SF4311-221-165325
O. Mayo, SG4011-212-275229
M. Conley, PG385-153-4711114
M. Gasol, C313-65-782311
D. Arthur, PF317-134-461518
T. Allen, SG225-80-042310
S. Young, SF130-30-01010
H. Thabeet, C80-10-01050
A. Law, PG70-10-01110
H. Haddadi, C30-10-01000
G. Vasquez, PG30-10-00010
D. Carroll, SF21-10-01002
Z. Randolph, PFDid Not Play
X. Henry, SGDid Not Play
Totals 43-9315-18432725109
Other Games
Wash 95 Final
Atl 99
Sac 107 Final
Cle 104
Port 100 Final
NY 95
Det 91 Final
Chi 101
Phi 86 Final
Ind 99
Den 107 Final
Hou 94
Char 88 Final
Mil 98
NO 99 Final
SA 90