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Memphis at Minnesota

Grizzlies end road losing skid with win in Minnesota

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Memphis Grizzlies broke out of their road slump the only way they know how: by locking down on defense.

Marc Gasol scored 21 points and the Grizzlies pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 99-86 on Saturday night.

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Mike Conley scored 19, Zach Randolph 14 and Darrell Arthur had 12 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter for the Grizzlies, who ended a five-game road losing streak with their 11th straight victory over Minnesota.

"It's huge," Conley said. "We've lost some games we probably could have won. To beat a team that is playing well like Minnesota is always a big win. We're trying to get to that third spot, that fourth spot. We're right there if we can keep winning."

Memphis, playing its seventh game in 11 days, moved a half-game ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers for the fourth-best record in the tight Western Conference and is a half-game behind third-place Denver.

"You definitely got to beat a team like this, but more importantly, you've got to come out and play your style and try to play the best way you possibly can," said forward Tayshaun Prince, who finished with four points. "The bench guys showed they have some legs for us and played with some energy when they came out on the floor. That's what was able for us to get the win."

Minnesota's Ricky Rubio just missed his second career triple-double with 23 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Derrick Williams added 19 points for the Timberwolves, who were playing without center Nikola Pekovic. He missed the game after spraining his left ankle Friday late in a victory over Oklahoma City after scoring 22 points and adding 15 rebounds.

"We had shot after shot, but you've got to make plays," said Minnesota coach Rick Adelman. "I thought defensively we were hanging in there in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter the floodgates opened and they started knocking down shots. We couldn't get anything going. Had no answer."

Arthur scored nine points during a 16-2 run to start the final period, including a 3-pointer and follow shot, to give the Grizzlies an 81-69 lead with 7 minutes to play. A long jumper and a 3-pointer by Quincey Pondexter stretched the lead to 86-73.

Not only did Memphis start to hit shots, it also picked up its defensive intensity. Minnesota had just one basket, a 3-pointer by Rubio, in the opening five minutes of the fourth quarter, and also held the Wolves to 43.3 percent for the game.

"In that second half we kind of just hit a wall offensively," said Chase Budinger, who was 1 for 6 from the field. "Give credit to them. They're probably the best defensive team in the league at taking on the pick-and-roll."

In his third game back after missing two games with an abdominal tear, Gasol also had eight rebounds and six assists.

"Right now he's one of the top three centers in the league. He's doing a great job. He knows how to play," Rubio said. "He can assist like a point guard. He shoots the mid-range very well. And on defense it's tough because he's so big. He's great."

Rubio had nine points in the first quarter, including five during a 12-2 run that put Minnesota up 25-17.

The Minnesota reserves pushed the lead to 37-26, including a desperation 3-pointer by Alexey Shved, before the Grizzlies tightened up on defense and went on a 13-2 run to get within one late in the first half. However, Rubio scored on a drive at the buzzer to give Minnesota a 50-45 halftime lead.

Notes

  • The Grizzlies are 20-16 on the road, setting a franchise record for road wins in a season.
  • Adelman remains three wins shy of 1,000 for his career.
  • Jerryd Bayless finished with two points for the Grizzlies. He'd been averaging 19.1 points in his last eight games.
  • The Timberwolves had seven of their 17 turnovers in the third quarter and went 4 for 14 from the field in the period, scoring 17 points.
Copyright 2014 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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Marc Gasol scores 21 points to help Memphis pull away from Minnesota and snap a five-game road losing skid. (AP)
Marc Gasol scores 21 points to help Memphis pull away from Minnesota and snap a five-game road losing skid. (AP)
Scoreboard
Memphis (49-24) «2322203499
Minnesota (26-46)3020171986
MEM:M. Gasol 21 Pts
MEM:M. Gasol 8 Reb
MEM:J. Bayless 7 Ast
MIN:R. Rubio 23 Pts
MIN:R. Rubio 10 Reb
MIN:R. Rubio 9 Ast
Players of the Game
MemphisMinnesota

Marc Gasol

Ricky Rubio
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
218623109

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Memphis
M. Gasol, C358-125-686421
M. Conley, PG338-150-014319
Z. Randolph, PF295-114-472314
T. Prince, SF272-40-02424
T. Allen, SG213-51-42037
J. Bayless, PG290-54-63724
Q. Pondexter, SF193-60-01157
D. Arthur, PF166-92-340315
E. Davis, PF140-23-44033
A. Daye, SF132-40-03105
J. Leuer, PF10-00-00000
T. Wroten, PG10-00-00000
D. Pittman, CDid Not Play
Totals 37-7319-2735252899
 50.7%70.4% 
Minnesota
R. Rubio, PG406-1210-12109523
G. Stiemsma, C405-72-271312
D. Williams, PF376-167-1241319
L. Ridnour, PG333-70-04437
A. Kirilenko, SF281-33-64115
C. Budinger, SF201-60-01122
J. Barea, PG172-50-00125
D. Cunningham, SF162-80-03124
A. Shved, PG73-31-21009
C. Johnson, PF20-00-01010
M. Gelabale, SF10-00-00000
B. Roy, SGDid Not Play
K. Love, PFDid Not Play
N. Pekovic, CDid Not Play
M. Lee, SGDid Not Play
Totals 29-6723-3435192286
 43.3%67.6% 
Other Games
Chi 98 Final
Dal 100
Orl 88 Final
Atl 97
Char 92 Final
Phi 100
LAC 81 Final
Hou 98
OKC 109 Final
Mil 99
Brook 107 Final
Utah 116
Ind 112 Final
Pho 104
LAL 103 Final
Sac 98
Port 98 Final
GS 125