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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, January 1st (All times eastern)

Memphis Grizzlies (14-17) at Minnesota Timberwolves (16-11), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Memphis Grizzlies take aim at their third straight win this evening when they kick off the New Year against Kevin Garnett and the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center.

On Wednesday, Pau Gasol scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Memphis over Boston, 117-109, at FedExForum. Bonzi Wells added 18 points in 18 minutes off the bench for the Grizzlies, who have won five of their last seven.

Boston led by double-digits entering the fourth, but Memphis started the final frame on an 18-3 run and they never looked back. Earl Watson capped off the burst on a three-pointer with 6:39 left to give the Grizzlies a 101-97 edge.

Memphis, which will host Utah on Monday, has dropped six of its last nine on the road and is 5-10 away from home this season.

Minnesota, meanwhile, enters tonight's tilt on a losing note after it found itself on the wrong end of a 100-87 decision against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.

Latrell Sprewell paced Minnesota with 22 points. Sam Cassell added 20, while Kevin Garnett contributed 17 points with 13 boards for the Timberwolves, who have dropped three of four.

Trailing 69-66 heading into the fourth quarter, Minnesota fought back and regained the lead on Cassell's jumper which made the score 78-77 with 6:23 to play. Moments later, Cassell would drain a three from the corner as the lead grew to 83-81 with just under five minutes left in the game.

However, New York closed out the game with a 19-4 flurry to break open a tightly played contest.

Wally Szczerbiak had 11 points in the loss and has scored in double-digits in 18 straight games. He is averaging 15.3 points and 3.5 rebounds in 27 games this season for Minnesota.

Minnesota, which will close a brief two-game homestand against the scorching- hot Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, has won four straight and five of its last six at home and is 8-3 at home on the year.

The Timberwolves beat the Grizz earlier in the year and has won three straight and 13 of the last 14 meetings. Memphis has also struggled in Minnesota, where it has lost two straight and six of their last seven. THe Grizzlies are also just 2-17 all-time at the Target Center.

01/01 10:07:41 ET


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