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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, April 18th (All times eastern)

Memphis Grizzlies (21-60) at Minnesota Timberwolves (32-49), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Two teams that won't be participating in the playoffs conclude their seasons tonight, as the Minnesota Timberwolves welcome the NBA- worst Memphis Grizzlies to the Target Center.

The Timberwolves and Memphis split a pair of games this season, while Memphis has won three of the last four contests in the series. The Grizzlies have two of their last three at Minnesota.

A victory for Memphis would send the Grizzlies into the offseason on a season-best three-game winning streak. On Monday, Pau Gasol poured in 25 points and grabbed 15 rebounds as the Grizzlies defeated the San Antonio Spurs, 101-91, at the FedExForum.

Chucky Atkins scored 19 points and Dahntay Jones netted 16 in the win over San Antonio for the Grizzlies, who have won two in a row after a six-game losing streak.

On Tuesday, Grizzlies director of basketball operations Jerry West announced that he is stepping down from his post after this season. West, whose move will be official on July 1, has been with the team since 2002. He has one year left on his current contract, a deal he signed prior to the 2005-06 season.

West, the NBA's 2004 Executive of the Year with Memphis, cited turmoil within the organization for his reason to depart. The Grizzlies reportedly have lost $40 million.

The Grizzlies are a league-worst 7-33 on the road this season. They have had their three-year postseason run halted. Memphis was 0-12 during its three playoff appearances.

Gasol is the Grizzlies' leading scorer (20.7 ppg) and top rebounder (9.7 rpg).

Rookie Rudy Gay (right ankle) is doubtful for tonight's contest. Gay is averaging 10.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in 78 games this season for the Grizzlies.

The disappointing Timberwolves have dropped six straight games. On Monday, Allen Iverson scored 25 points, as the playoff-bound Denver Nuggets picked up a 122-107 victory over Minnesota at the Pepsi Center.

Randy Foye had 19 points and nine rebounds for Minnesota, which has lost 10 of its last 12 games overall. Justin Reed also scored 19 points, while Mark Blount netted 18 and Craig Smith finished with 16 points and nine boards in defeat.

Minnesota is 20-20 at home this season. All-Star forward Kevin Garnett, who is sidelined with a strained right quadriceps, led the Timberwolves in scoring and rebounding this season. Garnett averaged 22.4 points and 12.8 rebounds in 76 contests.

04/18 11:27:48 ET


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