NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, March 24th
(All times Eastern)
Minnesota Timberwolves (34-34) at Memphis Grizzlies (41-28), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Memphis Grizzlies continue to move up the ladder in
the Western Conference and will try to inch closer to the sixth seed Monday
night when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves at FedExForum.
The Grizz are fractionally ahead of the Dallas Mavericks for the seventh seed
in the Western Conference. They are two games behind the Golden State Warriors
for sixth, but a half-game in front of the Phoenix Suns, who reside in ninth
Memphis has won three of its last four and seven of its last nine. The
Grizzlies endured a brutal two-game stretch with a loss in South Beach to the
Miami Heat, but won against the Indiana Pacers at home.
On Saturday, Mike Conley scored 21 points and the Grizzlies beat the Pacers,
Zach Randolph had 18 points and 13 rebounds, Mike Miller scored 13 points off
the bench and Marc Gasol played through a Grade 1 ankle sprain to donate 10
points and nine boards.
"That's as complete a win as we've had all season," Memphis head coach David
Joerger said. "I think that's the best performance we've had all season from
start to finish for 48 minutes."
The Grizzlies held Indiana to 27-of-74 (36.5 percent) shooting, snapping their
three-game losing streak in the series.
The Wolves have dropped two in a row and are all but done in regard to the
postseason. Minnesota trails that final playoff spot by 6 1/2 games.
On Sunday night, the T'Wolves led by 22 points in the first half, and by 10 at
the start of the fourth quarter, but fell, 127-120, to the Phoenix Suns at US
Kevin Love racked up 36 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists for the
Timberwolves, but his turnover in the final minute helped send Minnesota to
back-to-back losses for the first time since the All-Star break.
"They're ahead of us (in the standings), obviously we looked at that. That was
our playoffs right there and we lost," Love said of losing ground in the
playoff race. "It hurts a lot more than others."
Kevin Martin scored 25 points in a losing cause, while Ricky Rubio tallied 19
with nine assists.
Nikola Pekovic missed another game with a right ankle injury.
The two teams have split two meetings this season with the visitor prevailing
each time. Minnesota is just 1-8 in its last nine in Memphis.
03/24 10:29:30 ET