Wolves ready to make push for playoff spot starting Thursday vs. Memphis

Following the All-Star break, the Timberwolves return to action Thursday at Target Center vs. Memphis. With 23 regular season games to go, the Wolves sit in the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference. They trail No. 6 Denver by 2 1/2 games. The top-6 teams are guaranteed a playoff spot, with seeds 7-10 playing for the final two positions.

We spoke with All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns and coach Chris Finch following practice late Wednesday afternoon.

***Click the video box above to hear from Towns and Finch***

Memphis Grizzlies (41-19, third in the Western Conference) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (31-28, seventh in the Western Conference)

BOTTOM LINE: Memphis faces the Minnesota Timberwolves after Ja Morant scored 44 points in the Grizzlies’ 123-119 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Timberwolves are 20-18 in conference matchups. Minnesota ranks second in the Western Conference with 11.9 offensive rebounds per game led by Jarred Vanderbilt averaging 3.1.

The Grizzlies are 28-12 against Western Conference opponents. Memphis has a 4-3 record in games decided by less than 4 points.

The two teams match up for the fourth time this season. The Grizzlies defeated the Timberwolves 116-108 in their last meeting on Jan. 14. Desmond Bane led the Grizzlies with 21 points, and Anthony Edwards led the Timberwolves with 30 points.

TOP PERFORMERS: Karl-Anthony Towns is scoring 24.4 points per game and averaging 9.7 rebounds for the Timberwolves. Edwards is averaging 17.6 points and 3.0 rebounds over the last 10 games for Minnesota.

Bane is shooting 41.9% from beyond the arc with 2.9 made 3-pointers per game for the Grizzlies, while averaging 17.9 points. Morant is shooting 51.5% and averaging 31.1 points over the past 10 games for Memphis.

LAST 10 GAMES: Timberwolves: 7-3, averaging 122.3 points, 43.8 rebounds, 29.5 assists, 8.1 steals and 5.8 blocks per game while shooting 47.3% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 116.6 points per game.

Grizzlies: 8-2, averaging 124.0 points, 52.3 rebounds, 27.0 assists, 9.7 steals and 6.1 blocks per game while shooting 48.3% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 111.5 points.

INJURIES: Timberwolves: McKinley Wright IV: out (arm).

Grizzlies: Xavier Tillman: day to day (thigh), Yves Pons: day to day (thigh), Dillon Brooks: out (ankle).