Valanciunas leads Grizzlies past Timberwolves 120-108
Jonas Valanciunas had 19 points and 11 rebounds, eight Grizzlies scored in double-figures and Memphis used a second-half burst for a 120-108 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.
Grayson Allen added 15 points for Memphis, and De’Anthony Melton keyed the second-half rally with 14 points, going 4 of 6 from 3-point range in the game.
Karl-Anthony Towns led the Timberwolves with 30 points and 16 rebounds, while rookie Anthony Edwards added 22 points and six assists, while shooting 9 of 14 from the field.
Minnesota went about five minutes without scoring in the third, and Memphis led 92-84 after closing the quarter with a 12-3 rally.
The Grizzlies outscored the Timberwolves 12-4 opening the fourth for a 16-point lead with eight minutes left, and the rally turned into a 35-9 run for a 25-point lead.
Memphis scored a franchise-record 80 points in the paint in the previous game between the teams — a 118-107 Grizzlies win on Jan. 13. This time, Minnesota’s defense collapsed on Valanciunas when he got the ball in the post. That allowed the Wolves to outscore Memphis 44-38 in the paint, but the Grizzlies connected on 19 3-pointers to make up the difference.
Memphis led by as many as 13 in the first half, but Minnesota rallied to cut the Grizzlies’ advantage to 68-66 at the break.
Timberwolves: Have not won consecutive games since the opening two of the season. … G Ricky Rubio was a late scratch with back spasms. He was replaced by John McLaughlin, who made his first start of the season and third of his career. … G Josh Okogie returned after missing five games due to coronavirus protocol. … Towns grabbed his 1,200th offensive rebound in the first quarter.
Grizzlies: Have won five straight in the series. … Allen (sore left hip) and Brandon Clarke (personal reasons) returned to the active roster, Allen to the starting lineup. … G Ja Morant was limited to four points in the first half, going 1 for 4 from the field. He finished with 11 points and seven assists.
Timberwolves: At Philadelphia on Saturday
Grizzlies: At Philadelphia on Sunday.