Recap: Memphis Grizzlies take care of business against the Timberwolves

The Memphis Grizzlies entered a highly anticipated matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves, their first matchup since the playoffs and the Rudy Gobert trade. The national TV spotlight and the city’s new jerseys have enhanced the atmosphere for this game.

You could tell the adrenaline was flowing early: long shots and silly fouls. However, offensive firepower was hot out of the gate. The first quarter was a duel between the pair of Dillon Brooks and Ja Morant and the tandem of Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards. The cubes were exchanged easily. The Grizzlies were attacking the Wolves’ down coverage with the middle game, and the Wolves got to the paint and the free throw line. The Grizzlies closed the 1st quarter with a score of 33-30.

The Grizzlies came out of halftime to start the 2nd quarter and led by as many as 13 points. While Desmond Bane found his groove in that stretch, he was fueled by good run ball movement and defensive stops. Trouble began for both teams as Towns picked up his 4th foul, and Rudy Gobert, Steven Adams and Brandon Clark each picked up their 3rd. Ja Morant and Anthony Edwards traded dazzling buckets in the first half, as the Grizzlies led 72-63 to close the second quarter.

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The Timberwolves started the 3rd quarter with more urgency, chipping away at the Grizzlies’ lead. Then Desmond Bane happened. With Ja Morant sidelined midway through the period with foul trouble, Bane stepped up to provide the offensive punch needed to hold off Minnesota’s surge, scoring 11 points and dishing out 2 assists. The Grizzlies regained their defensive advantage and managed to go into the 4th quarter with a 12-point lead (96-84).

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The Memphis Grizzlies dominated throughout the 4th quarter, maintaining a double-digit lead for the most part. Ja Morant brought this game to Lob City with a quick stop — he connected with Brandon Clarke and Santi Aldama on consecutive alley-oops.

Later, Ja Morant converted an and-1, giving Karl-Anthony Towns his 6th foul of the game. The Grizzlies ultimately took care of business and cruised to a 114-103 victory in the 4th quarter.

Fast shopping to go

  • The Grizzlies had Rudy Gobert take over a chunk of their defense. The Grizzlies had an effective 3-time Defensive Player of the Year. They attacked him in the pick-and-roll, taking advantage of the separation and switch created by the screen to get to the sweet spots of the buckets. The Grizzlies also attacked the paint relentlessly, with Gobert not bothering to protect the rim. Their aggressiveness set the tone for the Grizzlies in this one, en route to victory.
  • The Grizzlies took care of business as great teams do. The Grizzlies had a lot of togetherness in this game. They were locked in from the start, and their execution and urgency were solid. The Grizzlies weathered some storms, mainly 3-point shooting woes and some runs from Minnesota. However, they stayed level, stuck to their game plan and got the win.
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