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National Basketball Association
Preview
Memphis at Minnesota
When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 28, 2015
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Memphis Grizzlies were rolling off victories and flying high but have suddenly hit a rough patch as they enter Saturday’s road game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Memphis won 16 of 19 games before falling to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday and then suffered a 97-79 home-floor drubbing on Friday by the Los Angeles Clippers. The Grizzlies had ascended to second place in the Western Conference and the Houston Rockets lurk just 1 1/2 games behind.

Minnesota is experiencing another long season, and Friday’s 96-89 loss to the Chicago Bulls was its fourth in six games. Veteran Kevin Garnett was held out on the first night of a back-to-back so he could be available in front of the home fans against Memphis. The Grizzlies struggled to deal with Clippers center DeAndre Jordan on Friday as he corralled 22 rebounds, one shy of the record for a Memphis opponent.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, SportSouth (Memphis), FSN North Plus (Minnesota)

ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (41-16): Memphis posted its second-lowest output of the season in the loss to the Clippers, and coach Dave Joerger pinpointed the issue. “We’re playing too slow; we walked the ball up and down the court,” Joerger told reporters. “We aren’t screening hard enough, not cutting hard; we’re not moving the ball. We are holding the basketball.” Starting point guard Mike Conley had one of his poorer games of the season with four points on 2-of-11 shooting, and forward Jeff Green missed all six of his attempts.

ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (13-44): Garnett’s body can no longer deal with the back-to-backs, and they taxed him physically while he was Brooklyn prior to the recent trade. “All year, I’ve been having issues with back-to-backs,” Garnett told reporters. “The situation is, I haven’t done most back-to-backs. I told them we’ll see how it goes, be patient with me with that and I don’t see that probably changing or nothing.” Point guard Ricky Rubio had 15 points and 10 assists in the loss to Chicago for his second double-double in four games, but he is shooting just 11-of-42 during the stretch.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Memphis recorded a 105-101 win over the Timberwolves on Oct. 29, and Minnesota avenged it with a 90-89 victory on Feb. 6.

2. Minnesota SG Kevin Martin scored 18 points against the Bulls to end a streak of six straight 20-point efforts.

3. Memphis PF Zach Randolph has double-doubles in 21 of his last 28 games.

PREDICTION: Grizzlies 92, Timberwolves 85
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Memphis 41-16 L2 23-6 18-10 6-3 35-13 6-5 25-11
Minnesota 13-44 L1 8-20 5-23 0-2 13-42 2-7 5-28
Last Meeting
Memphis Minnesota
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
2/6/15 MEM 89 MIN 90 89 30 52.2 90 43 43.2
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Memphis M. Conley 15 46.2 2
Minnesota A. Wiggins 18 54.5 6
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Memphis Z. Randolph 10 0 10
Minnesota T. Young 8 3 5
Assists Player  
Memphis M. Conley 7
Minnesota R. Rubio 5
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Memphis M. Gasol 1098 49.1 288
Minnesota A. Wiggins 936 43.6 204
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Memphis Z. Randolph 587 180 407
Minnesota G. Dieng 529 202 327
Assists Player  
Memphis M. Conley 301
Minnesota Z. Lavine 169
Quickchart Matchup
Memphis Off vs  Minnesota Defense
99.8 Points For
105.6 Points Against
45.7 FG%
48.5 FG%
43.0 Reb
43.2 Reb
Minnesota Off vs  Memphis Defense
97.7 Points For
95.6 Points Against
43.5 FG%
44.2 FG%
43.2 Reb
42.9 Reb