National Basketball Association
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