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Grizzlies banged on the boards in lopsided loss to the Timberwolves

Terry Davis

When a team gets outrebounded – at home – the way the Grizzlies were on Friday night by the Timberwolves, the outcome is inevitable barring some extremely rare deviation from the norm.

No such rarity saved Memphis as Western Conference leading Minnesota (17-4) ruled the boards (54 to 28) and exited FedExForum after inflicting a 127-103 thumping.

For the Grizzlies (6-15), the misery of losing at FedExForum continued, with Memphis having won only once in 10 outings.

“We talked about the urgency we have to have,” said Memphis head coach Taylor Jenkins.” They punked us in the first half on the boards.”

Crediting a “really, really good basketball team,” Jenkins noted the force employed by this year’s version of the Timberwolves, particularly their effectiveness driving downhill.

“They put a lot of pressure on you in that situation,” he said. “And then when we guarded really well, we couldn’t get a rebound … they got second chance points because we didn’t do our work, and we fouled them way too much.”

It was Minnesota’s second walloping of Memphis within two weeks. The last was a 119-97 on November 26.

In the last meeting in Memphis between the two teams the Timberwolves beat the Grizzlies 119-97 on November 26. That was the night that injured Grizzly Marcus Smart was captured on a fan’s phone as he energetically lamented what he described as an embarrassing effort. The Grizzlies then put together a 3-1 stretch, including the season’s first home win – a 105-91 victory over the Utah Jazz on November 29.

Derrick Rose, who was being guarded by Minnesota’s Mike Conley Jr. (10), worked his way to this layup. Rose finished with 6 points and 7 assists. Former Grizzly — and still a fan favorite — Conley had 19 points and 7 assists. (Photo: Terry Davis/The Tri-State Defender)

The Grizzlies got off to a fast start on Friday night against the Timberwolves, opening a 5-point lead. Minnesota stormed back to take the largest lead of first quarter (33-24) with 45 seconds left in the quarter. A quick 7-0 run, including three-pointers by Vince Williams Jr. and Jaren Jackson Jr., pulled the Grizzles to within 2 points (33-31) to end the quarter.

Minnesota’s All-Star guard Anthony Edwards left the game with an injury in that opening quarter and not return.

During the first quarter Edwards left the game with an injury and did not return.

After Memphis tied the game in the second quarter, the Timberwolves opened an 8-point lead (46-38) with 6:21 left in the half. The Grizzlies made it a one-point game (52-51) with 1:30 left in the half before an 8-4 Minnesota run sent the Timberwolves into halftime with a 60-55 lead.

In the third quarter, the Timberwolves showcased their force with a 16-2 run in span of about 4 minutes. The quarter ended with the Grizzlies in a 98-79 hole. Memphis was outscored 29-24 in the fourth quarter.

Minnesota’s dominating performance featured 15 offensive rebounds, 9 forced turnovers and 23 second-chance points compared to only 9 for the Grizzlies.

Jaren Jackson Jr. takes it to Minnesota’s Karl Anthony-Towns, who led the Timberwolves with 24 points (along with 7 rebounds). (Photo: Terry Davis/The Tri-State Defender)

The Grizzlies were led by Jaren Jackson Jr. with 21 points (only 2 rebounds).

Assessing how the game got away from the Grizzlies in the third quarter, Jackson said, “…little game plan stuff people won’t really see. Rotations that hit some shots. Maybe some turnovers, but really just defensively and rebounding.”

David Roddy (13 points, 3 rebounds) pointed to Minnesota’s positioning as he described the Timberwolves’ rebounding advantage.

“Rudy Gobert (16 points, 20 rebounds) is down there and he’s under the basket. (They) tipped a lot of basketballs out to (their) guards, and (were) kicking out for threes and things of that nature … we have to clear them out the paint.”

Memphis center Bismack Biyombo (2 points, 3 rebounds in 20 minutes) linked the Grizzlies’ rebounding struggles to “how we set the tone to start the game. They had 15 offensive rebounds. They had 23 second-chance points. That is the game right there. We have got to be better. We have been playing great basketball. We have to hold one another accountable.”


The Grizzlies host the Dallas Mavericks at 7 p.m. Monday. Dallas has won two of the three games played this season. With Dallas’ All-Star Luka Dončić out, Memphis captured a 108-94 win on the road on Dec. 1.

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