Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/26

Game 1: Friday, November 26th
Game 2: Saturday, January 1st
Game 3: Tuesday, February 8th
Game 4: Friday, March 18th

Timberwolves 83

(33-34, 15-19 away)

Grizzlies 88

(38-27, 22-10 home)

Coverage: FSS

7:00 PM ET, March 18, 2005

FedExForum, Memphis, TN

1 2 3 4 T
MIN 19 16 22 2683
MEM 12 29 17 3088

Top Performers

Min: K. Garnett 30 Pts, 19 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Blk

Mem: B. Wells 16 Pts, 6 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

J-Will leads Memphis with 17 off the bench

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Unselfish play is helping the Memphis Grizzlies overcome injuries to key players.

Jason Williams came off the bench to score 17 points, and Lorenzen Wright and Bonzi Wells added 16 each Friday night to lead the Grizzlies to an 88-83 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Wells and Williams returned from injuries, but the Grizzlies still were without leading scorer Pau Gasol and Stromile Swift. Forward Shane Battier was limited because of a 101-degree fever, but Memphis spread the scoring with five players in double figures.

"We're an unselfish group," Grizzlies guard Mike Miller said. "Any time you're playing with an unselfish group, they are hard to guard because the ball is swinging around and guys are getting open shots."

Miller scored 14 points for Memphis and James Posey finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds as the Grizzlies won for the eighth time in their last 10 games. Minnesota's playoff hopes took another hit with the Timberwolves losing for the fourth time in six games.

Kevin Garnett led Minnesota with 30 points on 12-of-17 shooting and 19 rebounds. Troy Hudson and Latrell Sprewell added 11 each.

In the fourth quarter, Minnesota's problem with turnovers struck again. The Timberwolves had six miscues in the first six minutes of the quarter, and Memphis began to make 3-pointers.

"We didn't take care of the ball, and didn't play with the same kind of energy," Garnett said. "... We had those lapses where we turned the ball over, and you can't do that."

The Grizzlies went 3-of-5 on 3s in the middle stages of the final period, and Miller's 15-footer with about three minutes left made it 79-72. The final margin was as close as Minnesota got the rest of the way.

Memphis gave the Timberwolves a chance to get off to a quick start, missing its first eight shots and not scoring until Posey's free throw with 7:27 left in the first period. But Minnesota could only manage five points during the early slump.

The Grizzlies received a spark from Wells and Williams off the bench in the second quarter, hitting 11 of 18 shots from the field and building a 41-35 lead at the half. The Memphis reserves ended the night with 47 points, compared to 41 for the starters.

By the break, Garnett already had his 58th double-double of the season, scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. But Memphis was willing to let Garnett have his normal performance as long as he didn't have a strong supporting cast.

"It's going to be hard to stop KG," said Wright, one of those who defended Garnett. "He gets so many touches, and he's such a great player. But I think we shut everybody else down. That was our plan -- stop everyone else and let KG get his. He's going to get his regardless."

Memphis held a 58-57 lead heading into the fourth period, but Minnesota had the momentum, outscoring the Grizzlies 17-6 to close out the third quarter.

"We did some good things at the end of the third quarter that, if we could have kept it up, we would have won the ballgame," Hudson said.

But that momentum didn't carry much past the early stages of the final period.

"We couldn't come up with a big stop when we needed it," Minnesota coach Kevin McHale said.

The Grizzlies believe they have weathered the injuries and maintained their playoff hopes and are in good shape now with help on the way.

"Stro and Pau are right around the corner," Wright said. "When we get everybody back, we're going to be dangerous."

Game notes

Memphis activated Wells before the game and placed Dahntay Jones on the injured list. Wells missed seven games with a herniated disc. ... Timberwolves G Sam Cassell, still nursing a hamstring injury, did not play. ... Garnett has scored in double figures in 231 consecutive games, the longest such streak in the NBA. ... Officials reviewed Hudson's 3-point shot at the end of the third period and ruled it came after the horn. ... Gasol, who has missed 22 games since being put on the injured list Jan. 25 with a foot injury, took part in light shooting in pre-game warmups but did not dress for the game. ... Posey's double-double was the first of the season. ... The victory marked the first time Memphis has won a season series against the Timberwolves, winning three out of four. The teams split the series in the Grizzlies' inaugural season, 1995-96.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 83 88
FGM-FGA 35-74 (.473) 35-81 (.432)
3PM-3PA 3-11 (.273) 5-19 (.263)
FTM-FTA 10-13 (.769) 13-19 (.684)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-42 12-41
Assists 22 15
Turnovers 14 7
Steals 6 5
Blocks 8 5
Fast Break Points 6 12
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (0/0) 16 (3/0)
Largest Lead 9 12

Top Performers

Kevin Garnett Garnett
Points: 30
Reb: 19
Ast: 6
Stl: 0
Blk: 2
Bonzi Wells Wells
Points: 16
Reb: 6
Ast: 1
Stl: 2
Blk: 1