MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Unselfish play is helping the Memphis
Grizzlies overcome injuries to key players.
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
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.
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
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,"
But that momentum didn't carry much past the early stages of the
"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."
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