MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- A return to the basics netted immediate
results for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Minnesota built a 21-point lead at the half and went on to snap
a four-game road losing streak.
"We came out and we got back to doing some of the things we
were doing before," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. "We
played basic basketball, defended well, and rebounded extremely
Rasho Nesterovic and Wally Szczerbiak each added 14 points for
Pau Gasol led Memphis with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Jason
Williams scored 11 points on 5-for-15 shooting as the Grizzlies
absorbed their second consecutive lopsided defeat. Memphis lost by 42
points in Orlando on Monday night.
"Minnesota is the best executing team in the NBA," Memphis
coach Sidney Lowe said. "I warned my team of that. They have a
star in Garnett, and they have a star in Brandon. They also have an
emerging star in Szczerbiak."
Minnesota capitalized on the absence of Memphis center Lorenzen
Wright. The Grizzlies' leading rebounder was placed on the injured
list Thursday with a non-displaced fracture just below the left
"We prepared with Wright and without Wright," Garnett said.
"It didn't matter much. The thing we wanted to do was be
aggressive and try to take some things away from them. We focus on
us. We're not really focused on the opposition."
Garnett, Brandon and Nesterovic each scored 12 points in the
first half as Minnesota built a 58-37 halftime lead and was never
The Timberwolves outrebounded Memphis 28-14 and had 10
second-chance points in the first half, compared to only one for
Memphis, which shot 38 percent in the first half.
The Timberwolves maintained their 20-point lead through much of
the third and entered the fourth leading 87-65.
Memphis shot 37 percent from the field and was outrebounded
"We should always play as hard as our opponents," Memphis
rookie Shane Battier said. "The first half, I think we didn't play
as hard. The second half, I thought we fought pretty well, but as a
whole we couldn't make the move."
Battier finished with nine points and 10 rebounds.
Memphis had won its previous two home games before the defeat Wednesday. ... Brandon was 4-for-4 from the foul line. He
has missed only one free throw this season in 44 attempts. ...
Garnett's double-double was his 14th in 17 games this season. ...
Minnesota's reserves scored 26 points, and the Timberwolves
improved to 6-1 when their reserves score 25 or more points.
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