Despite the Minnesota Timberwolves (23-23) late second half surge, they lost to the Memphis Grizzles 94-90. Minnesota only scored 37 points in the first half, their lowest total of the season.
Forward Kevin Love scored 28 points and had 16 rebounds and 22 of those points were scored in the second half, including 18 points in the third quarter. Guard Kevin Martin added 14 points and 3 rebounds for the Timberwolves, forward Dante Cunningham and guard J.J. Barea each scored 10 points off the bench.
Memphis Forward Zach Randolph scored 13 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter — including a shot from the paint with 2:27 left that put the Grizzlies up for good. Guard Courtney Lee scored 16 points, Mike Conley had 12 points and guard Tayshaun Prince added 11, including a three-pointer with 59.6 seconds left that put the Grizzlies up by six.
The Timberwolves were down by 13 at halftime, but they managed to rally and pull within a one point lead into the fourth quarter and were even up by three (83-80) after Love’s basket with 5:13 left.
But Memphis took over from there and finished the game on a 13-7 run. That ended a game with two distinctly different halves.
The first half was all Memphis. The Grizzlies spent the first quarter hitting every shot they wanted. The result was 22 points in the paint in a 30-22 quarter in which both center Marc Gasol and Lee had nine points and did not miss a shot.
That lead grew to 14 points midway through the second quarter and was 13 at halftime, thanks to a dead Timberwolves offense.
But all that changed in the third quarter, when Love came alive.
He made 7 of 9 shots from the field and 3 of 4 3-pointers for 18 points. He added seven rebounds and an assist as the Timberwolves came all the way back to take a 67-66 lead — their first of the game — on Love’s jumper with 12.8 seconds left. His only miss was a half-court attempt at the buzzer.
The Timberwolves finished the quarter on a 15-3 run and outscored the Grizzlies 30-16 in the quarter, 12 minutes that finally woke the crowd.
Up next for the Wolves is at the Atlanta Hawks Saturday 02/01. The game starts at 6:30 p.m. You can watch the game on Fox Sports North or listen on WCCO-AM 830.