Riding high on a franchise-record 10-game winning streak, the Memphis Grizzlies will have a chance at some payback when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday.
Superstar guard Ja Morant scored 29 points to pace the surging Grizzlies to a 116-108 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday. The win was Memphis’ 20th in its past 24 games.
“No. 1, we’re one of the best teams in the league,” Morant said. “I feel like that’s No. 1. And No. 2, we’re showing how deep our roster is. No matter what’s thrown at us, we bounce back from it and come out and win games. We’ve got to keep it rolling, continue to play together, continue to battle.”
Rookie Ziaire Williams scored a career-high 17 points while making his third career start. Tyus Jones also finished with 17 points after making a career high-tying five 3-pointers.
Jaren Jackson Jr. collected 13 points and 11 rebounds to record consecutive doubles-doubles for the first time in his career.
“This is what we do, man, we’re just enjoying it,” Jackson said. “We have a forward mentality, but we’re in the present. We get what’s going on right now.”
What’s going on is the Grizzlies are ascending in the standings and settling a few scores in the process. Tuesday’s win over the Warriors avenged their most recent loss — a 113-104 setback to Golden State on Dec. 23.
Now that brings us to Thursday, as Memphis has another opportunity to avenge one of its few defeats, after it was on the losing end of a 138-95 drubbing against Minnesota on Nov. 20. The Grizzlies had won the previous seven encounters against the Timberwolves, including a 125-118 overtime victory on Nov. 8.
Minnesota saw its four-game winning streak come to a halt Tuesday with a 128-125 defeat against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Anthony Edwards scored 20 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter in a losing effort. Karl-Anthony Towns added 26 points and D’Angelo Russell collected 18 points and 10 rebounds.
“We acted like we were just going to walk in, get a win, and it’s going to be sweet,” Towns said. “I don’t know if we thought, like, we’re the Warriors all of a sudden.
“We tried to flip a switch, the switch wasn’t flipping, and then finally we got some shots to go in. It’s not the way to win a basketball game.”
Perhaps that overconfidence stemmed from the previous game for the Timberwolves, as they shot a sterling 50.9 percent in a 141-123 win over the Houston Rockets on Sunday. Minnesota, as a team, and Towns (40) each produced season-best point totals.
Towns — who averages team-high totals in points (24.6) and rebounds per-game (9.3) — has averaged 23 points and 8.5 rebounds across his two previous meetings with the Grizzlies. Russell recorded a team-high 28 points and Edwards chipped in 23 in the most recent clash.
Desmond Bane paced Memphis with 21 points that night. He’ll look to find his shot after a dismal 3 of 14 shooting performance from the floor on Tuesday.
–Field Level Media