The Wolves battled back from an early 15-point deficit, trailing 20-5 in the first quarter. A 9-0 run by the Wolves made it 20-14, after one quarter.
After the first half the Timberwolves were down 43-37, a close back-and-forth throughout the entire first half. At halftime Minnesota's bench was outscoring it's starters 19-18, there was also no starter with an assist. Rubio had 8 assists after the first half, which accounted for the majority of Minnesota's 9 first-half assists. Unlike the game vs. the Spurs, the TWolves were shooting 35% from the field against Memphis.
A 9-0 run to begin the second half put Minnesota up 46-43. In the final quarter, Minnesota was leading 68-63 with 7:45 left in the game when Memphis went on a 15-0 run to take a 78-68 lead, which never saw Minnesota regain a lead. A stretch between the 7:15 and 2:45 minute marks (thereabouts) saw Minnesota goes scoreless for 4.5 minutes including 5 consecutive missed field goals & 4 consecutive missed free throws, before a three by Ridnour at 2:45.
A big turning point in the game, was a drive to the basket, by Tony Allen who was fouled by Luke Ridnour. The refs decided it was a flagrant 1 foul, that gave Allen two free throws (made both) and Memphis the ball back. A flagrant 1 foul is unnecessary contact. You can watch the replays a hundred times and see that Luke's foul wasn't--he got part of the ball! Rick Adelman said after the game that, that was a BIG call--saying the refs saw something different than he did!
The Timberwolves had to "play the fouling game" with just under 30 seconds to go. A three by Ricky Rubio made it an 84-83 Memphis lead with 16.5 seconds to play. Minnesota fouled on the inbound, Memphis hit both free throws. Next possession a risky pass to a slicing Kevin Love made it 86-85. Another foul and another two made free thrrows made it 88-85. The Wolves needed a three, as there was just over 3 seconds to play. Rudy Gay fouled Luke Ridnour on the inbound sending him to the line for two free throws. Ridnour hit the first one. On his second try, he intentionally missed it by throwing it at the rim, however he crossed the line to quick and was called for a lane violation. It then made it an 86-88 Memphis lead, Minnesota fouled again, Memphis hit both free throws and that was the game.
Tonight's game saw Kevin Love become the first player since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975 to record at least 20 points and 12 rebounds in his team's first six games!
The Grizzlies were without Zach Randolph, but that didn't matter. "Having the big fella out we definitely have to raise our focus level up a little bit and execute better offensively," O.J. Mayo said following the game. "Execute better defensively and try to give ourselves a chance to win every night.
Let's take a look at some statistics for each team tonight
Fast Break PTS
PTS in the Paint
Team TOs (PTS off)
Let's take a look at some of both team's key players' individual stats...
Kevin Love: 27pts, 14rebs, 2blks, 3fls, 3tos, 11-21 FG, 2-6 3PT, 3-4 FT, in 38 min.
Luke Ridnour: 13pts, 2rebs, 2ast, 5fls, 2tos, 2stls, 4-10 FG, 1-3 3PT, 4-5 FT, in 30 min.
Ricky Rubio: 12pts, 4rebs, 10ast, 2stls, 2fls, 4tos, 5-9 FG, 2-2 3PT, 0-2 FT, in 32 min. off bench
Michael Beasley: 11pts, 10rebs, 1ast, 3fls, 5tos, 5-16 FG, 1-3 3PT, 0-2 FT, in 36 min.
Tony Allen: 20pts, 4rebs, 1blk, 2stls, 3fls, 8-8 FG, 4-4 FT in 32 min.
Rudy Gay: 19pts, 8rebs, 1ast, 1blk, 3stls, 2fls, 2tos, 7-17 FG, 1-3 3PT, 4-4 FT, in 40 min.
O.J. Mayo: 14pts, 4rebs, 2ast, 1stl, 3fls, 1to, 4-9 FG, 1-2 3PT, 5-7 FT, in 24 min. off bench
Mike Conley: 12pts, 3rebs, 8ast, 3stls, 4fls, 4tos, 3-13 FG, 0-1 3PT, 6-6 FT, in 38 min.
"They were too lax in their approach," Rick Adelman said. "I told them, you haven't won anything. Don't come out there thinking you just won the championship." There's a very good chance the Timberwolves come back strong in Friday's game against Cleveland.
That's all for now, stay tuned for some pictures from tonight's game. We'll also have a video recap sometime tomorrow as well as a preview for Friday's game vs. Cleveland. Thanks for reading and GO WOLVES!
"We had the victory and we let it go."--Ricky Rubio