Skip to main content

Wolves devour Grizzlies; In-Season Tournament situation report

Minnesota needs to beat OKC and get some help to advance to the knockout rounds of the In-Season Tournament.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

The injury-riddled Grizzlies were just what the doctor ordered as the Minnesota Timberwolves cruised to a 119-97 victory Sunday in Memphis, quelling any concerns following a home loss to Sacramento 48 hours earlier. 

Minnesota led by as many as 26 points and emptied the bench for the final two minutes en route to their 12th win of the season. 

Key individual stats: 

  • Anthony Edwards: 24 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists
  • Karl-Anthony Towns: 18 points, 8 rebounds
  • Rudy Gobert: 13 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks
  • Mike Conley: 18 points, 10 assists, 6-of-9 from 3
  • Naz Reid: 12 points, 6 rebounds
  • Kyle Anderson: 6 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists
  • Nickeil Alexander-Walker: 17 points, 3 assists

The Wolves shot 53.1% from the field and 44.1% from 3-point range, led by 6-of-9 from deep by Mike Conley, who scored 23 points in his return to the city that was his NBA home for the first 12 seasons of his career. 

Mike Conley

Nov 24, 2023; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Mike Conley (10) shoots for three as Memphis Grizzlies guard Jacob Gilyard (0) defends during the first half at FedExForum. 

The Grizzlies were without Ja Morant (suspension), Steven Adams (knee), Xavier Tillman (knee), Marcus Smart (foot) and others. And as expected, one of the league's top defenses was stifling, holding the Grizzlies to 38.6% shooting and a dismal 27% from 3-point land. 

After an off day Monday the Timberwolves host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday. It's an In-Season Tournament game so it counts extra as Minnesota looks to secure a trip to to the knockout rounds of the first ever NBA Cup. 

Only eight teams reach the knockout rounds and Minnesota's loss to Sacramento on Friday night put them in a tough spot. In fact, it's going to be very difficult for Minnesota to advance. Here's how explains the situation... 

West Group C can be simple or complicated. If the Kings beat the Warriors on Tuesday, they advance. If the Warriors beat the Kings, they can advance with a Timberwolves loss to the Thunder. If the Timberwolves and Warriors win, we revert to point-differential among the trio. The Kings at plus-29 have a big advantage over the plus-5 Warriors and the minus-3 Timberwolves.

So, yeah, the Timberwolves need to obliterate the Thunder and have the Warriors beat the Kings to have a shot at the knockout rounds.