MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Desmond Bane scored 21 points, Jaren Jackson Jr. added 20 and the Memphis Grizzlies pulled away in the final minutes for their 11th straight victory, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 116-108 on Thursday night.
Ja Morant had 16 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, and John Konchar added 15 points and a career-best 17 rebounds.
Anthony Edwards led the Timberwolves with 30 points. D’Angelo Russell had 29 points and six assists, and Karl-Anthony Towns added 25 points and nine rebounds.
The game was much different than the last time the teams played when the Timberwolves won 138-95 on Nov. 20, Memphis’ largest losing margin of the season. In this one, neither team held a double-digit advantage until late in the game.
The teams exchanged leads beginning with four minutes left. Two free throws by Brandon Clarke (14 points) with 1:47 left gave the Grizzlies the lead for good. Memphis extended it with a layup by Bane, and Konchar’s 3-pointer with 1:01 left stretched the lead.
Memphis, which struggled in the first half, got untracked in the third quarter as Morant scored 11 points. That was part of the Grizzlies outscoring Minnesota 37-24. That gave Memphis its biggest lead of the game headed into the fourth 90-84.
Through the first half, Edwards and with help from Russell controlled the Minnesota offense. Edwards, in particular, was effective connecting on 7 of 12 shots for 25 points, including four 3-pointers.
But the Timberwolves’ defense kept Morant in check, frustrating the Grizzlies point guard. Morant made only one of his six shots, missing all four from outside the arc. Three turnovers only added to the frustration, along with Memphis going 3 of 16 from outside the arc.
That contributed to Minnesota leading 60-53 at the break.
Timberwolves: Either Towns or Edwards has led Minnesota in scoring in 31 of the team’s 42 games. … Minnesota is 2-16 when trailing after three quarters. … Jarred Vanderbilt had 13 rebounds.
Grizzlies: F Killian Tillie was added to the health and safety protocols Thursday afternoon and did not play. … C Steven Adams missed his fourth game under health and safety protocols. … Konchar had 10 rebounds in the first half.
Timberwolves: Host Golden State on Sunday night.
Grizzlies: Host Dallas on Friday night.