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Grizz beat fatigue and the Timberwolves


On the painful side of a three-game skid, the Memphis Grizzlies took care of business at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday (Feb. 8).

On the painful side of a three-game skid, the Memphis Grizzlies took care of business at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday (Feb. 8).

 Grizz guard O.J. Mayo forces a jump ball call as he ties up a Timberwolves player. (Photo by Warren Roseborough)

It helped to be back in the FedExForum, where the players will you several factors converge to make it easier to get over the hump of playing tired and fatigued during a home stretch.

“Guys are more rejuvenated and taking care of their bodies,” said Grizz guard Mike Conley. “We are getting full tub treatments now since we’re home. I hope guys will continue to take care of their bodies.”

After playing nine of the previous 12 games on the road, Memphis is in the midst of a stretch of playing seven of the next eight games at home.

Grizz guard O.J. Mayo said being home after an extensive road stint makes a difference in the momentum of the game.  

“Anytime you’re able to get home, sleep in your own bed and get some home cooking, it makes a difference,” said Grizz guard O.J. Mayo. “We’re getting rest so we can capitalize and get some more home wins, like tonight.”

The Grizzlies came out with a burst of energy, defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves 85-80. Fans roared their approval of the high-energy dunks thrown down by forward Rudy Gay, who finished the game with 19 points and nine rebounds.

Two days earlier against the San Antonio Spurs, an all-too-familiar pattern was on display: Grizzlies play lackluster in the first half, fight to get ahead in the second half, only to lose their way because of fatigue in the final quarter. The 89-84 loss was the third to the Spurs this season.

Grizz Coach Lionel Hollins said on Monday that he wasn’t disappointed with the team’s effort in the game.

“I have to do a better job of managing the minutes and trying to have confidence in some of the perimeter people to do their job so that we cut down the minutes of our guys a little bit,” Hollins said.  “Especially in the first part of the game, so that they will have a little more in their tank at the end of the game.”

Hollins made the adjustment going into Wednesday’s game against the Timberwolves (13-12). Marreese Speights and Quincy Pondexter started, along with Gay, Conley and Marc Gasol. Speights finished with a career-high tying 15 rebounds. Pondexter started in his second consecutive game, scoring a career-high 17 points and six rebounds.

“I want to commend Quincy (Pondexter),” Hollins said. “He came in and had a really nice game and played freely. It was something we really needed. All those guys who played well, we really needed it.”

Memphis out rebounded Minnesota 59-47 and outscored them 20-12 in fast break points.

“It’s starting to get late,” Gay said. “Guys have to start doing those little things that they haven’t been doing before because honestly, guys are getting tired.”

“There are guys that still don’t know what we’re doing,” Hollins said. “We’re drawing things up, we’re showing them on film, but repetition is definitely the best way to improve. We’re just holding on and like tonight, it’s just a scrappy night.”

“The start of the third quarter we played really tired,” said

Timberwolves head Coach Rick Adelman said his team really played tired at the start of the third quarter. “Our effort has to be a little higher than that.”

Timberwolves guard Jose (J.J.) Barea led the team with 17 points and six assists.

“We didn’t come out with energy,” Barea said. “That put us deep in the hole. With teams like this, you can’t fall far behind.”


Tony Allen has missed two straight games due to a sore hip/knee and is listed as day-to-day.

The Grizzlies will face the Indiana Pacers on Friday (Feb. 10), the Utah Jazz on Feb. 12 and the Houston Rockets on Feb. 14, all in the FedExForum.


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