Grizzlies beat Wolves 114-106 to go to second round


This first-round series between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Minnesota Timberwolves was everything from a snooze fest for Memphis, even when they were down by double digits three times going into the fourth quarter.

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The Grizzlies finished off the Timberwolves with another relentless and tenacious finish. The Golden State Warriors will be their next opponent.

Both Desmond Bane and Dillon Brooks each scored 23 points in Game 6 on Friday night, and the Grizzlies won 114-106 to eliminate the Timberwolves from the NBA playoffs.


According to Brooks, “we’ll always find a way to fight” even if the team doesn’t get off to the best of beginnings.

Ja Morant was quiet again, but the Memphis Grizzlies held on for their second straight double-digit lead in the fourth quarter thanks to Brandon Clarke’s 17 points and 11 rebounds off of the bench.

As Bane, the Grizzlies’ leading scorer in the series, put it, “We keep together, remain on track, and I believe that really showed on the big stage this season.”


The Grizzlies have gone to the NBA Finals for the first time in seven years, and will face the Golden State Warriors, the three-time defending champs. Sunday marks the first game of the series, which will take place in Memphis.

“It was a physical and mental fight,” said Morant, who finished the series with 17 points and 11 assists on 4-for-14 shooting from the field. Outside of Game 2, the victories were “very nasty,” but “we got it done.”

In the first quarter, Anthony Edwards scored 16 of his 30 points for Minnesota. There were 24 points from Jaden McDaniels and Karl-Anthony Towns in a bench role, but the team still struggled in the second half.


In the fourth quarter, “we demonstrated it in our shot selection, and that’s baked into our DNA right now,” coach Chris Finch said. “We’re aware that this is an opportunity to grow. No one of us will be able to simply rescue the day.

After becoming the first team in NBA history to overcome a double-digit-point fourth-quarter deficit in a playoff series, the Grizzlies’ “here we go again” sensation was obvious as the Wolves’ 84-74 third-quarter advantage soon evaporated.

The game was tied at 97 at the halfway mark of the fourth quarter following three-pointers by Bane and Brooks. Brooks fouled out only 26 seconds later.


Nobody expected me to go 1 for 10 again,” he said. I’ve been doing this for a long time. My brain works,” Brooks, who shot 9 of 19 from the field including 5 of 6 from long range, added.

At 3:03, Bane swished another three-pointer from distance to give the Grizzlies their first lead since they were up 39-38 with 9:03 left.

For a Wolves club that, like so many others this season, was a step and a hop behind the Grizzlies on the glass, the death shot arrived shortly after.


A pair of Tyus Jones 3-point attempts from the wing went amiss, but Memphis was able to recover for both, and Ja Morant converted the second one for a layup and a four-point advantage.

Jones, a former Timberwolves player and native of Minnesota, countered McDaniels’ last-second 3-pointer with a 3-pointer of his own with 1:34 remaining to restore the Wolves’ two-possession lead.

The Wolves’ supporters showed out in force despite the series’ previous two wasted leads and the franchise’s shaky past, giving the Wolves a significant edge.


Latrell Sprewell, a former star of the Minnesota Timberwolves, sat courtside, a few seats down from Adam Thielen, a native of the state. Local football, basketball, and lynx head coaches P.J. Fleck, Ben Johnson, and Cheryl Reeve were all in attendance, and the crowded downtown arena was lit up in bright blue light sticks the whole time.

After the game, Finch and Towns thanked the crowd by clapping and waving to them as they left the court.

“How much this city, this team, have given me, truly made me like basketball again,” Towns said.



Patrick Beverley has been one of Minnesota’s most important players in this series and throughout the season because of his energy, experience, and determination.

It was his first field goal of the game, but it was the Wolves’ greatest margin of victory. He smirked at Morant on the way back. It was the most improved player in the NBA who returned a grin and then came up with an offensive rebound, layup, and foul to complete the three-point play. The Grizzlies went on a 12-0 run, which Beverley completed with a 3 pointer.


Wins are really essential in Minnesota right now.

Target Center played home to a Game 7 in 2004, when the Timberwolves defeated the Sacramento Kings in the second round, but this was the first time they had hosted a Game 6 in their short playoff history.

Game 5 of that year’s Western Conference Finals saw the Wolves defeat the Lakers here, but they went on to lose the series in Game 6 in Los Angeles to the eventual champions. After losing in first round elimination games in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002, they’ve only won two knockout games at home in 1997 and 1999.



Bane made 27 of 56 3-pointers in the series for the Grizzlies. That’s already the most postseason goals the squad has ever made. In the 2011 playoffs, O.J. Mayo scored 20 points from the 3-point line in 13 games.

Greg Monroe made his first appearance of the series as the team’s backup centre in place of Naz Reid, who was unavailable due to personal reasons.


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