Prince Scores 18 As Grizzlies Beat Wolves 105-88
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The new guys are making the Memphis Grizzlies look pretty good.
Tayshaun Prince scored 18 points, hitting all eight of his shots from the field, and the Memphis Grizzlies pulled away in the second quarter before coasting to a 105-88 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.
“I wasn’t. I missed a free throw,” Prince said with a small smile when asked about his perfection, which matched a franchise record for field goals made in a game without a miss.
Austin Daye, who along with Prince was obtained from Detroit in the three-team trade that sent leading scorer Rudy Gay to Toronto on Jan. 30, was one of three Grizzlies to score 16 points. He was 6 of 9 from the field, including 2 of 4 outside the arc. Ed Davis, who came from Toronto in the swap, was 2 of 3, making the newcomers a combined 16 of 20 in the game for 38 total points.
Mike Conley and Zach Randolph each finished with 16 points. Conley also handed out eight assists, while Randolph grabbed eight rebounds to help the Grizzlies win their second straight. Marc Gasol added nine points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
Luke Ridnour and Ricky Rubio led the Timberwolves with 17 points apiece, and both finished with four assists. Mickael Gelabale scored 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting and Alexey Shved had 10 points and nine assists for Minnesota.
Rubio’s 17 were one short of his season high.
The loss continues a tailspin for the Timberwolves, who have lost 15 of their last 17 — including eight straight on the road.
“We’ve got to take care of the ball,” said Timberwolves forward Dante Cunningham, who finished with nine points and five rebounds in his return to Memphis where he played last season. “We let them get out in the open court. That is tough to get back on a team that is so aggressive. They took advantage of it, and it was hard for us to get back in the game.”
Memphis outscored the injury-depleted Timberwolves 50-32 in the paint, and had a 20-4 advantage in fast-break points. The Grizzlies, as they did in Friday’s win over Golden State, did a good job in spreading the ball, recording a season-high 30 assists on 41 field goals.
The fast-break difference was particularly troubling for the Timberwolves, who could never get anything going in transition and were hampered by 20 turnovers.
“We like to play in the fast break,” Rubio said, “but (the Grizzlies) get back on the defense pretty good, and that is why they are a good team. They are a hard team to beat. They didn’t let us get any easy baskets.”
There were six ties and six lead changes in the game, but all of those were in the first half. Memphis has held opponents under 100 in all 28 home games so far, the longest such streak to start a season in the NBA since the shot-clock era began.
Memphis matched its biggest lead at 78-57 early in the fourth quarter. The Timberwolves would put together nine unanswered points to pull within 11 near the 7-minute mark, but they could get no closer the rest of the way.
By that point, Prince had made his eight shots, and Hollins hesitated to put him back in so he wouldn’t ruin the perfect shooting night.
Memphis carried a 47-37 lead into halftime. Conley had 12 points, connecting on 4 of 8 shots, including 2 of 3 outside the arc, in the opening half. Memphis was already establishing its advantage in transition, outscoring the Timberwolves 16-0 on the fast break.
“That was a big difference,” Minnesota coach Rick Adelman said.
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