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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, January 4th (All times eastern)

Memphis Grizzlies (2-3) at Minnesota Timberwolves (2-3), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A much-improved Minnesota club resumes a five-game homestand tonight when it welcomes the Memphis Grizzlies to Target Center.

The Wolves have been impressive thus far on the residency, giving Eastern Conference powerhouse Miami all it could handle prior to dismissing a pair of long-time nemeses, Dallas and San Antonio.

After routing the Mavs by 17 points on New Year's Day, All-Star Kevin Love scored 24 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, as the Timberwolves downed the Spurs, 106-96, on Monday.

Michael Beasley and Luke Ridnour both had 19 points for Minnesota, which halted a 16-game losing streak to San Antonio. The Wolves had not defeated the Spurs since January 3, 2007. Promising rookie point guard Ricky Rubio had six points on 3-of-8 shooting and added three assists.

"We feel great with how things are going," said Love. "We just need to keep improving."

After tonight's game Minnesota will finish its current residency against Cleveland on Friday before hitting the road for a pair of contests.

The Grizzlies, who are opening a three-game road trip tonight, got back in the win column on Tuesday when Rudy Gay led six Memphis players in double figures, netting 23 points in a 113-96 home win over the Sacramento Kings.

Sam Young and O.J. Mayo added 20 and 16 points, respectively, off the bench for Memphis, which was fresh off an embarrassing 40-point loss at Chicago on Sunday and was without All-Star forward Zach Randolph.

Point guard Mike Conley, who missed the previous two games with a sprained ankle, chipped in 14 points and seven assists in his return, while Marc Gasol logged 14 points and 15 rebounds for the victors. Tony Allen rounded out Memphis' double-digit scorers with 10 points.

"If we come out and run our plays like we did tonight...we're going to be pretty effective," Young said.

The Grizz got bad news earlier Wednesday when an MRI revealed that Randolph tore the right medial collateral ligament in his right knee in Chicago and will miss six to eight weeks of action. The 11-year veteran had led the team in scoring (14.8 points) while ranking third in rebounding (7.5) through the first four games this season.

Memphis, which will also square off with Utah and the LA Lakers on its trek, has won four straight and seven of its last eight games with the Wolves and dominated things recently, sweeping the season series a year ago by an average of 14.8 points.

01/04 15:02:26 ET