NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, March 18th (All times Eastern)
Minnesota Timberwolves (23-41) at Memphis Grizzlies (44-21), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Memphis Grizzlies look to bolster their playoff status when they return home for back-to-back games, starting with Monday's showdown with the Minnesota Timberwolves at FedEx Forum.
The Grizzlies will also welcome Oklahoma City to town and are 25-8 as the host this season. They currently occupy the fourth spot in the West, just a game behind the Los Angeles Clippers for the No. 3 slot.
Memphis went 2-2 on a recent trip and lost the last two installments of the swing. In a 90-84 loss at Utah on Saturday, Jerryd Bayless scored 24 points off the bench and Zach Randolph added 19 and nine rebounds. Mike Conley and Marc Gasol scored 13 and 11 points, respectively.
"We were playing a little bit too slow and something we really need to work on, to pick up the pace," said Bayless.
The Grizzlies, who own a 25-8 home record, have won seven in a row at home and have dropped two in a row overall since a six-game winning streak.
Minnesota will play three straight on the road and has lost seven straight away from the Target Center. The Timberwolves will also visit Sacramento and Phoenix and are just 7-25 as the guest.
The Wolves ended a two-game slide and won for the third time in the past 13 contests with Sunday's 97-95 triumph versus New Orleans. Nikola Pekovic returned to action and made two go-ahead free throws with 14 seconds remaining to lead Minnesota to victory.
"Good win," Minnesota head coach Rick Adelman said. "We made two or three plays down the stretch that won the games for us."
Pekovic missed the last nine games with an abdominal strain, while Andrei Kirilenko sat out the previous eight contests with a calf injury. Kirilenko had two big blocks down the stretch and posted eight points and five boards.
Derrick Williams finished with 28 points for Minnesota, which looks to spoil Memphis' chances of improving its playoff position.
The Timberwolves suffered a 105-88 loss at Memphis on Feb. 10 this season and are mired in a nine-game losing streak in this series. The Grizzlies are 12-1 in the past 13 encounters with Minnesota, losers of seven straight at FedEx Forum.
03/18 10:31:48 ET