Minnesota Timberwolves: Player grades from win over Grizzlies

Karl-Anthony Towns and Dario Saric of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Karl-Anthony Towns and Dario Saric of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Karl-Anthony Towns led the Minnesota Timberwolves to an easy win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night, breaking a five-game losing streak.

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The Minnesota Timberwolves entered Memphis on a five-game losing streak overall and a nine-game road losing streak dating back to the first game after the All-Star break — a span of more than a month.

But Karl-Anthony Towns dominated proceedings to the tune of 33 points and 23 rebounds and the Grizzlies struggled to find any offensive rhythm, shooting 30.3 percent from beyond the arc and 37.5 percent from the field overall.

The Grizzlies led for much of the first quarter before the Wolves went on an 8-0 run with Towns on the bench, knotting the game at 25 at the end of the frame.;

The second quarter was much of the same, with the Grizzlies pulling back in front and Minnesota getting to within one by halftime.

But the Wolves dominated the third quarter, with aggression from Andrew Wiggins and Josh Okogie punctuating another outstanding game from Towns, who had his way in the paint. The Wolves outscored Memphis by a 35-18 margin in the third quarter, all but putting the game away.

As the game wore on, the Grizzlies were more than content to “ICE” the high pick-and-roll continuously, which left Towns wide-open to launch uncontested 3-pointers from the top of the key — his favorite shot, and an inexplicable choice by the Grizzlies.

Towns ultimately shot 4-of-7 from 3-point range — remember, he’s shooting 51 percent on threes since Feb. 1, while shooting 5.1 attempts a game during that span — and hit a couple of huge threes to seal the game late in the fourth quarter after Memphis threatened to pull within double digits.

A+. Towns enjoyed his seventh game this season with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds. He’s now made at least two 3-pointers in 14 consecutive games dating back to Feb. 11. On Saturday in Memphis, Towns finished with 33 points (12-20 FG, 4-7 3P, 5-5 FT), 23 rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block. While not always matched up directly with him, Towns dominated <a rel=. Center. Minnesota Timberwolves. KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS

A-. Wiggins is playing much better of late, and despite a rough first quarter that featured a couple of bad turnovers and easy missed shots, he continued to be aggressive and finished with a relatively efficient 22 points (9-15 FG, 1-3 3P, 3-3 FT), four rebounds, one assist and one block.. Guard/Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. ANDREW WIGGINS

Power Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. DARIO SARIC. B. Similar to Wiggins, Saric had a poor first quarter but followed it up with a strong second half and was a big part of the Wolves’ push to take a double-digit lead. The Wolves’ starting power forward was scoreless in the first half but finished with 11 points and drained 3-of-6 3-pointers, including a couple of big ones as the Wolves were cementing their lead in the fourth quarter.

Minnesota Timberwolves. JOSH OKOGIE. A-. Okogie continues to come on strong at the end of the year. He was everywhere in this one, somehow finishing with 17 points (5-11 FG, 1-3 3P, 6-6 FT), plus chipping in six rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block. His energy was key to the lead that the Wolves built in the third quarter and he did a solid job defensively as well.. Guard/Forward

ANTHONY TOLLIVER. B. Tolliver had a good game, making two of his six 3-point attempts but was even better on the other end of the floor, drawing a key charge and blocking three shots. Tolliver also had three assists and two rebounds.. Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves

B. Bates-Diop had a bit of a bounce-back game, shooting 4-of-6 from the floor and scoring on a couple of nice drives to the basket en route to eight points, two rebounds and two steals.. Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. KEITA BATES-DIOP

Dieng was aggressive and active on offense and effective on defense, but it resulted in only a 1-of-6 shooting night and two rebounds in 16 minutes.. Forward/Center. Minnesota Timberwolves. GORGUI DIENG. C

The rest of the players

Jerryd Bayless had played 16 minutes but only attempted one shot and had a final line of zero points, three rebounds, one steal, one block, and one assist.

Cameron Reynolds played only three minutes and was 0-for-1 from the floor. He didn’t record any other statistics as his playing time continues to shrink.

Next. Remaining silver linings to Wolves' season.... dark

What’s Next?

The Timberwolves are off until Tuesday when they host the Los Angeles Clippers at Target Center at 7 p.m.