Player grades from Minnesota Timberwolves’ loss to the Memphis Grizzlies

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns takes a shot. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns takes a shot. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports /

The Minnesota Timberwolves fell apart in the second half in Friday night’s loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

120. 211. Final. 108. 86

The Minnesota Timberwolves trailed for much of the first half, made a nice second-quarter run and took a brief, one-point lead in the third before Memphis took care of business, wresting control of the game and running away with it early in the fourth quarter.

Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards were both fantastic throughout the night but received little help, with only Naz Reid joining them with double-figures in the scoring column.

While the Wolves did a nice job defensively on Ja Morant, holding him to four first-half points and just 11 on the game, the Grizzlies drained 19 of 39 3-point attempts (48.7 percent) and got 19 points and 11 rebounds from Jonas Valanciunas. For much of the game, the Wolves just didn’t scramble and recover at an acceptable level and the Grizzlies rained jumpers from deep and dominated the glass, grabbing 14 offensive boards and outrebounding the Wolves by a 53-39 margin on the night.

After Minnesota used a flurry of 3-pointers to gain a one-point lead in the third, the Grizzlies went on a 12-3 run to close the frame — most of it with Towns on the bench — and took control heading into the fourth quarter.

The Wolves trailed by 20-plus point for a good chunk of the final frame and only drew within 12 points in what was effectively garbage time.

Minnesota Timberwolves Player Grades vs. Memphis Grizzlies

A-. Karl-Anthony Towns was the best player on the floor in this game, finishing with 30 points (11-25 FG, 1-8 3P, 7-7 FT) and 16 rebounds and zero turnovers.. Despite a rough shooting night from deep, Towns was 10-of-15 inside the arc and effective defensively as well while dealing with a dangerous Grizzlies frontcourt.. Center. Minnesota Timberwolves. KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS

A. Anthony Edwards finished with the second-most field goal attempts on the team, but a 9-for-14 night still seemed somewhat quiet. The rookie had 22 points and was efficient from 3-point range, making two of his three attempts. He also tied his career-high in assists with six and did a solid job with his shot selection in addition to distributing to teammates. Even without the gaudy field goal attempt and scoring numbers, this was one of Edwards’ better all-around games.. Wing. Minnesota Timberwolves. ANTHONY EDWARDS

Jaden McDaniels struggled mightily with foul trouble, which limited him to just 21 minutes. He only attempted four field goals on the night, making two of three tries from outside the arc. It was unfortunate because it limited any opportunity the Wolves might have had to play him at the 3, which could have been beneficial on a night when Minnesota was out-classed on the glass and struggled to contain and contest on the perimeter.. Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. JADEN MCDANIELS. C

B-. With Ricky Rubio out with back spasms, Jordan McLaughlin received his first start of the season. He drained a pair of 3-pointers as part of the Wolves’ brief period of offensive effectiveness midway through the second quarter but was otherwise quiet. McLaughlin had six points, four assists, one steal, and one block in 33 minutes and did a solid job defensively on Morant.. Point Guard. Minnesota Timberwolves. JORDAN MCLAUGHLIN

D. After two rough games back following his 12-game suspension, Malik Beasley had a strong game in Wednesday’s win over New York. On Friday night, however, Beasley took a massive step backward, shooting just 2-of-12 from the field and 1-of-5 on 3-point attempts en route to five points and three rebounds. He tied for a team-worst plus-minus of -18 and struggled mightily on both ends of the floor. The Wolves simply can’t put an effective offense on the floor if Beasley shoots this poorly, and that was part of their downfall against Memphis.. Shooting Guard. Minnesota Timberwolves. MALIK BEASLEY

Minnesota Timberwolves. NAZ REID. A. Naz Reid was great off the bench, putting up 18 points (5-7 FG, 2-2 3P, 6-7 FT), five rebounds, and two blocks in only 23 minutes. He was a huge part of the Wolves staying in the game in the second and third quarters and played a significant amount of time at the 4 alongside Towns, in part due to McDaniels’ foul trouble.. Center

Jaylen Nowell had an up-and-down night. He shot 4-of-9 from the field and had three assists, but he also committed four turnovers and a -15 plus-minus. A couple of Nowell’s turnovers were particularly bad, and his shot selection left something to be desired on this night.. Wing. Minnesota Timberwolves. JAYLEN NOWELL. C+

Other Notable Minnesota Timberwolves Players

Juancho Hernangomez played 16 minutes off the bench and shot just 1-of-4 from the field, including three misses from outside the arc. He did pitch in four rebounds and two assists but was a -16 on the night.

Josh Okogie returned after missing five games due to health and safety protocols. He didn’t score in 20 minutes until making a 3-pointer in garbage time, pitching in two rebounds and a steal.

Jarrett Culver, Jake Layman, and Jarred Vanderbilt all only played four minutes as part of garbage time, with Culver the only one even taking a shot attempt. He scored four points in his four minutes of play.

Next. How defenses slow down Anthony Edwards. dark

Next up for the Minnesota Timberwolves

The Wolves head up to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers on Saturday night. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. CT.