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Wolves Lose Ground in Playoff Hunt
March 26, 2018

Much to the dismay of the 16,290 in attendance at Target Center, the Minnesota Timberwolves managed to bungle their way to a 101-93 defeat at the hands of the lowly Memphis Grizzlies Monday night.

With Denver hot on the Wolves’ tail for the eighth and final playoff spot in the NBA Western Conference, Minnesota played the Memphis game in a fog, unable to sustain any lead they managed against the undermanned Grizzlies, playing without stars Mike Conley and Tyeke Evans.

Someone named Wayne Selden Jr. was transformed into LeBron James by the Timberwolves in the fourth quarter, scoring 14 of his 23 points on the night.

Memphis coach J.B. Bickerstaff used 10 previously-unknown players and Marc Gashol to mow down the Timberwolves. Entering the game, Memphis had lost 17 consecutive road contests and 23 out of 24 of their last games. The Griz currently are in 14th place in the 15-team NBA West.

Memphis is last in the entire NBA in scoring and 27th in point differential. Their last road win was accomplished last year. Yet, the Grizzlies held Minnesota to just 11 points in the fourth quarter. Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau used only eight players, and the Wolves ran out of gas in the period.

Many years ago, there was a Minnesota Pipers coach named Jim Harding, whose previous position was at LaSalle University. Accustomed to college coaching, Harding ran his starters ragged and was fired. Thibodeau also is known for his short bench, using up his starters to the point of exhaustion.

Jeff Teague finished with 25 points, but only two in the fourth period. Karl-Anthony Towns had 15 points but only two in the last quarter, and Taj Gibson had 18, none of which were registered in the fourth quarter,

“Hard to explain,” mumbled Thibodeau after the game. Hard to explain? A child could explain. Thibodeau ran his players into the ground against an inferior team and lost.

In addition to Selden, Gashol had 20, and Jarell Martin, JaMychal Green, and Andrew Harrison had 11 each.

“We didn’t step up,” said Thibodeau, “and we didn’t respond.”

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