Gasol busts out of slump as Grizz grind out win vs. T-Wolves

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The Minnesota Timberwolves played with a
lack of emotion for the second straight night.

The Timberwolves were blown out 107-87 by the Memphis Grizzlies
on Wednesday night, a day after losing by 24 to Detroit. The loss
was the fourth in the last five games for Minnesota.

"The first half was a carry-over from last night," Minnesota
coach Dwane Casey said. "... We've got to get over that and
regroup. We're fragile right now."

While the Timberwolves struggled, Pau Gasol, Memphis' leading
scorer, broke out of an offensive slump and scored 30 points to
lead Grizzlies.

Gasol, who had averaged 11.3 points in the past four games and
had only eight shots against Miami on Tuesday, connected on 9-of-14
shots and all 12 of his free throws to lead five Grizzlies in
double figures. Gasol also had eight rebounds and six assists.

"I was really focused and really aware of the fact that I
needed to pick it up, have a good start and be really aggressive"
Gasol said. "So, that's what I did."

Eddie Jones added 22 points for Memphis, including 10 in the
fourth period, while Mike Miller scored 18 off the bench.

"I was just being aggressive," Jones said. "... I was just
attacking the rim, and trying to make things happen."

Bobby Jackson scored 15 points and Shane Battier finished with
13 and five blocked shots.

Kevin Garnett led the Timberwolves with 29 points and Wally
Szczerbiak finished with 15. Rookie Rashad McCants had 14 points,
while Trenton Hassell scored 10 points.

"It was one of those night's where it was just contagious,"
Garnett said of Minnesota's slow start. "(Memphis) didn't miss a
shot. That sort of deflated us a little bit, and we were playing
catch up."

Minnesota, which trailed by as many as 28 in the game, made a
mini-rally early in the fourth period as Garnett started taking the
ball to the hole. The Timberwolves were within 12 at one point. But
Jones scored seven straight Memphis points to extend the lead back
to 18 with just over eight minutes left.

The Timberwolves never got the deficit under 14 the rest of the

Minnesota missed 11 of its first 14 shots as the Grizzlies built
the lead to 11. The advantage could have been larger if Memphis had
not missed a trio of layups and Gasol failed to convert a dunk when
he was fouled.

But that didn't stop the Grizzlies' from extending the lead to
as many as 27, while shooting 63 percent. The 62-38 halftime margin
matched Memphis' most productive first half point total of the

"They weren't missing," Garnett said. "In the first half,
they were shooting what? Sixty-four percent something stupid like
that? That's crazy."

Asked if he agreed that complacency carried over from the
Detroit loss, Garnett replied: "We didn't come out with the energy
we were supposed to. ... They made shots. That made it look like we
weren't doing anything."

Gasol was one of four Grizzlies in double figures by halftime,
scoring 18 points.

Memphis maintained the 20-point lead through much of the third,
before carrying an 82-65 advantage heading into the final period.

Game notes
The game marked the home debut of veteran G Chucky Atkins,
who was signed earlier this week by the Grizzlies after his release
from the Wizards. Atkins is expected to help run the point with
Jackson after starter Damon Stoudamire had season-ending surgery
following a Dec. 30 knee injury at Portland. ... Garnett had scored
10 points by the 9-minute mark of the second quarter, marking his
285th straight game in double figures. ... The game started a
stretch of seven road games over the next eight for the T'wolves.
... Minnesota F Mark Madsen played 8 minutes and didn't take a
shot. Madsen has not attempted a field goal in January, and his
last made field goal was Dec. 18. ... McCants' 14 points tied his

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