Grizzlies blow up Timberwolves with jaw-dropping playoff returns

Minneapolis – The job was almost done, and Memphis Grizzly’s defender Desmond Bain looked on the court, smiled triumphantly, and raised his eyebrows.

The Grizzlies overcame not more than two 20-point losses. At the beginning of the second quarter, they were 26 points behind, forced by the Timberwolves’s penalty defense, but retreated with their fists and reduced the deficit to 7 in the half. The 15-0 run that helped them do that included Bain’s three 3 points.

But it did not work.

The Grizzlies finished 25th in the third quarter with 3:10, while coach Taylor Jenkins shouted “one ball” in the building’s deafening sound. He reminded his team to focus on each owner and not instead on a terrible deficit.

After each stop of the grizzly bear, the arena became quieter. They outscored the Timberwolves, 50-16, for the rest of the game, again with the help of Bain from deep and relentless defensive effort, giving them just 12 quarter-points.

Minnesota fans walked out of the building, stunned by the result they had half-expected from the futility of the Timberwolves years. The Grizzlies love to brag when they deserve it, and on Thursday night they really did.

“I have never been down 20 times and I have won,” Bain said. “It was just a weird game. It was a weird game.”

The focus of the Grizzlies is often focused on Ja Morant, a sparkling 22-year-old guard whose dunks seem to be helped by a pogo stick. But Morant spent the entire season trying to get more attention from the rest of his team.

On Thursday night, the Grizzlies defeated the Timberwolves, 104-95, to lead two games — one to lead in the Western Conference Seven Best Round Series. It was a game that gave Morant more ammunition when he was campaigning for his teammates. They won even though Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Dillon Brooks were 11 out of 38 after the start.

“They deserve more respect and recognition for what they do for us on the floor,” Morant said of his teammates as he sat next to Tius Jones, his backup. “Like you said, we all had a hard time, but that’s why we got this guy with me and the rest of my teammates to bring us. That’s why we really are the deepest team in the league and we are very good.”

This was not the first time the Grizzlies had proven their ability to succeed even when key players struggled or were not.

Morant missed 25 games in the regular season, while the Grizzlies lost just five. When the team faced league-leading Phoenix Suns on April 1 for four starters, Memphis still won.

Bane did not play in that game against the Suns, but he was the main reason for the Grizzlies’ success this season. He finished 30th in the draft in 2020 and became a rookie in the rookie season this year – averaging 9.2 points per game to 18.2 points per game in the regular season.

“Last year I felt like I was studying all year, trying to learn as much information as I could to use in the years to come,” Bain said in an interview Thursday morning. “Obviously, I am still studying. I am a young player, but I have a different role, so I am very aggressive and I am happy. “

Bain averaged 17 points in the Grizzlies’s 1 loss to the Timberwolves and 16 in their 2 wins in the game. On Thursday, he led all the scorers with 26 points. The 4th game is Saturday.

The series pits two young teams who do not have playoff experience but are confident. The Grizzlies had the second best record in the league this year. The Timberwolves used a late push to get to the playoffs.

As soon as the Grizzlies lose Game 1, the memories of last season will come in handy. They defeated Jazz in the first game of the first round of the playoffs last year, then Utah won the next four games.

When asked before the match if Morant wanted to steal a win for the Timberwolves on his own court, he said: “I want to steal two.”

When asked why he loved road games so much, Morant was equally laconic.

“Sending a crazy message to the home of their fans,” he said.

Timberwolves fans threatened Morant every time he touched the ball, while the Minnesota defense preferred to stop him. Compared to his usual performances, so it happened. Morant, who averaged 27.4 points per game in the regular season, had just 16 points on Thursday. But the victory was enough for him. After a while, Morant asked for the ball and threw it in the rafters when the crowd, seemingly more bored than mad, left.

Jones, who was presented by Morant after the game “God with a point”, scored 11 points with 4 assists and 5 rebounds.

Brandon Clark scored 20 points and climbed the podium after Morant and Jones. When they crossed each other, Morant happily scolded him for hiding the jewelry under his shirt. Morant wanted to shine.

The early playoff baptism of this young Grizzly team is likely to be rewarded as their career progresses.

“This is developing the best player you can get,” said Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins. He added: “The mental focus that you have to have. We are proud of the attention to detail throughout the season. Game plan discipline, night and night. This is all the work that our boys do. When you get to this level and play a game of high stakes, ups and downs. Just the rest are even whole.

Bane is well aware of how unusual his first two seasons in the NBA were. Not everyone comes to a young team where they can make an immediate impact and also reach the playoffs.

“Some players continue their whole career without going to the playoffs,” Bain said Thursday morning. “And to be able to do that during my first two years in the league, I want nothing more. I want to go to the playoffs every year.”

A smile flashed across his face as he said what he thought and thought of such a future.

In the short term, Bain thinks bigger.

“We want to make some noise this post-season,” Bain said. “We want to run. “Obviously it’s an interesting time and we are sure where we are and what we have done, but there is still a lot to do.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.