MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Zach Randolph scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while Mike Conley added 22 points to help Memphis Grizzlies cruise to a 104-95 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.
Tony Allen, who has moved into the Memphis starting lineup since Rudy Gay injured his shoulder, and Sam Young each scored 16 points for the Grizzlies (32-27).
Minnesota’s Kevin Love recorded his 44th double-double in a row with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Love, an All-Star selection, has now equaled Moses Malone’s streak of consecutive double-doubles for Philadelphia in 1982-83. While most of the double-doubles in the streak have featured little suspense, Love didn’t secure this one until he grabbed the rebound of a Luke Ridnour shot with 3:02 to play.
Wayne Ellington added 16 points for Minnesota while Ridnour finished with 15.
The victory allowed the Grizzlies, who are in the mix for a Western Conference playoff spot, to bounce back from Tuesday night’s loss at Denver and win for the first time since Gay’s injury. Memphis has also won 13 of its past 17 games.
Minnesota, which has not won a home game in February, lost for the sixth consecutive time. With Sacramento winning at Orlando earlier on Wednesday, the Timberwolves now have the fewest victories in the Western Conference.
While Randolph was left out of the All-Star Game, he outplayed Love for the second time this month. Randolph repeatedly got strong position in the offensive paint and made 10 of his 16 field goal attempts. Defensively, Randolph was again physical against Love in a matchup of two players averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds on the season.
In two games this month, Randolph combined for 47 points and 23 rebounds while Love was limited to 25 points and 21 rebounds.
Strong play from Randolph, who scored eight first-quarter points, helped get Memphis going.
A night after never leading in a loss at Denver, the Grizzlies were much more aggressive from the start. Memphis repeatedly attacked the basket against a Minnesota team that allows more points than any in the NBA. The Grizzlies, who led 54-42 at halftime jumped ahead 10-2 before the game was three minutes old and never trailed again before the break.
Minnesota (13-45) attempted to make the Grizzlies sweat in the second half, but never could take a lead.
The Timberwolves used a 10-0 run late in the third quarter to close within five points, 73-68. In the fourth, Ellington made consecutive 3-pointers to cut Memphis’ lead to 81-78 with 9:17 to play. The Grizzlies quickly responded by scoring the next seven points to regain control.
Notes: Newly acquired forward Anthony Randolph was in uniform for Minnesota, but did not play. … University of Minnesota guard Austin Hollins, the son of Memphis coach Lionel Hollins, was in attendance at the game. … Wolves forward Michael Beasley was sporting a new look as he released the braids in his hair that he had all season. … Wolves PG Jonny Flynn missed his third game in a row because of a sore groin. … After struggling on the road early this season, Memphis has now won six of its past nine road games.
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