Game: Memphis Grizzlies @ Minnesota Timberwolves
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Odds: Grizzlies -2.5, Timberwolves +2.5
The Minnesota Timberwolves host the Memphis Grizzlies tonight in Minneapolis. The T-Wolves will have a difficult task on their hands if they want to end their third three-game losing streak of this season. Karl-Anthony Towns, one of Minnesota’s best players, will miss significant time with a right calf strain. He will not be available tonight.
Towns went down in the third quarter of Monday’s 142-127 loss to Washington. The three-time All-Star turned to sprint up the floor when the injury occurred. Minnesota head coach Chris Finch said Towns’ injury is a huge blow to the T-Wolves. Towns had started all 21 games for Minnesota so far this season. He is averaging 20.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game.
Minnesota will rely even more on third-year guard Anthony Edwards and offseason acquisition Rudy Gobert with Towns out of the lineup. On Monday, Gobert scored 19 points and contributed seven rebounds while Edwards added 29 points and eight rebounds.
The bigger task for Minnesota and Finch might be figuring out a way to slow down opposing offenses. The T-Wolves gave up 137 points to Golden State on Sunday before allowing 142 to the Wizards on Monday. Minnesota takes on a pretty hot Memphis team that is eighth in the NBA in scoring (115.7 ppg). The Grizzlies have won their last two straight and averaged 129 points in the process.
Ja Morant recorded his fifth career triple-double on Sunday to tie a team record. Morant had 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 14 assists in a 127-123 win over the New York Knicks. The Knicks tried a number of ways to slow down Morant, but the All-Star guard continually figured out a way to beat New York’s defense.
In his last game against Minnesota on Nov. 11, Morant came close to another triple-double. He led Memphis to a 114-103 victory over the Timberwolves. Morant scored 28 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and finished two assists short of the triple-double. In that game, Edwards led the T-Wolves with 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting, including 3-of-4 from three-point range.
In Sunday’s win over the Knicks, Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 21 points and grabbed five rebounds, while Dillon Brooks added 23 points. In the first game against Minnesota, Brooks scored 21 points. The Grizzlies have now beaten Minnesota in three straight games and in five of the last six. The two teams met in last year’s Western Conference playoffs in the first round.
Memphis is just 1-7 ATS in its last eight road games, but the Grizzlies are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games on the road against Minnesota. Memphis is also 12-5 ATS in the last 17 games overall against the Timberwolves.
Minnesota is 1-5 ATS in its last six games and 1-4 ATS in its last five at home. The total has gone Under in five of the T-Wolves’ last six games against Memphis. The Over is 4-1 in Memphis’ last five games.
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