Tue, 26 Jan 2021

Youth will be served when Grizzlies face Timberwolves

Field Level Media
13 Jan 2021, 07:55 GMT+10

One of last season's surprise rookies meets this year's top pick for the first time when the Memphis Grizzlies visit the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

The clubs will duel in a rematch Friday, also on the Timberwolves' home court.

Memphis hopes to have better success with the NBA'sCOVID-fighting scheduling concept than it had when swept at home by the Los Angeles Lakers last week.

The Grizzlies have since rebounded to win two in a row, with Brandon Clarke contributing 21 and 15 points respectively in the consecutive victories.

The 24-year-old averaged 12.1 points and 5.9 rebounds last season after he was the 21st overall pick in the draft. He led all rookies in rebounds and had the ninth-most points in the shadow of teammate Ja Morant, who captured the league's Rookie of the Year honors.

Morant has missed the last seven games with a severely sprained left ankle and he is not expected back until February.

The Grizzlies are coming off a 101-91 win at Cleveland on Monday that was their third victory in four road outings this season.

"These guys embrace the challenge of being on the road," Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said afterward. "You have to create your own energy when you're not at home, and they've been able to do that."

Minnesota had lost three in a row at home, and seven consecutive overall, before turning the tables on San Antonio in a back-to-back sequence between the teams on Saturday and Sunday. The Spurs won the opener 125-122 in overtime, before the Timberwolves earned the draw 24 hours later with a 96-88 victory in the rematch.

The victory came in rookie Anthony Edwards' worst game as a pro. He missed all eight of his shots in a scoreless effort, which was just the second time he did not score at least 12 points in a game.

Edwards had 13 points in the opener against the Spurs on Saturday. That came on the heels of a season-best, 26-point effort in a loss at Portland last Thursday.

Ten games into his rookie season, the No. 1 overall pick in the draft is averaging 13.6 points and 2.9 rebounds.

Edwards, 19, admitted recently he is not concerned with his less-than-eye-catching scoring numbers so far.

"I feel like if there's an open man, just throw it to him," he said. "It's just that simple. You don't want to make it too hard. Just if it's an open man, throw it to him. If somebody's helping, if you're getting double-teamed, somebody (has) to be open. That's just how I look at it."

D'Angelo Russell paced Sunday's victory with 27 points.

He had yet to join the Timberwolves from Golden State when the Grizzlies swept three straight from Minnesota in the first half of last season.

Karl-Anthony Towns, who returned from a dislocated left wrist to put up 25 points and 13 rebounds in the overtime loss to San Antonio, had double-doubles in two of the three defeats at the hands of Memphis last year. He did not play Sunday.

The Grizzlies' Dillon Brooks averaged 28.3 points in the three victories over Minnesota last season.

--Field Level Media

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