The MINNESOTA and the MEMPHIS will both be gunning for a victory on 12/4/2017 at 8:05 PM when they meet in a game matchup.
MINNESOTA vs MEMPHIS
When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, December 4, 2017
Where: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN North (Minnesota), FSN Southeast (Memphis)
PREDICTION: Timberwolves 104, Grizzlies 98
Oddsmakers currently have the MEMPHIS listed as point favorites versus the MINNESOTA, while the game’s total is sitting at .
The Memphis Grizzlies will attempt to get interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff his first win and also end an 11-game losing streak when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.
ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (14-10): Butler averaged 16.2 points and 4.4 assists in October, 17.9 points and 4.5 assists in November and is at 22 and seven through the first two games this month as he gains comfort with his new team. Center Karl-Anthony Towns leads the NBA with 19 double-doubles after going for 15 points and 12 rebounds in Sunday’s win. Minnesota is 1-1 thus far in a stretch during which it plays six of seven games against sub-.500 teams from the Western Conference, against whom it is 11-4.
The Timberwolves will be playing 24 hours after earning their coach, Tom Thibodeau, his 300th career victory in a 112-106 home triumph over the Los Angeles Clippers.
Minnesota (14-10) has alternated wins and losses in its past eight games.
The Grizzlies (7-15) had lost eight in a row before firing coach David Fizdale last week. They have since added three to the losing streak with Bickerstaff at the helm, although there have been no soft spots on the schedule, falling twice to the San Antonio Spurs and then Saturday to the Cavaliers in Cleveland.
If there were anything encouraging in Saturday’s effort, it was the Memphis offense. The Grizzlies not only topped 100 points for the first time since Nov. 15, but they did so convincingly, shooting 51.2 percent and scoring 111 points in a five-point loss.
The game was tied with 2:10 remaining.
Tyreke Evans, starting at point guard in place of injured Mike Conley, led the offensive uprising with 31 points and 12 assists. He took 20 shots, which was 13 more than he attempted one night earlier in a 95-79 home loss to San Antonio.
“I was just trying to be too much of a point guard, getting everybody involved, but (Bickerstaff) just told me to do the same but be aggressive,” Evans said of the difference in his performances. “That’s what I did. I was being aggressive and took what the defense gave me.”
The Grizzlies haven’t won since Nov. 7. Conley played just two games after that before being shelved because of Achilles soreness.
ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (7-15): Evans is averaging 18.7 points and seven assists in three starts as the team waits for regular starting point guard Mike Conley (Achilles) to return, but he needed some urging from Bickerstaff to be more assertive his last time out. “(On Friday night), I was just trying to be too much of a point guard, getting everybody involved, but (Bickerstaff) just told me to do the same but be aggressive,” Evans told reporters Saturday. “That’s what I did. I was being aggressive and took what the defense gave me.” Gasol topped 20 points for the first time since Nov. 15, which also was the last time the Grizzlies scored at least 100.
He returned to light workouts last week but isn’t expected to play until at least Friday against the Toronto Raptors.
Memphis plays four of its next five games at home, where it has lost eight straight.
The Grizzlies will be facing the Timberwolves for the first time this season. Recent results against Minnesota have been good.
Memphis hasn’t lost a season series to Minnesota since 2009, going 23-7 over that stretch. The Grizzlies won both home games last season en route to a 3-1 win in the season series.
But things have changed, not only in Memphis but also with Minnesota. The Timberwolves find themselves where the Grizzlies have spent the last seven seasons — hanging with the playoff contenders.
The Timberwolves haven’t made the playoffs since 2004.
Minnesota’s Sunday win came at the expense of another perennial playoff contender that has fallen upon hard times — the Clippers. Timberwolves newcomer Jimmy Butler led the way with 33 points.
The total was a season high and continued a hot run in which Butler has scored 20 or more points in eight of his past 13 games after starting the season with just two 20-point nights among Minnesota’s first 11 games.
“That shows you why he’s such an elite player in this league,” Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns said of Butler. “I was glad to have the popcorn right there and have a front-row seat for it because it was amazing.”
1. Minnesota made 28-of-31 free throws Sunday and is 62-for-71 over its last three games.
2. Butler has played at least 40 minutes in consecutive contests for the first time in over a year.
3. The Grizzlies won three of the four meetings last season, including a 93-71 rout in the last matchup in Memphis.
STATS AND RECORDS
STATS AND RECORDS
|2/4/17||MEM 107||MIN 99||99||45||41.7||107||42||41.6|