NBA: Ja Morant, Grizzlies even series with Timberwolves
Ja Morant had 23 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists as the Memphis Grizzlies coasted to a 124-96 win over the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 2 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series on Tuesday.
Second-seeded Memphis evened the best-of-seven series against seventh-seeded Minnesota at 1-1. The teams will reconvene for Game 3 on Thursday in Minneapolis.
— NBA (@NBA) April 20, 2022
Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr. added 16 points apiece for Memphis, which shot 47.8 percent (44 of 92) from the field. Brandon Clarke, Xavier Tillman and Ziaire Williams contributed 13 points apiece off the bench.
Anthony Edwards led Minnesota with 20 points. Karl-Anthony Towns registered 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who shot 39.5 percent (30 of 76) from the field.
The Grizzlies pulled ahead by double digits entering halftime and never looked back.
A 3-pointer by Jackson put Memphis over the century mark for a 102-81 lead with 10:17 remaining. Jackson buried another 3-pointer less than two minutes later to boost the Grizzlies’ lead to 24 points.
Memphis entered the fourth quarter with a 96-77 edge.
The Grizzlies opened the second half on a 17-4 run to seize a 77-53 advantage with 7:47 remaining in the third quarter. Morant assisted on a basket by Bane to open the half, and Morant added a layup, two 3-pointers and a floating jump shot during the decisive run as the Timberwolves failed to keep pace.
By the time Dillon Brooks fed a pass to Tillman for an easy dunk, the Grizzlies had extended their lead to 82-55 with 5:15 left in the quarter. Timberwolves coach Chris Finch picked up a technical foul less than a minute later as Minnesota’s frustrations continued to mount.
Memphis held a 60-49 lead at halftime. Bane had 12 points to lead all scorers before the break.
The Timberwolves led 23-21 late in the first quarter when the Grizzlies went on a 9-0 run to go on top by seven with 2:11 left in the period. Tyus Jones made a floating jump shot to finish the run.
The Grizzlies continued to take command in the second quarter, outscoring the Timberwolves 27-17. Memphis opened the second quarter on an 11-2 run that included a layup and a dunk by Tillman.