When the Grizzlies go through a mouse hole on the wolf floor! Incredibly turnaround in Minneapolis last night, where Wolves completely cracked at the end as they seemed to hold their second victory in the series. On arrival, it was Memphis who came away with the victory after a fourth quarter that looked like an apocalypse for Minnesota, outclassed 37-12 and defeated 104-95.
The Wolves took the Grizzlies by the throat of entry by displaying a big defense to attack by a 12-0 under the impetus of an already untenable Pat Beverley. The Morant-Bane duo managed to bring Memphis down to -5 (18-13) before conceding a new burst, marked by the 3-pointers of the Russell-Edwards-Beasley trio (39-21). The locals took over the second quarter with an 8-0 before seeing Patrick Beverley put on a show with a basket in two stages with the help of the board then a dunk in transition bringing the score to 51-29!
At the bottom of the hole, the Grizzlies reacted again by aligning a 15-0 to rally the break under the leadership of Desmond Bane, author of three 3-point baskets (51-44).
Everything was almost to be done again for the Wolves who were not discouraged and recovered by slamming a 17-4 as soon as they returned from the locker room, with an Anthony Edwards in all the good moves and a Russell-McDaniels tandem in support ( 68-48). The duo believed to drive the point home by chaining two 3-point baskets (76-54).
Back to -16 at the start of the fourth quarter (83-67), the Grizzlies nevertheless found a way to put the pressure back on by going 13-0 to start the period with the Morant-Bane-Clarke-Jackson Jr quartet in command, and Tyus Jones, a native of Minnesota, to put the pressure back on a 3-point basket (83-80)!
Anthony Edwards missed two shots, enough to boost the morale of Memphis who equalized in the wake of a 3-pointer in the corner on a laser pass from Ja Morant left hand (83-83). At the end of possession, Tyus Jones put a layer behind the arc, allowing the Grizzlies to pass for the first time in the match (85-86)!
On their way, Taylor Jenkins’ men finished the job with two big 3-pointers from the Bane-Brooks duo and a show of commitment from Brandon Clarke, rewarded with two baskets and two shots to help kill the suspense ( 92-102). Author of a “triple-double”, Ja Morant offered a last lay-up left hand and Memphis won 104-95 to lead 2-1 in the series.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– A series match. Wolves dominated the proceedings by doing what the Grizzlies have done all season, raising their level of defensive intensity to outsmart their opponent early in the game and early in the second half. The problem is that their series were not enough and Memphis in turn distinguished itself with two devastating series: a 15-0 before the break and a 21-0 between the end of the third and the start of the fourth quarter. From euphoria, Wolves went to nightmare, unable to score in the game for six long minutes in the last act (0/8 to start the period).
– Taylor Jenkins paid adjustments. There was the Xavier Tillman spark in Game 2. On this Game 3, it was Brandon Clarke who stood out with 20 points, 8 rebounds and a breathtaking end to the game of intensity on both sides of the floor. It was necessary to have some to leave Steven Adams on the bench, but Taylor Jenkins knew what he was doing and his interiors responded to the last two games won by Memphis.
✅ Desmond Bane. The fullback was again invaluable with his hot shots that kept the Grizzlies alive before the break and his late-game composure to make the right choices and help finish off Wolves.
✅ Brandon Clarke. The Grizzlies energizer nearly killed the game on his own by scoring 8 of his 20 points in money-time, but also forcing a KAT walk, and taking the offensive rebound that allowed Dillon Brooks to end to 3-point suspense. Great art!
⛔ Karl Anthony Towns. KAT went through again, between his faults, his more than discreet impact in attack and his oversights which sometimes caused him the reprimands of his teammates. As a symbol, it was he who took the 3-pointer from Dillon Brooks in the head, a basket that definitively put an end to the hopes of his people.
The two teams meet this Saturday evening in Minneapolis (4:00 a.m.) for the fourth round of the series.