Wolves top Grizzlies in first home preseason game

MINNEAPOLIS--Local fans got their first chance to see this much-anticipated Timberwolves team live in game action on Wednesday night at Target Center.

MINNEAPOLIS-Local fans got their first chance to see this much-anticipated Timberwolves team live in game action on Wednesday night at Target Center.

What a show it was, as Minnesota's offense, was fast and efficient in the Timberwolves' 101-94 preseason win over Memphis in a showing that likely only bolstered the excitement for an up and coming Timberwolves team with the regular season just a week away.

Minnesota (4-2) had 62 points at the half. The Timberwolves led by 40 points in the third quarter before dipping deep into its bench to finish the game-a move that almost cost Minnesota a relatively meaningless game. Memphis trimmed the Timberwolves' lead to just six points with less than 30 seconds to play.

And it was all on a night where the Timberwolves were without Andrew Wiggins, who had an allergic reaction, and Shabazz Muhammad, who was resting a tight hip.

Karl-Anthony Towns chewed up Marc Gasol - the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year - for 31 points on just 10 shots. That's more than three points per shot, a ratio aided by his 17 for 17 performance from the free-throw line. The 17 made free throws are believed to be a Timberwolves' preseason record.


Not to be out-done was Ricky Rubio, who delivered several highlight-reel assists. At one point he hit Zach LaVine over the top in stride for an easy LaVine dunk. Later in the quarter, Memphis got back on defense to eliminate the pass to LaVine, so Rubio pulled up and found a charging Towns with a bounce pass that led to a slam. Rubio finished with seven assists.

LaVine finished with 18 points on 8 for 16 shooting. Gorgui Dieng had a double-double with 19 points (on just six shots) and 11 rebounds.

The offensive onslaught came while Minnesota held Memphis (4-2) to just 40 percent shooting.

On the heels of a 10-day, five-game road trip to open the preseason, Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau was looking for a complete performance from his young team. He got just that from the regulars on Wednesday night.

Minnesota closes out the preseason at home on Friday against Charlotte.

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