Brooks, Morant help Grizzlies beat Timberwolves 137-121


MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Memphis Grizzlies finally held onto a fourth-quarter lead thanks to the play of their starting guards.

Dillon Brooks scored 31 points, rookie Ja Morant added 26 and the Grizzlies beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 137-121 on Wednesday night.

The fourth-quarter play of the two guards sealed the game with Brooks scoring 16 points in the period and Morant adding 14, The pair combined to shoot 11 of 17 in the quarter.

"It was a good way to end the game," Brooks said. "We put it in Ja's hands and he knew how to finish the game."

But it was Brooks who put the game away, scoring all 10 Memphis points in a 10-2 burst near the midway point of the fourth.

Rookie Brandon Clarke made all seven of his shots and scored 18 points, while Jae Crowder also had 18 points for Memphis. The Grizzlies snapped a three-game losing streak.

The game featured two of the league's fastest teams in pace, leading to rapid changing ends of the court. The Grizzlies were able to record 26 fast-break points compared to 13 for Minnesota. Memphis would end the night shooting a season-best 57%, including connecting on 12 of 23 3-pointers.

The 137 points was the second-highest scoring game in franchise history - quite the change from the grit and grind era where Memphis was annually among the slowest-pace teams in the league.

"It was mostly the transition defense, but our halfcourt defense wasn't that good either," Timberwolves coach Ryan Saunders said.


For the second straight game, Morant went flying toward the basket only to end up on the floor in a heap after missing the shot. Each time, the Memphis fans have held their breath. "I tell him to chill out," Brooks said. "You're going to get your posters. Don't worry about it."


Grizzlies: G Grayson Allen missed his second game with a sore left ankle. ... Crowder had a pair of 4-point plays in the first half. He is the first Memphis player with multiple four-point plays in a game since Mike Miller on Dec. 14, 2007. ... Jonas Valanciunas had 10 points and 14 rebounds. ... Morant has reached at least 20 points in three straight games, the first time a Memphis rookie has achieved that since O.J. Mayo had four straight late in the 2008-09 season.

Timberwolves: G Jeff Teague sat out with an illness. With Teague out, rookie Jarrett Culver out of Texas Tech, the sixth overall pick in last June's draft, drew his first NBA start. He scored 15 points. ... F Josh Okogie also started his first game of the season after 52 starts last season. ... Minnesota challenged a basket interference call on a dunk by Towns in the third quarter.