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Grizzlies take sole possession of 7th place

Zach Randolph scored 22 points, O.J. Mayo had 20 and the Memphis Grizzlies sent the Minnesota Timberwolves to their 10th straight loss, 106-89 on Saturday night.

Memphis won its fourth straight and seventh in eight games to move a half-game ahead of the New Orleans Hornets for seventh place in the Western Conference.

Tony Allen added 12 points for Memphis, Leon Powe finished with 11 and Marc Gasol had 10 points and nine rebounds. Memphis outrebounded the Timberwolves 44-34.

Michael Beasley led Minnesota with 20 points, Luke Ridnour had 17, and Nikola Pekovic 14.

Minnesota had 26 turnovers, 17 of them coming on Memphis steals.

The Timberwolves played without leading scorer and rebounder Kevin Love, hampered by a left groin injury.

Memphis, which leads the league in points in the point, outscored Minnesota 56-36 in that category.

After struggling beyond the arc in the first half, missing 10 of 11 shots from long range, the Timberwolves were able to cut into Memphis' lead in the second half, going 5 of 8 on 3-pointers.

It wasn't enough to overtake Memphis, which struggled a bit with 18 turnovers, but still shot 51 percent for the game. Minnesota finished at 49 percent.

Memphis got out early, building a double-digit lead, hitting eight of its first 11 shots. The Grizzlies kept the offense flowing, and consecutive 3-pointers by Mayo and Shane Battier built the advantage to 39-22.

The Timberwolves seemed to be going through the motions at that point, but they weren't the only ones. The Memphis reserves were undisciplined running their offense. The return of some of the starters didn't change the trend much leading to sloppy play, poor ballhandling and ill-advised shots in the latter stages of the second quarter.

The Minnesota defense collapsed on point guard Mike Conley as he tried to get to the basket, leading to Conley missing his first six shots and going 2 for 11 in the game.

That still wasn't enough to get the Timberwolves closer than 12 in the second quarter, and the Grizzlies carried a 56-44 lead into the break behind Randolph's 16 points.

Beasley had 11 for Minnesota and Ridnour scored 10 before the break.

Memphis managed to maintain the advantage early in the third, but the miscues continued. The Grizzlies had seven turnovers in the quarter, and Ridnour's 3-pointer cut it to 73-64 at the end of the third.

It was the first time Minnesota had been that close since the start of the second quarter.

The Timberwolves continued to whittle away at the Memphis lead, getting to 84-77 on Anthony Tolliver's 3-pointer with 6:48 left.

Mayo scored a pair of baskets and Hamed Haddadi got a dunk to cap a rally, putting Memphis back up by 13.

NOTES: The Grizzlies held a moment of silence for former Memphis State player and coach Larry Finch. He died Saturday after a long illness. Finch, who was 60, was the leader of the Tigers' team that played UCLA and Bill Walton in the 1973 championship game, under Gene Bartow, an executive with the Grizzlies. "In addition to having the utmost respect for Larry as a player and a coach," Bartow said, "he was also one of the finest people I've ever been around." The Timberwolves lost to Miami on Friday night, and Memphis has an 18-1 record against teams playing the second night of a back-to-back, including 15-0 at home. Minnesota has lost eight straight on the road. The last Timberwolves' win on the road was March 2 at Detroit. Minnesota has allowed opponents to shoot 50 percent or better in seven of its last 11 games.