Memphis will resume a three-game road trip in Utah tonight Star forward Zach Randolph.
Z-Bo suffered what was thought to be a minor knee injury against Chicago last weekend but an MRI revealed a slight tear in his right medial collateral ligament, meaning the double-double threat will be on the shelf for six to eight weeks. The good news is that the injury is not expected to require surgery although Randolph will be reevaluated in a couple of weeks.
"That's life," Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said when asked about Randolph's injury. "You have to go and play. He's not going to be here. We can't worry about what ifs and what we should do to get him back. This is where we are."
Memphis was already lacking depth in the frontcourt with a healthy Randolph so it pulled the trigger on a long-discussed move on Wednesday, acquiring big man Marreese Speights from Philadelphia as part of a three-team trade that also included the Hornets.
The Grizzlies sent a 2012 second-round draft pick to the Sixers in exchange for Speights, while moving guard Xavier Henry to New Orleans. The Hornets also sent a future second-round pick to Philadelphia.
The offensive-minded Speights was the 16th overall pick of the 2008 draft, but did not play in the Sixers' first four games this season with Spencer Hawes, Elton Brand and Thaddeus Young taking the majority of Philadelphia's frontcourt minutes. Reserve power forwards Nikola Vucevic and Craig Brackins had also moved ahead of Speights, who struggles to defend and rebound, in Doug Collins' rotation.
With all that as a backdrop the Grizzlies waltzed into Minnesota on Wednesday and edged an improved Timberwolves club, 90-86, for their second straight win.
Rudy Gay scored 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds in that one, while Tony Allen poured in 20 points. Mike Conley scored 12 and dished out eight assists for Memphis, which has won three of four overall.
"We shot the ball well from the free throw line. That's what you got to do when the ball isn't dropping," Gay said. "You got to find a way to get back in it, we did that and got the win against a good team. They are a different team than they were last year."
The Jazz, meanwhile, stayed perfect at home on the young season by taking the middle leg of a three-game residency, 85-73, over the Bucks on Tuesday.
Promising second-year Derrick Favors was also a force, notching a career-high five blocked shots along with six points and seven boards.
"Derrick Favors was the one who set the tone," Jefferson told NBA.com. "He set the tone and everybody got active. That's what it's going to take to win."
The news was not all good, however, for the Jazz which saw Josh Howard (quad), Devin Harris (calf) and Millsap (knee) suffer injuries. Both Howard and Harris have been listed as questionable while Millsap is expected to play tonight.
Utah has won 13 of the past 16 meetings in the series but the Grizz took the final two contests between the clubs last season but both were in Memphis. The Grizzlies have dropped eight straight in Salt Lake City.