Grizzlies, Timberwolves set for battle

The Memphis Grizzlies hope to make up some ground in the Western Conference standings when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves Saturday from the Target Center.

The Grizzlies are fifth in the West and sit one-half game behind the Los Angeles Clippers and a full game in back of the idle Denver Nuggets. The Clippers are in Houston Saturday and Denver doesn't play again until April 3.

Memphis had dropped two in a row and three of four games until Friday's 103-94 victory over the Rockets. Zach Randolph collected 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who scored 61 points in the first half and received 21 points from Marc Gasol.

"Everybody was helping each other, talking communicating," said Gasol, who has returned from an abdominal tear. "Offensively, I think we did a good job."

Mike Conley had 15 points and 10 assists in the win.

The Grizzlies, who are second in opponents' scoring at 90.0 ppg, have a tough matchup ahead with San Antonio on Monday, but must not overlook a Timberwolves team that just disposed of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Minnesota has alternated wins and losses over its last six games and moved to 1-1 on a four-game homestand with Friday's 101-93 victory over the Thunder. Nikola Pekovic recorded a double-double with 22 points and 15 rebounds, while Ricky Rubio added 17 points and seven assists to help the Wolves rebound from a tough loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.

"I'm proud of the way our guys played," Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman said. "It was a solid win against one of the best teams in the league."

The Wolves will close out the homestand Monday versus Boston and are 17-18 in the Twin Cities this season.

Adelman's unit will find it tough to score against Memphis' defense, but has notched 100-plus points in three straight games. The Grizzlies have beaten Minnesota twice already this season and are unbeaten in 10 straight meetings.

The Grizzlies are 13-1 in the past 14 games against the Wolves, losers of four in a row as the host in this series.