Ja Morant scored 33 points, including the final seven of a pivotal fourth-quarter run, and the Memphis Grizzlies held off the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves in overtime, 125-118, Monday.
Minnesota opened up a 16-point lead midway through the fourth quarter, building off a 38-23 third quarter. The Timberwolves extended the advantage to 102-86 with 7:50 remaining.
Memphis responded with a 25-6 run to take a three-point lead, an outburst capped when Morant dunked in traffic then made a step-back 3-pointer on the following possession.
Regulation ended in bizarre fashion, beginning when Minnesota forced an eight-second backcourt violation after D’Angelo Russell hit two free throws to cut the gap to one point. Russell attacked the rim on the ensuing play and his layup was intentionally counted good when Jaren Jackson Jr.’s blocked shot was called a goaltend.
Video review overturned the play, but when Jackson tipped the jump-ball out, Minnesota was called for a five-second violation.
Morant added two free throws to extend the lead back to three points. But after De’Anthony Melton stepped out-of-bounds trying to intercept the subsequent inbounds pass, Karl-Anthony Towns banked in a deep 3-pointer off a sideline inbounds play to send the game to overtime.
Memphis pulled ahead immediately in the extra frame when Desmond Bane hit a jumper for two of his 13 points and Morant made two foul shots. The Grizzlies never trailed in the overtime, and responded to the Timberwolves forcing a tie when Brandon Clarke scored four of his 20 points on consecutive put-backs.
Clarke finished with nine rebounds, five on the offensive end. Kyle Anderson matched Clarke’s team-high on the boards with nine, as well as 12 points and seven assists. Melton scored 19 points and Jackson added 14 points with eight rebounds and three blocks.
Russell scored a season-high 30 points for Minnesota, which suffered its fifth consecutive loss. Anthony Edwards scored 27 points to go with five rebounds, three assists and three steals, and Towns finished with 25 and a game-high 13 rebounds.
–Field Level Media