The Grizzlies didn’t show their age in the first-round playoff series against Minnesota, especially on the three occasions they trailed by double figures early in the fourth quarter.
With another finish filled with poise and determination, Memphis eliminated the Timberwolves. And his next challenge will come quickly, with the Golden State Warriors.
Desmond Bane and Dillon Brooks each scored 23 points and the Grizzlies rallied again to beat Minnesota 114-106 on Friday to advance to the next stage of the playoffs.
“I wish I had better beginnings, so I don’t have to solve these predicaments,” Brooks acknowledged. “But we will always find a way to fight”
Brandon Clarke added 17 points and 11 rebounds off the bench for the Grizzlies, who overcame another low night by star Ja Morant and another double-digit deficit early in the fourth quarter.
“We stuck together, on the same page, and I think we really showed that on the big stage in this series,” said Bane, who led the Grizzlies in points during these matchups against the Wolves.
Memphis wrapped up the series in six games, advancing past the first round of the postseason for the first time in seven years.
Their next opponent will be Golden State, the NBA monarch in 2015, 17 and 18, which they will receive on Sunday in the first game.
“This series was a physical and mental battle,” said Morant, who shot 4-for-14 from the field and finished the game with 17 points and 11 assists, visibly worn. “Obviously the wins were lackluster, except for the second game, but we managed to get it done.”
Anthony Edwards had 30 points, including 16 in the first period, for Minnesota. Jaden McDaniels had 24 points off the bench and Karl-Anthony Towns finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
But late-game problems ended the Wolves’ campaign.