Memphis (6-12) at Minnesota (2-15)

Cloudy Currently: Minneapolis, MN
Temp: 47° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Wed Dec 2, 2009
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It would be tough for the Memphis Grizzlies to compete without top scorer Rudy Gay(notes) for much longer. In Minnesota, though, it doesn’t take many points to beat the Timberwolves.

Hoping Gay will be back in action, the Grizzlies look to deal the Timberwolves their ninth straight loss at the Target Center as they conclude a five-game road trip Wednesday night.

Memphis (6-12) was without Gay (family reasons) on Monday night and had one of its worst games of the season, losing 120-93 to Utah. Gay, averaging 20.7 points and 6.9 rebounds, was reportedly attending a family funeral and is expected to return in time to face Minnesota (2-15).

Sam Young(notes) would get his second career start if Gay doesn’t play. The rookie forward had a career-high 17 points versus the Jazz.

The Grizzlies may also play their second straight game without starting point guard Mike Conley(notes), who sprained his left shoulder in a 98-88 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday. Conley, averaging a team-high 4.9 assists, is day to day.

Jamaal Tinsley(notes) started in Conley’s place, posting eight points and seven assists as Memphis fell to 2-9 on the road, where it has given up 112.8 points per game.

Minnesota snapped a 15-game losing streak with a 106-100 win at Denver on Sunday night, but now it must try to find a way to end its problems at the Target Center. The Wolves are averaging a Western Conference-low 88.3 points at home and have lost eight straight there since beating New Jersey 95-93 in their season opener Oct. 28.

Minnesota’s strong game against the Nuggets, though, could give it some much-needed confidence. The Wolves, averaging 91.4 points on the season, reached 100 for the fourth time to avoid tying the franchise’s longest losing streak.

“Man, you don’t know how much a weight is off our shoulders right now,” forward Ryan Gomes(notes) said. “It was tough for us, but we had to battle. We knew it was going to break one day.”

Gomes had 27 points, the most by a Minnesota player this season. Oleksiy Pecherov(notes) had the previous high, scoring 24 in a 92-90 loss to Boston on Nov. 4.

Gomes’ big game came after he scored a total of eight points in his previous two contests, shooting 3 for 12 over that stretch. He had 15 points and six rebounds at Memphis on Nov. 14, but also committed seven turnovers in a 97-87 Minnesota loss.

Marc Gasol(notes) had 17 points and 16 rebounds for the Grizzlies in that contest, but the second-year center is coming off a rare poor performance. He had five points and three rebounds against Utah after averaging 17.8 points and shooting 77.6 percent in his previous eight games.

Gasol had a season-high 26 points Sunday against the Clippers, but the Grizzlies blew a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter. Memphis has been held under 100 points in two straight contests after averaging 111.0 in its previous three games.

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Wednesday, Dec 2