After splitting their first two games, the Minnesota Timberwolves are feeling confident.
That could change when they hit the road for the first time this season.
One of the NBA’s worst teams away from home last season, the Timberwolves try for a second straight victory Saturday night against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Coming off a 15-win season and one-point opening-night loss to Sacramento, Minnesota beat Milwaukee 96-85 on Friday. Michael Beasley(notes) had 21 points with 10 rebounds while Kevin Love(notes) added 17 and 16 for the Timberwolves, who have not started 2-1 since 2006-07.
Rookie Wes Johnson added 12 points off the bench to help the Timberwolves overcome a 37.6-percent shooting effort.
“We got a lot of contributions from a lot of people,” coach Kurt Rambis told the Timberwolves’ official website. “That’s what I like to see.”
Though Minnesota didn’t record its second victory last season until its 17th game, this squad appears confident it won’t take that long this time.
“It’s an attitude and the way we approach the game,” Love said. “At every position we have guys that can play.”
Love and the Timberwolves need to be at their best during a daunting three-game trip that also includes stops at Miami and Orlando. Minnesota allowed 112.4 points per contest while going 5-36 on the road last season with only New Jersey’s 4-37 mark away from home being worse.
The Timberwolves have lost 12 straight road games since winning 91-88 against Miami—Beasley’s former club—on Feb. 23.
Though Minnesota has dropped two in a row at Memphis, the Timberwolves won 109-102 in the teams’ most recent meeting Feb. 6. They also could benefit from the addition of Beasley, who has recorded 38 points and 17 rebounds in his first two games with the Timberwolves.
Beasley also has played well in Memphis, averaging 25.0 points in two games while with the Heat.
The Grizzlies rebounded from a 119-104 season-opening loss to Atlanta with a 91-90 upset in Dallas on Friday. Rudy Gay(notes) had 21 points, O.J. Mayo(notes) added 20 and Marc Gasol(notes) had 10 with 15 rebounds after missing the opener with a sprained ankle.
Memphis won despite shooting 38.8 percent. The Grizzlies shot 51.5 percent while going 3-1 against Minnesota last season.
Gay had 21 points and Mayo 20 as the Grizzlies shot a season-high 58.5 percent in a 135-110 win over the Timberwolves in their last meeting at FedEx Forum on Jan. 15.
Gay, who has scored 21 in each of the first two games this season, has averaged 22.7 points on 58.3 percent shooting in his last three contests against the Timberwolves.