Memphis looks to match a season high with a fourth consecutive victory when it hosts the Timberwolves on Wednesday night.
After a 6-9 December dropped them to the bottom of the Southwest Division, the Grizzlies (25-24) capped an 11-6 January with a 100-97 home win over Orlando on Monday. The team posted its highest victory total in a month since January 2005, when it went 12-3.
Memphis’ 6-1 stretch has lifted the team above .500 for the first time since it improved to 2-1 with a 109-89 victory over Minnesota on Oct. 30.
“I thought the overall effort by the whole team was great. We were playing with incredible energy,” coach Lionel Hollins said Monday after becoming the franchise’s all-time leader with 96 wins.
Point guard Mike Conley(notes) has been playing particularly well in Mayo’s absence. He had 26 points and 11 assists Monday, giving him consecutive double-digit assist games for the first time in his career.
Conley had 14 points, 11 assists and a career high-tying seven steals Oct. 30. The Grizzlies recorded a franchise-best 22 steals in that matchup as they moved to 4-1 in their last five versus the Timberwolves.
Minnesota (11-36), winner of four of the last six meetings with Memphis at the Target Center, ended a six-game skid with a 103-87 victory over Toronto on Saturday.
The Timberwolves allow a league-high 108.6 points per game, but held the Raptors to 33.7 percent shooting in one of their better defensive efforts of the season.
“We need to continue to do that,” forward Kevin Love(notes) said after scoring 21 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. “We know there’ll be some games when we’ll be lacking that here and there, but if we can keep taking the right step forward on that end of the floor we’re only going to get better.”
If Minnesota is going to win two straight for the first time since Dec. 26-27, it may need another big game from Love, who leads the league with 15.6 rebounds per game and 42 double-doubles. He had 14 points and 13 boards Oct. 30, although Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph(notes) sat out with a right hip contusion.
Randolph is coming off a subpar game, scoring 10 points and shooting 4 of 11 with nine rebounds Monday. He failed to notch a 15th consecutive double-double and recorded his lowest point total since Dec. 21.
Love had 12 points and seven rebounds off the bench in the teams’ last matchup in Minnesota, a 109-102 Timberwolves victory Feb. 6.
Memphis’ last four-game winning streak was Dec. 8-15.