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Grizzlies 105, Timberwolves 88

The SportsXchange

MEMPHIS - It has taken about 10 days for players acquired by the Grizzlies in a trade with Detroit and Toronto to get with the program.

Former Pistons Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye combined for 34 points, and the Grizzlies scored 26 points off 20 Minnesota turnovers in a 105-88 victory Sunday afternoon in FedExForum.

Prince and Daye had their best games yet for the Grizzlies (32-18), scoring 18 and 16 points respectively, on 8-of-8 and 6-of-9 field-goal accuracy, respectively.

With the Timberwolves (18-29) showing virtually no post defense, Griz forward Zach Randolph added 16 points and eight rebounds.

Minnesota was led by guards Ricky Rubio and Luke Ridnour, who had 17 points each. The Timberwolves' starting front line was outscored by the Grizzlies' front line, 43-31.

A Timberwolves lineup full of players you've never heard of except for Rubio, gave the Grizzlies all they could handle in the opening quarter. It wasn't until the final three minutes, when guard Jerryd Bayless and forward Darrell Arthur came off the bench, that the Grizzlies began playing with a little fire to take a 21-20 lead at the end of the first.

Memphis continued to have trouble shaking the Timberwolves until it closed the first half on a 15-5 run for a 47-37 halftime lead.

The Grizzlies began creating offense from defense, and got solid bench play from three newcomers - Prince, Daye and Ed Davis - acquired in recent trades. That trio combined for 18 first-half points, and they didn't ease up in the third quarter when the Griz doubled up the halftime lead.

Excellent ball movement and Memphis' effective perimeter defense allowed the Griz to gain some comfort.

Prince, who had struggled in his last two games following back-to-back double-digit efforts in his first two Griz appearances after being traded from Detroit, was nearly perfect through three quarters (18 points on 8-of-8 field goals).

Rubio was the only reason that the Timberwolves didn't completely disappear. He had 10 of the Timberwolves' 19 points in the quarter, but that couldn't counter Memphis' team play (31 field goals on 21 assists).

Notes: Quincy Pondexter, versatile Grizzlies swingman and the team's best 3-point shooter and perimeter defender off the bench in the first couple of months this season, might finally play for the first time since he sustained a grade two MCL sprain on Dec. 29. He has been activated, but Memphis coach Lionel Hollins doesn't know if he'll play. ... Cory Brandt was the fan caught on camera Jan. 30 in Indianapolis' Conseco Fieldhouse just prior to the Pistons at Pacers tipoff, stripping off his Prince No. 22 Pistons' jersey when he learned Prince was a no-show because he had just been traded to the Grizzlies. The 27-year-old graphic designer was a guest of the Grizzlies and the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper on Sunday, finally meeting Prince prior to the game. "I know what you felt at the time, and I was going through it," Prince told Brandt. "Things happen for a reason, that's why you're here today and why I'm here today. You touched a lot of people in my family and I just want to say thanks for what you did." Prince gave Brandt a new Prince No. 21 Grizzlies jersey and autographed it.
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