The Timberwolves Blew Two 25-Point Leads As The Grizzlies Stole Game 3 In Amazing Fashion

Following a double-digit loss in Game 1, the Memphis Grizzlies righted the ship with a blowout win over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 2 on Tuesday. The series moved to the Twin Cities for Game 3 on Thursday and, for much of the evening, the No. 2 seed Grizzlies appeared to be in deep trouble against the No. 7 seed Timberwolves. Memphis trailed by as many as 26 points in the first half and faced a 25-point deficit on the scoreboard with only 15 minutes remaining in the game. However, the Grizzlies flipped the script from there, zooming to a 50-13 overall run to pick up a stunning 104-95 victory and a 2-1 series advantage.

The Wolves wasted no time in taking control of the festivities at the outset. Minnesota scored the first 12 points of the game, with Patrick Beverley contributing eight points and going right at Ja Morant defensively. On the other end, Memphis didn’t score for more than three minutes, missing their first five shots with two turnovers.

Memphis briefly climbed back within five in the first period, but Minnesota put together another 12-0 spurt late in the quarter, settling in with an 18-point lead after 12 minutes. The Wolves created havoc on defense, headlined by four blocks and three steals, and the Grizzlies shot just 7-of-24 in the opening period.

When the second quarter began, Minnesota kept coming, scoring the first eight points to take a 47-21 lead. At that point, the Wolves had scored 47 points on 27 possessions, shooting 59 percent from the field, and the Grizzlies had no answers.

The rest of the half leaned in the direction of the Grizzlies, however, with the notable exception of another spurt from Beverley.

Minnesota scored only 12 points in the second quarter and four points in the final 10:28 of the first half, including nearly six minutes of scoreless basketball to close the second quarter. That allowed Memphis to find its footing, with Desmond Bane getting going as a shooter and the Grizzlies turning defense into offense.

The Grizzlies ended the half on a 15-0 run, with the Wolves missing their final eight shots with four turnovers. That left Minnesota with only a seven-point lead at the break and, after the way the game began, that typically positive result felt like a significant disappointment for the home team.

Much as the did in the first half, the Wolves struck first after halftime, only to cede ground in meltdown fashion. Minnesota used a 17-4 run to take a 68-48 lead, taking advantage of a stretch in which the Grizzlies missed eight of their first ten shots and committed four turnovers.

Eventually, the Wolves built their lead to 25 points and, for all intents and purposes, it looked as if Minnesota might cruise to a win. Memphis had other ideas, stringing together another hugely dominant run. The Grizzlies outscored the Wolves by a 29-4 margin between the end of the third and the start of the fourth quarter and, with the help of 21 consecutive points, Memphis tied the game at 83-83.

Minnesota’s lull took place on both ends, with the Wolves scoring four points in nearly eight total minutes and failing to scratch in the fourth quarter until the 7:31 mark. When Tyus Jones connected on a three-pointer with 7:09 left, Memphis took its first lead of the entire game.

The Grizzlies took a five-point edge at 93-88, as the Wolves missed 11 of their first 12 shots in the closing period. Minnesota seemingly got away from Karl-Anthony Towns, who was also battling issues with foul trouble, and the offensive collapse was uncomfortable to watch. Finally, Minnesota seemed to stabilize with a few stops, but the home team was now trailing and in scramble mode, operating in an underdog role for the first time since the opening tip-off.

It wasn’t over at that point but, just a few moments later, the Grizzlies put the finishing touches on an epic comeback. Brandon Clarke, who was a positive contributor throughout the night for Memphis, scored six straight points before keeping an offensive rebound alive that led directly to the dagger three-pointer from Dillon Brooks.

In a remarkable turn, the Grizzlies out-scored the Wolves by a 34-point margin (!) over 15 minutes of play, turning a 25-point deficit into a 12-point lead before a meaningless bucket from Minnesota on the final possession. Memphis showed incredible resilience in battling back not once but twice, though Minnesota should also take blame for two full quarters of hideous offense, scoring 12 points in the second quarter and 12 points in the fourth quarter.

Five players scored in double figures for the Grizzlies, led by 26 points from Bane and 20 points and eight rebounds from Clarke. Morant finished with a 16-point, 10-rebound, 10-assist triple-double, and Memphis won despite 46 percent shooting on two-point attempts and 18 turnovers. On the Minnesota side, the collapse will be lamented until at least the start of Game 4, with the Wolves squandering two separate periods of utter offensive dominance and finishing the night with only 39 percent shooting and 17 turnovers. Towns was largely a non-factor, finishing with eight points in 33 minutes, and the Grizzlies’ bench out-paced the Wolves’ bench by a substantial margin.

The two teams will gather again for a potentially pivotal Game 4 matchup in Minneapolis on Saturday. Minnesota will aim to bounce back from a memorable fold, while Memphis will look to keep the flow going in search of a 3-1 advantage.