Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) reacts during the first half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at FedExForum.

Justin Ford -- USA TODAY Sports

A Gasp of Relief

The Memphis Grizzlies snapped an 11-game losing streak, the longest since 2009, defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves 95-92 on Monday Night at FedExForum.

Producer Jeffrey Wright
December 04, 2017 - 10:37 pm

MEMPHIS | “We won,” Marc Gasol said to Rob Fischer of the Fox Sports Southeast broadcast team. “F-ck it.”

 

 

Marc Gasol has earned the reputation as one of the most thoughtful and well-spoken stars in the NBA, and with just four words, he managed to capture what every member of the Grizzlies and the fan base felt when the blue and yellow streamers fell from FedExForum’s rafters for the first time to the chorus of All I Do is Win since October 28. 

 

"There was a lot of energy in the locker room to say the least," Grizzlies interim Head Coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. "It's been a while. You almost forgot what it felt like to win because guys want it so bad and they're so emotionally invested. Every loss that kept popping up became a heavier and heavier weight, so it's awesome for those guys in that locker room. They've stuck with it. They've gone through tough times, but they've continued to believe in themselves and each other. Tonight was a great reward for them, but like we said in the locker room, this is not where we want to be. This is one of many. We're still building, we're still digging, and we'll continue to do that."

 

The Grizzlies (8-15) were able to snap an 11-game-losing streak because of the efforts of Gasol and a tenacious defensive effort that kept the Timberwolves (14-11) to just 92 points on Monday night. The win also snapped an eight-game losing streak at home, a mark that is tied for the longest in the Memphis era of the franchise.

 

 

Gasol would finish the night with 21 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, and he had the following to say to Fischer after the game.

 

 

During his pregame comments, Bickerstaff emphasized the importance of limiting the Timberwolves’ second-chance points, and his team delivered allowing just six points in that category.

 

"The physicality and the effort (led to the success)," Bickerstaff said. "We went into the game with that plan, and guys went after it. We saw guys flying from the perimeter, coming up with rebounds, chasing down long ones, and getting on the floor. This is a really good offensive team, and if you give them multiple looks, they're going to make you pay. So, credit to our guys again for just making those plays, making those efforts, and coming up with those balls."

 

 

In addition to limiting Minnesota in second-chance opportunities, the Memphis bench was phenomenal, outscoring the Timberwolves 33-17 on Monday night. James Ennis led Grizzlies scorers with 13 points off the bench.

 

 

The Grizzlies also took advantage of the Timberwolves’ lack of depth and fatigue by outscoring them 24-8 in fast break opportunities, including an 18-2 advantage in the first half.

 

 

JaMychal Green also had one of his best nights of the season, scoring 14 points, connecting on 3-of-6 from behind the arc, and securing a team-high nine rebounds. He also spoke to the media following the game.

 

 

The Memphis Grizzlies head to New York City to take on the Knicks on Wednesday night before returning home for a three-game homestand on Friday night.

 

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