Ja Morant and the Grizzlies woke up. Then fell back asleep. Then woke up again. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
Basketball is a game of runs, and the Memphis Grizzlies and Minnesota Timberwolves just submitted a mathematical proof of that.
The Grizzlies, seeded No. 2 in the Western Conference playoffs, erased a 26-point deficit in a 104-95 win to take a 2-1 series lead over the Timberwolves, needing multiple enormous runs to silence what was once a raucous Minnesota crowd.
The game started out all Timberwolves, opening with an 8-0 run and finishing the quarter with a 39-21 lead. The difference eventually ballooned to 47-21, at which point the Grizzlies finally found their footing to cut the lead to seven points entering halftime.
The second half was some deja vu, with Minnesota going on another run and building a 25-point lead in the fourth quarter. And then, well, the T-Wolves shut down. The team went scoreless for six and a half minutes as the Grizzlies started working them over on the perimeter.
Not helping things was maybe the most embarrassing performance of Karl-Anthony Towns’ career. Facing a Grizzlies team that opened small, the All-Star finished the game with eight points on 3-of-4 shooting while dealing with foul trouble for much of the game. In his last two games, he has 10 fouls and seven field goals made.
All told, the game saw a 19-3 Timberwolves run, a 15-0 Grizzlies run, a 10-0 Timberwolves run and finally a 23-0 Grizzlies run to tie the game in the fourth quarter. Minnesota only continued to collapse from there.
Game 4 is scheduled for Saturday at 9 p.m. CT in Minnesota.