Grizzlies claw back from 26 down, beat Wolves in Game 3

Grizzlies claw back from 26 down, beat Wolves in Game 3

Grizzlies claw back from 26 down, beat Wolves in Game 3

Grizzlies claw back from 26 down, beat Wolves in Game 3

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Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies arrived in Minnesota, determined to seize control of the series from a young, confident Timberwolves team that looks and acts a lot like them.

The Grizzlies are growing up a lot faster.

Desmond Bane made seven 3-pointers and had 26 points and Memphis overcame a 26-point deficit to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 104-95 on Thursday night for a 2-1 lead in the first-round playoff series.

“We found a way to get some stops. Our offense started clicking a little bit more,” Bane said, “and the rest is history.”

The Grizzlies tied their franchise record for the biggest comeback victory, down by 26 early in the second quarter. They were also down by 25 late in the third.

Brandon Clarke scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half for Memphis, which closed the game on a staggering 50-16 run over the final 15:10.

“That’s why we’re really the deepest team in the league,” said Ja Morant, who had the franchise’s first postseason triple-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists — and told his team afterward he needed to play better.

Tyus Jones hit two dagger 3-pointers against his former team down the stretch to finish with 11 points for the Grizzlies, who seized back home-court advantage from a stunned Wolves team that won Game 1 on the road 130-117 and took an ugly 124-96 loss in Game 2.

Game 4 is on Saturday night in Minneapolis.

“No one said it as going to be easy. We don’t want it to be easy. We want it to be extremely hard, and it was,” said Patrick Beverley, who had 14 points for the Wolves.

The Wolves were outscored 23-12 in the second quarter and 37-12 in the fourth, pitifully putting to waste some superb basketball in the first and third periods.

“When we get too high, it comes back and it haunts us,” said D’Angelo Russell, who had 22 points and eight assists as the key driver of Minnesorta’s third-quarter surge.

Russell went 0 for 3 and was scoreless in the fourth. Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota’s other max-contract player, had another clunker on offense with eight points, five fouls and only four shots.

“It’s really tough. We’ve got to regroup,” said Towns, who had five blocks.

After taking a 47-21 lead early in the second quarter with a deafening roar in the 32-year-old downtown arena as the soundtrack, the Wolves were outscored 15-0 over the final 5:45 of the second quarter.

After the NBA’s highest-scoring team made only 30 field goals in Game 2 to match a season low, the Wolves hit only 33 in Game 3. They went 8:34 of game time between the second and third quarters without a basket until Russell made a 3.

Jones, who grew up in the Twin Cities and was drafted by the Timberwolves the same year as Towns, hit a 3-pointer to give the Grizzlies their first lead at 86-85. Memphis never trailed again.

“You think of and dream of those moments,” said Jones, who won a state championship at Target Center for Apple Valley High School in 2013.


Grizzlies: Kyle Anderson started for the Grizzlies in place of Steven Adams, who didn’t leave the bench. ... Jaren Jackson Jr. scored just six points and had five fouls.

Timberwolves: Anthony Edwards had 19 points and seven rebounds in 40 minutes. ... Russell went 5 for 22 from the field in the first two games. He was 9 for 21 in Game 3. (AP)

(Photo credits to: AP)