Memphis Grizzlies tie up series 1-1 heading to Minnesota for Game 3 vs Timberwolves

Minnesota Timberwolves Karl-Anthony Towns (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)
Minnesota Timberwolves Karl-Anthony Towns (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports) /

Will the Memphis Grizzlies or Minnesota Timberwolves take control as the series shifts to Minnesota for Games 3 and 4? 

The Memphis Grizzlies found a way to even up the series at one game apiece, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 124-96 on Tuesday night in Game 2. It would have been extremely hard to fight back if they lost Games 1 and 2 at home.

Ja Morant and the Grizzlies will try and keep the momentum moving into Game 3 in Minnesota Thursday night.

Do the Timberwolves have an answer for Grizzlies, or did the Game 2 victory give Memphis the confidence they need to win this series?

Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins threw the kitchen sink at Minnesota in Game 2. He used 13 players to get his team the win. Sometimes you have to try everything you can in the NBA.

Additionally, Morant was not going to let Memphis lose that game. He gave an all-out effort to win, leading the team in points (23), rebounds (9), and assists (10). The most shocking part was he did this all only playing 30 of the 48 minutes. Morant was one rebound away from a playoff triple-double.

Power-forward Jaren Jackson Jr. had a much better game shooting the ball in Game 2. He went 0-5 from the three-point line in Game 1, answering back with a 4-7 performance from deep in Game 2. Jackson Jr. also recorded seven rebounds, one steal, and one block.

Certain players can get discouraged and lose their confidence very quickly. That is not true for Steven Adams. He started at center for Game 2, but only played three minutes. Adams was a true professional in his response to his coach about playing such small minutes in Game 2:

"“We just want to win. Anything to win the game. Whatever you need to do coach, I’ll be there.”"

The Grizzlies bench was a major factor in their win Tuesday night. Four players came off the bench and scored 10 or more points. Brandon Clarke, Xavier Tillman, and Ziaire Williams all scored 13 points. Memphis also had eight more rebounds and 13 more assists than Minnesota.

The Timberwolves did not enjoy as much success as they did in Game 1. The leading scorer for Minnesota again was Anthony Edwards, though he only scored 20 points. He also recorded six rebounds, one assist, and one steal.

Karl-Anthony Towns (KAT) had 15 points and 11 rebounds in Game 2, not as impressive as the 29 points and 13 rebounds he had in Game 1. Towns also only played 28 minutes on Tuesday night, compared to the 43 minutes in Game 1.

Towns and Edwards are the two best scorers for Minnesota. Memphis’ head coach Taylor Jenkins, surely emphasized not letting those two get easy buckets, and making other players beat them. That is what good defensive teams have the ability to do. They were held to a combined 35 points in Game 2. The duo had 65 combined points in the first game.

Minnesota shot 40 percent from the field as a team in Game 2, while also going 11-38 from deep, which is 29 percent. Memphis enjoyed a 48 percent shooting night as a team, going 11-34 from the three-point line, 32 percent. An off-shooting night can almost always have a negative outcome for the team. It’s hard to win in the NBA with inconsistent scoring.

The series is headed to Minnesota for Games 3 and 4. Memphis looks to build off the momentum they got from winning Game 2. Minnesota is happy to be on their home court for the next two games. This series has seven games written all over it.

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Will the Grizzlies be able to take back-to-back games, or will Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns have something to say about that?