Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Memphis Grizzlies Pick & Prediction JANUARY 18th 2024

The Minnesota Timberwolves will go for their fourth victory in a row when they host the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday night in Minneapolis.

The Timberwolves will play on short rest after holding on for a 124-117 road win against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night. Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns scored 27 points apiece to lead Minnesota, and Rudy Gobert posted a double-double with 19 points and 16 rebounds.

It was the fourth win in the past five games for Minnesota, whose only blemish during that stretch has been a 127-120 overtime loss at the Boston Celtics on Jan. 10.

Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said he wants his players to avoid complacency during their winning streak. Despite the victory against Detroit, he identified some details that were lacking.

“We got a little more serious in the second half,” Finch said. “I didn’t really like our seriousness in the first half. … Wasn’t a huge fan of our performance (Wednesday), but we did enough to get a win. End of the day, that’s what matters, but it’s not the standard we had hoped for.”

Finch will look for a better start as the Timberwolves take on the Grizzlies, who are coming off a 116-107 win at home against the Golden State Warriors on Monday.

Vince Williams Jr. led Memphis with 24 points on 6-for-11 shooting from the field. GG Jackson added 23 points off the bench, and Jaren Jackson Jr. finished with 18 points.

Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins praised his winning group, which included many young and inexperienced players as the team plays without injured starters Ja Morant, Desmond Bane and Steven Adams.

“Big win,” Jenkins said. “… I mean, this is the product of full-on development.”

Another example of that development is Jacob Gilyard, who is playing with the Grizzlies on a two-way contract. He finished with 11 points against Golden State, and he had a pair of steals in the fourth quarter to help seal the outcome.

Gilyard said he feels more confident with every game alongside Williams and GG Jackson.

“At the beginning of the year, I would have been surprised if you told us all three of us were playing, let alone playing together,” Gilyard said. “… I think we all believe in each other. Everybody is confident in one another.”

The Grizzlies now must try to find a way to stop the big-man combination of Towns and Gobert. Towns made all five of his 3-point attempts against Detroit on Wednesday, and Gobert dominated the glass with five offensive rebounds to go with 11 defensive boards.

Edwards is the team’s top scorer and a threat to get hot in any game, but Finch said he wants to see his young star control his temper better. On Wednesday, Edwards picked up his seventh technical foul of the season.

“It’s a little bit of a concern,” Finch said. “… Sometimes, he’s going to get fouled and it’s not going to get called. He’s got to put that to the side.”

This will be the third of four meetings between the teams this season. The Timberwolves won the first two matchups — 119-97 on Nov. 26 and 127-103 on Dec. 8. Both of those games took place in Memphis.

–Field Level Media

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