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 Foye leads Timberwolves to third straight win

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PostSubject: Foye leads Timberwolves to third straight win   Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:59 pm

MEMPHIS, Tenn.(AP) Randy Foye assured the Minnesota Timberwolves would achieve their longest winning streak in two years.Foye
scored 23 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 40 seconds
left, and the Timberwolves weathered a late rally to beat the Memphis
Grizzlies 94-87 Tuesday night.Following his basket, Foye blocked
O.J. Mayo's shot on the next Memphis possession, leading to a
fast-break basket by Ryan Gomes, and the Timberwolves secured their
third straight win - the first time they've won three in a row since
January 2007."It was defense, rebounding and communicating,''
Foye said of pulling away after the Grizzlies pulled even at 87. "We
just had to clamp down on defense.''Al Jefferson added 19
points, 12 rebounds and four blocks for Minnesota. Craig Smith had 15
points, Gomes 14 and Sebastian Telfair finished with 10 points and nine
assists.Hakim Warrick scored 22 points, and Mayo added 20
points, eight rebounds and five assists for Memphis. Marc Gasol had 13
points and Rudy Gay 12 as Memphis shot 42 percent, including 2-of-13
outside the arc (15 percent).Memphis erased a 10-point deficit in the fourth but never led."We
spend so much energy fighting back to get in the game,'' Warrick said.
" (Minnesota) did a really good job of executing. It seemed like they
got every loose ball, and they just really hustled.''The
Timberwolves led by 10 with 5:26 remaining after Foye, who had 10
points in the fourth, hit a 3-pointer. But the Grizzlies used a 12-2
run to tie the game at 87 with 1:30 left on a three-point play by Gasol.The Timberwolves then scored the final seven points, five by Foye."Foye
hit a huge 3, and then his block on O.J. was ridiculous,'' Minnesota
coach Kevin McHale said. "He just absolutely skyrocketed it out of
there, and it was a great block.''The Wolves got off to a good
start, hitting 61 percent in the opening quarter for an early lead.
Outside of Gomes, who missed four of his five shots, the Timberwolves
starters were a combined 8-of-11 from the field in the first.Memphis,
which has continuously suffered poor first quarters in their losses,
managed 40 percent from the field as Minnesota led by 12."We played with low energy,'' Memphis guard Kyle Lowry said. "We just couldn't, I guess, find our team rhythm."We started the game off slow, and I think we just never got into a rhythm.''Minnesota
got a bit of a scare when guard Mike Miller left the floor limping with
7:40 left in the second period after tweaking his right ankle, the same
ankle that forced him to miss five games recently. He returned in the
second half.The Timberwolves took a 45-39 lead into the locker
room after poor second-quarter shooting from both teams. Mayo hit only
three of his 11 shots and finished the night shooting 7-of-18.Jefferson
helped the Timberwolves maintain their lead with 11 points in the third
quarter before heading to the bench for the final 3:20 when he picked
up his third foul."We never really got Big Al established the
way we wanted to in there,'' McHale said, "but yet we were able to
withstand that with five guys in double figures.''The other
downside for Minnesota was getting very little production from its
bench - fourth in the league with 34.3 points per game.After
three periods, the Minnesota reserves had managed only seven points -
four from Kevin Love and a 3-pointer from Brian Cardinal. The shooting
didn't get much better overall and both teams committed a half dozen
turnovers in the third.Minnesota still managed to keep the lead, 72-68 entering the fourth."It
was a very inconsistent effort as a result of a very inconsistent
performance,'' Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said. "We got off to a poor
start. We were just scratching and clawing all the way back. They just
did a better job of executing.''Notes: The game was a homecoming
for Miller and Cardinal, who along with Love, were part of the draft
night trade that brought Mayo to the Grizzlies. Miller played five-plus
seasons with the Grizzlies and is the team's career 3-point leader.
Cardinal was limited because of injuries during his four years in
Memphis, but holds the team record for highest career free throw
percentage at 84.6 percent. Additionally, Timberwolves F Rodney Carney
played at the University of Memphis. Grizzlies G Steve Francis, who was
obtained by Memphis in a Dec. 24 trade with Houston and arrived in town
over the weekend, was on the inactive list for the second straight
game. Warrick recorded his ninth straight game in double figures. The
Grizzlies are the first NBA team this season to lose two games to the
Timberwolves. Minnesota defeated Memphis 108-98 in overtime on Dec. 29.
The Grizzlies were expected to waive F Darius Miles after the game.
Miles, who was trying to make a comeback after a two-year absence from
microfracture knee surgery, played 7 minutes against the Timberwolves
without scoring. He had two rebounds and two blocks. Miles, who was cut
by the Boston Celtics in the preseason, signed with Memphis on Dec. 13.
He was required to serve a 10-game suspension after his signing for
violating of the leagues drug policy.

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