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Gasol-led Grizzlies dispatch Timberwolves

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, November 19th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) reacts during an NBA playoff game against the Portland Trail Blazers last season in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo: Reuters/Justin Ford/USA Today Sports

Marc Gasol scored 26 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and made four 3-point shots to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 100-87 road win on Sunday against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Mike Conley added 18 points and nine assists for the Grizzlies, who now have won five of six. The Timberwolves had won three straight since trading Jimmy Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Grizzlies broke open the game in the third quarter by outscoring the Timberwolves, 28-19. Through three quarters, Memphis had forced 16 Minnesota turnovers and the Timberwolves concluded with 20 miscues.

Derrick Rose kept the Timberwolves in the game, scoring 18 off the bench. Rose was 6 of 11 from the field, including 2-for-4 from long range. Newly acquired Dario Saric also gave Minnesota a lift off the bench, scoring 14 points.

The Grizzlies shot 42.7 percent from the field. Minnesota shot 39.2.

A telling sign that Sunday just wasn’t the Timberwolves’ day — with time running out late in the fourth, Garrett Temple threw up a 3-point attempt from 30 feet and hit nothing but net to give Memphis a 96-83 lead.

Another sign — Gasol sank a corner 3 midway through the third to give the Grizzlies a double-digit lead at 66-54. Minnesota had not won a game where it trailed by double digits all season, and still hasn’t.

Shelvin Mack’s 3-point jumper made it 69-54 as the Grizzlies defense smothered the Minnesota offense.

The Timberwolves cut the deficit to eight midway through the fourth and when Covington forced the ball off Conley’s knee, it appeared Minnesota would have a chance to creep even closer.

But a missed call allowed the Grizzlies to keep the ball and Gasol made a 3 making the score 81-69.

Saric answered to cut the lead to 10 but Gasol could not be stopped. Memphis’ big man sank another 3 and it seemed Memphis had an answer every time Minnesota tried to claw back.

Memphis dictated the pace from the get-go but trailed 20-17 after the first quarter. The Grizzlies outscored the Timberwolves 30-23 in the second period and took a 47-43 lead into halftime.

Minnesota shot just 35 percent (14 of 40) in the first half while the Grizzlies were just a little better at 39.1 percent (18-for-46).

The two teams combined to turn the ball over 19 times in the first half.

—Field Level Media

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Report: Wolves’ asking price high for Butler

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Saturday, September 29th, 2018

Apr 25, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler (23) drives against Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul (3) in the second half in game five of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Despite Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor’s reported insistence that the team trade disgruntled star Jimmy Butler, the asking price is said to be too high.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe reported Thursday morning that the Timberwolves are seeking a package of both prospects and veterans for Butler, who wants to be traded.

Wojnarowski tweeted Thursday: “Minnesota’s asking price for Jimmy Butler remains too steep for teams. Minny seeks quality vets/top prospects/future assets/cap relief. Too high a price for interested teams, including Miami. Sources are skeptical of Thibodeau’s desire to make deal.”

Head coach Tom Thibodeau met with Butler in Minneapolis following Butler’s physical on Monday, but overtures intended to coax Butler back to the team were rebuffed, according to multiple reports.

On Tuesday, Thibodeau said Minnesota plans to “honor his request” and is currently “seeing what is out there.”

Butler was given permission to skip the team’s media day on Monday. He was present only for medical evaluations. Thibodeau said Butler would be away from the team for at least a week because he’s still rehabbing from offseason surgery on his right hand. However, Butler posted to social media his intense training workout videos and doesn’t appear to be physically limited in any way.

On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that Butler prefers a trade to Miami, and while the Heat are interested in acquiring Butler, they have found trade talks difficult.

According to reports, the Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings also have expressed interest.

The Philadelphia 76ers lost interest when the Timberwolves asked about 2017-18 NBA Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons, The Ringer reported Thursday.

Butler, 29, appeared in 59 games last season for the Timberwolves, averaging 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.0 steals.

He is entering the fourth season of a five-year, $92.3 million contract he signed with Chicago in 2015, but he can enter the free agent market next summer by opting out of the final year. He is scheduled to earn a base salary of $18.7 million in 2018-19.

In July, Butler reportedly turned down Minnesota’s four-year extension offer worth $110 million.

—Field Level Media

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NBA notebook: Wolves owner wants Butler trade; Thibodeau doesn’t

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, September 24th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Apr 25, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Clint Capela (15) drives past Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler (23) for the basket in the second half in game five of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

In the days since Minnesota guard Jimmy Butler reportedly requested a trade, the Timberwolves have been fielding calls from teams looking to add the four-time All-Star.

The message from Minnesota’s front office has been the same each time — the Timberwolves intend to keep their star forward, according to ESPN. Head coach and team president Tom Thibodeau — who oversees general manager Scott Layden — does not want to trade Butler.

But ESPN also reported that owner Glen Taylor is expected to be involved in any discussions about a potential trade, and is far more willing to unload Butler than the front office. ESPN reported later Friday that Taylor told others at the Board of Governors meeting that Butler is available and inquiries should come through Taylor, if necessary.

“The owner’s trading him,” a Board of Governors attendee told ESPN. “That was made clear. It’s just a matter of when.”

—Dirk Nowitzki has come off the bench 31 times in 20 NBA seasons. The future Hall of Famer could more than double that number this season.

The 40-year-old Nowitzki is accepting of a reserve role with the Dallas Mavericks, and saw it coming when the team signed free agent center DeAndre Jordan in the off season.

“When we signed DeAndre, it was pretty much clear in my head that I’m coming off the bench,” Nowitzki said at the Mavericks’ media day. “It’s all about winning, at the end of the day. Whatever puts us in the best position to win is what we’re going to roll with. …If that’s the case, and I’m coming off the bench, we better keep (an exercise) bike ready and keep a couple of massage therapists in the back, and I’ll be ready to go.”

—Three rules changes were approved by the NBA Board of Governors.

Beginning with the 2018 NBA pre season, the shot clock will reset to 14 seconds in offensive rebounding situations, as opposed to 24; the clear-path foul rule will be simplified; and the definition of a “hostile act” will be expanded for purposes of triggering instant replay review.

The shot clock goes to 14 seconds following offensive rebounds, a measure aimed at increasing shot attempts particularly late in close games. The shot clock reset to 24 seconds anytime the ball hit the rim in previous seasons.

—NBA commissioner Adam Silver issued a memo to all 30 teams urging them to hire, promote and protect women in the workplace.

The memo comes one day after the findings of an investigation into sexual harassment and workplace misconduct with the Dallas Mavericks. Silver asked teams to review the investigative findings and adhere to portions of the demands in place for the Dallas organization.

“Respect and integrity are core NBA values,” Silver wrote in the memo, published by ESPN. “And we must all work to ensure that they are reflected in the culture and workplaces of our organizations.”

—Field Level Media

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James sinks buzzer-beater to lift Cavs over Timberwolves

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, February 8th, 2018

Feb 7, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) throws a pass past Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague (0) in the second quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) – LeBron James resurrected Cleveland’s stagnant season, for one night at least, when he hit a game-winning buzzer-beater to lift the Cavaliers to a 140-138 overtime home win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.

After Cleveland called timeout in the backcourt with one second left, James caught a long pass near the foul line.

Under pressure from Minnesota’s Jimmy Butler, the four-times league MVP spun around and launched a fadeaway jumper from the top of the key over the top of the lunging defender.

The ball caught nothing but net, sending the crowd into delirium as the team’s recent woes were temporarily forgotten.

“Coach (Tyronn) Lue called up a great play, Jeff Green gave me a heck of a pass and I just trusted my instincts and let it go,” James said in a courtside interview.

The win helped ease the pressure on James and a team that was whipped by the lowly Orlando Magic the previous day.

“It was a great win for us. We needed this after that tough loss last night to Orlando,” James continued.

“They (Minnesota) shot 58 percent from the field and we were still able to get a win. We played Cavaliers basketball tonight and that’s all you could ask.”

The win lifted the Cavaliers to 31-22, seven games behind the East-leading Boston Celtics.

The Cavaliers have struggled this season after making the NBA finals for the past three years, beating the Golden State Warriors once and losing to the same team the other two times.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Adelaide, South Australia; Editing by John O’Brien

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