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Grizzlies hand Timberwolves another April loss

Apr 18, 2012 - 3:40 AM Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - April has been horrendous to the Timberwolves. The Memphis Grizzlies extended Minnesota's misery in the month with a 91-84 victory Tuesday night.

Rudy Gay scored 28 points and pulled down nine rebounds for the Grizzlies, who are seeded fifth in the Western Conference and are on the verge of clinching a playoff spot. Zach Randolph tallied 16 points and 11 boards, while Mike Conley had 16 points and eight helpers in Memphis' sixth victory in eight tries.

"For us to clinch early it'll be a lot better for us," Gay said. "We can start sitting guys early, maybe. It'll be good to have that option."

J.J. Barea scored a season-best 28 points and dished out eight assists for the Timberwolves, who have lost 27 straight games in April. Their last victory in the month came April 8, 2009 at Golden State. Nikola Pekovic added 16 points and 11 rebounds, but Minnesota lost its 11th in a row. They Timberwolves have also lost eight in a row to the Grizzlies.

"We did everything we could tonight," Barea said. "We played hard, we did everything right. I'm proud of the way we fought tonight."

The Grizzlies expanded their lead to nine to open the fourth quarter, but the Timberwolves tied it at 82 on a Barea free throw with 3:22 remaining.

After Minnesota's Anthony Tolliver missed a pull-up three-point try, Gay hit a layup. Then, following a Tolliver turnover, Gay nailed a three-pointer for an 87-82 difference.

Down by three, the Timberwolves lost a chance to tie the game in the closing minute when O.J. Mayo stole the ball from Barea. Gay and Conley combined to go 4-of-4 on free throw attempts in the final minute.

The Grizzlies made 61 percent of their shots in the first quarter, on the way to a 32-22 lead after 12 minutes, but Minnesota rallied for a 56-55 lead at the half.

Conley's driving layup ended a stretch of 10 straight Memphis points late in the third for 77-67 lead for the visitors.

Game Notes

Marreese Speights had 12 points for Memphis...Kevin Love (concussion) missed his fourth straight game for Minnesota and teammate Darko Milicic (hamstring) hasn't played in a month.