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Rubio's heroics lead Wolves over Grizzlies

Feb 7, 2015 - 5:19 AM Minneapolis, MN ( - Ricky Rubio scored eight points in the final two minutes of the game to lift the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 90-89 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday.

Rubio finished with 17 points and five assists as Minnesota won two games in a row for the first time this season.

Andrew Wiggins paced the Timberwolves with 18 points and Thaddeus Young chipped in with 14 points and a team-high eight rebounds.

Memphis' eight-game winning streak came to an end, falling one game shy of a franchise record.

"They wanted it more. They deserved to win because they played harder," Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger said.

Marc Gasol, Jeff Green and Mike Conley all had 15 points to lead the Grizzlies. Zach Randolph was limited to six points on 3-of-7 shooting but finished with 10 boards.

The Grizzlies maintained a steady lead in the fourth quarter, but Rubio's layup with six minutes to play cut that advantage to two points. However, Rubio subbed out of the game after colliding with Kosta Koufos while finishing the basket.

Rubio was able to return quickly and his 3 with less than two minutes to play cut the Memphis edge to 87-83.

At the other end, Courtney Lee was fouled late in the shot clock and drained both free throws for Memphis' final points.

After Wiggins made a pair of free throws, Young pulled down a rebound and found Rubio, who netted another triple from the wing to pull the Timberwolves within one.

Rubio's defense then made the difference. After stealing the ball from Randolph, he made two free throws to put the Timberwolves up by one and forced another turnover with seconds to play to seal the win.

"Ricky said, 'We're not going to lose this game,'" Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders said. "He made big plays down the stretch."

Thanks to great ball movement, Minnesota led 24-23 after one quarter. The Timberwolves had eight assists on nine made shots, including five from Rubio.

Despite shooting 56.3 percent in the first half, Memphis went into the break with a 43-43 tie. Minnesota scored 14 points off 11 Grizzlies turnovers and used offensive rebounds to make up for the shooting disparity. Green scored the last four points of the half to even the score.

The Timberwolves started the third on a 9-2 run, but the Grizzlies took a 69-65 lead into the final quarter.

Game Notes

Minnesota was the last team in the NBA to win two consecutive games this season ... The Timberwolves were previously 0-11 against Southwest Division opponents ... Minnesota improved to 3-27 against opponents with .500-or-better records ... Memphis was outrebounded, 43-30.