Wolves take charge of lethargic Grizzlies to snap skid

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Timberwolves drew plenty of flack from their fans in the first two months of the season after trading O.J. Mayo to Memphis for a package that included Kevin Love and Mike Miller on draft night.

Now with Love emerging as a double-double machine and Miller finally showing some aggressiveness on the offensive end, the deal is looking better for the Timberwolves.

Love had 19 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high four assists and the Timberwolves snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 104-79 victory against the Grizzlies on Wednesday night.

Miller, who for reasons unknown has been a reluctant shooter most of the season, had 18 points and 11 rebounds and Ryan Gomes scored 25 for the Wolves.

"We played basketball like it was supposed to be played today," Miller said.

Mayo had 18 quiet points and Mike Conley Jr. had 17 for the lethargic Grizzlies, who trailed by 21 points after one quarter and lost for the 11th time in 12 games.

Looking disinterested for nearly the entire contest, the Grizzlies were outrebounded 48-28 and were blown out by a team that had lost its last 11 at home and was missing its top two players in Al Jefferson and Randy Foye.

"It was the most disappointing loss and game that we've had here," coach Lionel Hollins said. "Forget loss, it was the most disappointing game. It was embarrassing for me as a coach, I hope it's embarrassing for them as a team."

Earlier in the season, McHale was getting cat calls from the Target Center crowds for trading the draft rights to Mayo, the No. 3 pick, to the Grizzlies for Love, Miller, Brian Cardinal and Jason Collins in a deal that also allowed the Wolves to dump the unwanted contracts of Marko Jaric and Antoine Walker.

With Love getting off to a slow start and Mayo putting up big numbers in Memphis, the Minnesota fans longed for a dynamic scorer to complement Jefferson.

But Love has played much better as the season has progressed. He leads all rookies in double-doubles with 20 and the entire league in offensive rebounds per 48 minutes.

"It feels great. I've got to keep continuing to improve," Love said. "The fact that I have 20 double-doubles with how I started off, for me I'm not trying to hype myself up, but that's pretty impressive."

Mayo leads all rookies in scoring and got off to a fantastic start to the season, becoming just the sixth rookie in league history to score in double digits in his first 25 pro games. But he has cooled off of late, shooting just over 39 percent in his previous seven games and he was fairly quiet on Wednesday night.

The former USC star had 12 points on 5-of-13 shooting in the first three quarters.

"The game was embarrassing and humiliating from start to finish," Hollins said. "We did not come to play, I don't want to hear anything about they were shorthanded."

The Timberwolves improved to 2-12 without Jefferson, who is out for the season with a torn ACL in his right knee. Foye sprained his right ankle against Washington on Monday night and likely will miss at least one more game.

The Wolves opened the game shooting 59 percent and held Memphis to 33 percent in their best quarter in recent memory. Gomes and Miller each had 11 points in the period as the Wolves jumped out to a 35-14 lead.

The Grizzlies cut the lead to three points early in the third quarter, but Cardinal hit two consecutive 3-pointers during a 15-2 run to open the fourth quarter that put the game away.

"It was important to make some shots and have something happen to us in a positive way," McHale said. "We haven't had a lot of positive happen lately."

Game notes
It was a homecoming for Grizzlies assistant David Joerger, who grew up in Willmar and played at Division-II Moorhead State, which now goes by Minnesota State, Moorhead. Coach Lionel Hollins praised Joerger for his work with younger players on the roster. ... Jaric and Wolves owner Glen Taylor hugged and had a nice conversation before the start of the second half. Jaric may have been thanking him for the six-year, $42 million contract he got when he came to Minnesota in 2005.