Memphis Grizzlies respond with blowout playoff victory over Timberwolves in Game 2

A 50-minute first quarter that combined for 33 free throws – tied for most in an NBA game in the past 25 years – was the only thing that slowed the Memphis Grizzlies down on Tuesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Grizzlies dominated the second quarter, then ran away in the second half of a 124-96 victory in Game 2 to even the first-round series at 1-1.The victory was the largest playoff victory in franchise history.

Boos and "refs you suck" chants came down inside FedExForum as every starter on each team besides Desmond Bane had accumulated a personal, technical or flagrant foul. The Grizzlies got the worst of the whistles with 11 personal fouls.

The foul calls allowed the Grizzlies to showcase their depth. Xavier Tillman Sr., Ziaire Williams and Tyus Jones each came off the bench and took advantage. Minnesota's bench wasn't as productive, and the Grizzlies did their part in slowing down Minnesota's big three.

Naz Reid was Minnesota's leading scorer at halftime, while Anthony Edwards, Karl Anthony-Towns and D'Angelo Russell combined for 24 points. Edwards finished with 20 points, Towns scored 15 and Russell was held to 11: each below their season averages.

Ja Morant came one rebound shy of a triple double with 23 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr. each scored 16 points.  

The Grizzlies said that they wanted to shoot more 3-pointers, and they did. They tied the Timberwolves with 11 made 3-pointers after losing the 3-point battle 16 to 7 in Game 1.

Four of those 3-pointers came from Jackson, with two each from Bane and De'Anthony Melton. The Grizzlies defense held the Timberwolves to 39.5% shooting.

Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins had to go even deeper into his bench. Jackson, Steven Adams and Brandon Clarke each had two fouls by the end of the first quarter. Tillman, did not play in 20 games in the regular season and missed the first playoff game, stepped up in a major way. He came in and scored a quick seven points that ignited the Grizzlies' frontcourt in the second quarter.