After he played 42 minutes in Monday's stinker of a loss, Timberwolves veteran Jeff Teague said at today's morning shoot that fatigue could have been a factor -- but not an excuse -- for that hideous loss to Memphis.

 

 

Fellow starters Taj Gibson and Andrew Wiggins played 43 minutes each on Monday and Karl-Anthony Towns played 39.

In the fourth quarter, the Wolves shot a combined 3-for-17 from the field and were outscored 23-11 by a Grizzlies team that lost a game by 61 points last week and had won once since late January.

"That might be like my third time in my life playing like 40 minutes," Teague said. "It's a little different. A little banged up, I banged knees with someone. It's part of the game. You've got to adjust."

Asked if he expects more of the same, Teague said, "I'm not sure. I think we have guys who are capable of playing and contributing to this team and making big plays, so hopefully they'll get an opportunity."

On the issue of fatigue: "I think some guys ran out of gas. I'm not going to lie. I was a little tired, but that's not an excuse. If you're on the floor, you have to be able to help our team win."

Coach Tom Thibodeau played eight players again on Monday, but depended mostly on just six when you consider Jamal Crawford's 30 minutes played.

Backup point guard Tyus Jones played fewer than six minutes, Gorgui Dieng played almost 14.

Like Monday's game, All Star Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose will be out again injured tonight.

After such a stinker as Monday's loss, the Wolves tonight face another depleted, lottery-bound when Atlanta comes to town.

Teague was asked how he and his teammates put Monday's game behind them so there's no hangover from it tonight.

"It’s easy: You want to make the playoffs or not?" he asked. "It's pretty much the approach we have to take."

Towns didn't talk to the media after Monday's game or Tuesday's practice and this morning still was brooding over a loss and a personal performance in which he didn't fare well against physical Grizzlies veteran Marc Gasol.

Towns was asked this morning how much physicality is an issue with each game as the playoffs approach.

"I don't know about that," he said. "We're not playing with the discipline we were playing with before. It's not the physicality. It's more our discipline. If we stick to what we do, we can beat any team."

Asked if fatigue is an issue, Towns said, "I don't know. But there's no time to make an excuse. We have to get the job done."

The swelling is down in Rose's healing sprained ankle, but Thibodeau said at shootaround that Rose is not yet ready to play. He has missed three games since injuring it in a victory over the Clippers last week.

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