7 p.m. vs. Memphis • FSN Plus, 102.9-FM
Trying to solve the mystery of Grizzlies’ mastery
Preview: The Wolves have a slim chance of clinching a Western Conference playoff spot Monday night. The scenario: The Wolves have to beat Memphis, host San Antonio has to beat Sacramento, and Denver has to lose at home to Portland. The Wolves are tied with the Nuggets at 45-35, but the Wolves sit in the eighth and final playoff spot in the West thanks to a 2-1 edge over Denver this season. The two teams finish the season against each other Wednesday at Target Center. But the Wolves have lost four in a row to Memphis and both games this season, though Jimmy Butler was still out when Memphis beat the Wolves at Target Center on March 26. Memphis, after beating Detroit 130-117 on Sunday, will be on the tail end of back-to-back games.
Players to watch: Butler returned to action after missing 17 games rehabbing from knee surgery and had 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting in 22:35 of playing time in Minnesota’s victory over the Lakers on Friday. F Taj Gibson has had back-to-back double-doubles, averaging 17.5 points and 12 rebounds in those two games. C Karl-Anthony Towns has averaged 11 points and 11.5 rebounds in two games vs. Memphis this season. Memphis C Marc Gasol has averaged 20.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists in two games vs. the Wolves this season.
Numbers: Memphis has won 25 of the past 32 meetings between the teams. The Wolves are 3-4 at home since the beginning of March.
Injuries: C Justin Patton (illness) is doubtful. Before Sunday’s game, the Grizzlies listed G Mike Conley (left heel), G/F Tyreke Evans (personal reasons), F JaMychal Green (knee), G Andrew Harrison (wrist/shoulder), F Jarell Martin (ankle), F Chandler Parsons (knee) and G Wayne Selden (knee) as out. Parsons and Selden, who combined for 26 points in Memphis’ victory over the Wolves on March 26, have been ruled out for the season.