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Fast start, slow finish: Wolves open Thibs era with an L in Memphis

KAT scored 21 but only 5 came after halftime; Wiggins leads Wolves.

The Timberwolves jumped out to a fast start but at the finish it was all Grizzlies, as they opened the season with a 102-98 victory over Minnesota in Memphis Wednesday night.

Each team was playing its first regular season game under a new coach.

The Timberwolves got off to a great start under new boss Tom Thibodeau, racing out to a 16-1 lead. Karl-Anthony Towns had 16 points by halftime on 7-11 shooting.

But Memphis coach David Fizdale apparently ordered some adjustments during the break and the Grizzlies held Towns to five points the rest of the way.

The fourth quarter was close but crunch time belonged to Memphis. With less than three minutes to go, the Wolves held a four-point lead. They wound up losing by four.

Thibodeau wasn't the only one debuting for the Timberwolves.

First-round draft pick Kris Dunn led the Wolves' bench with eight points in 15 minutes.

While Towns finished with 21 points, Andrew Wiggins led the Wolves with 25. Georgi Dieng had 14 rebounds. Ricky Rubio had four points and eight assists.

Memphis' fourth quarter surge was led by Mike Conley and Marc Gasol, who finished with 24 and 18, respectively. Zach Randolph had 19 points and 11 rebounds off the bench for the Grizzlies.

The Timberwolves will face the Grizzlies again in their home opener at Target Center on Tuesday, Nov. 1. But first they have a game in Sacramento on Saturday night.

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