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Grizzlies Beat Timberwolves to Strengthen NBA Playoff Chances

April 3 (Bloomberg) -- Zach Randolph scored 22 points to help the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 106-89 and strengthen their hold on seventh place in the National Basketball Association’s Western Conference.

The victory put Memphis (44-33) one-half game ahead of the New Orleans Hornets in the conference.

O.J. Mayo had 20 points and Tony Allen scored 12 for Memphis, which handed the Timberwolves (17-60) their 10th straight loss.

Michael Beasley led the Timberwolves with 20 points and Luke Ridnour had 17 at FedexForum in Memphis.

The San Antonio Spurs, NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder have booked postseason places in the Western Conference.

At the United Center in Chicago, Derrick Rose had 36 points and 10 assists to lead the Bulls to a 113-106 win against the Toronto Raptors as Chicago fights for top seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Bulls lead Miami by three games and Boston by 3½. At 56-20, they are within one game of San Antonio for the league’s best record.

Carlos Boozer had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Luol Deng added 17 points for the Bulls. Jerryd Bayless and DeMar DeRozan each had 26 points for the Raptors (20-55).

In addition to the Bulls, the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks have already advanced to the postseason from the Eastern Conference.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at

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