NBA Basketball

Final-OT 1 2 3 4 OT Tot
Indiana 39 30 17 35 13 134
Minnesota 33 40 19 29 7 128
5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 PM CT23:00 , February 17, 2021
Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Falling Pacers hope to get well against sliding Wolves

According to STATS
According to STATS

Indiana Pacers at Minnesota Timberwolves

  1. The Pacers have won three straight against Minnesota, all by single digits, including the two games last year by a combined seven points. Neither team has won more than three straight in this series since Indiana won four in a row from March 2002 to November 2003.
  2. Indiana blocked 14 shots in its loss to the Bulls on Monday, the most the Pacers have recorded in a game since October 29, 2013 when they blocked 18 Magic shots. Nine of the 14 blocks came in the first half, the most in the first half by any team in a game this season.
  3. T.J. McConnell (103) and Malcolm Brogdon (101) have each provided at least 100 assists on baskets in the paint this season. Indiana is the only team in the league with two players with over 100 paint assists this season.
  4. Minnesota's last 10 games have all been decided by fewer than 10 points, though they're just 3-7 in those games. The Wolves have led at some point in the fourth quarter in seven of those 10 games (3-4) and are the only NBA team with a losing record in games in which they've held a 4th quarter lead (7-9).
  5. Anthony Edwards scored a career-high 28 points against the Lakers on Tuesday. Since being inserted into the starting lineup on January 29, Edwards has averaged 17.6 points per game, second-most among rookies in that time behind only Charlotte's LaMelo Ball (21.0).
  6. The Timberwolves' bench has scored 40.5 points per game this season, second-most in the NBA (Pistons -- 42.4), while the Pacers reserves have scored just 32.0 ppg, third fewest in the league.

In a matchup of slumping teams, the Indiana Pacers visit Minneapolis on Wednesday to face the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Pacers fell in overtime to the visiting Chicago Bulls on Monday, 120-112, marking Indiana's fifth loss in its last seven games.

The Timberwolves are coming off a 112-104 home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, Minnesota's seventh defeat in nine games.

The Pacers snapped a four-game skid with consecutive road wins over the Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks late last week, but a 66-54 rebounding disparity against Chicago ended the modest streak.

"We just have a tendency to kind of watch shots go up instead of blocking out our man," Indiana guard T.J. McConnell said postgame. "That's not going to get it done. We (have) to be better, plain and simple. We will. It's going to continue to bite us in the butt and not allow us to get over the hump."

The Pacers' rebounding gap vs. Chicago came despite Malcolm Brogdon grabbing 15 and Domantas Sabonis pulling down 10. And though Sabonis is one of the leading rebounders in the NBA at 11.4 per game, the Pacers head into Wednesday's matchup with Minnesota ranked near the bottom of the league at 10.5 offensive rebounds allowed per game.

Minnesota is pulling down nearly 11 offensive rebounds per game, and it recently welcomed back the team's statistical leader in that category every year since 2015-16, Karl-Anthony Towns.

Towns has eight offensive boards in his first four games back and 35 total rebounds over that stretch. Towns missed the previous 13 games and 20 of 22, the result of a dislocated wrist.

Minnesota is just 1-3 since his return, however.

Rookie wing Anthony Edwards scored a team-high 28 points against the Lakers, shooting 5-for-10 from 3-point range, but it wasn't enough.

"We (weren't) aggressive. We (were) sacred, we (were) intimidated," Edwards said. "I just took it personal and took it upon myself to show that I don't care who I'm going against, I'm still going to play the same way as I'd play if I'm going against somebody that's not the Lakers."

The Timberwolves, who own the NBA's worst record, did manage an impressive 116-112 victory over Toronto on Sunday when Towns contributed 20 points and 11 rebounds.

Minnesota's roster is not yet quite at full strength, however. Jarrett Culver missed the Tuesday game due to a left ankle spring, and D'Angelo Russell is scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

Russell will be out for four to six weeks.

Indiana has struggled with its own persistent absences from the lineup. T.J. Warren has not played since Dec. 29 due to foot surgery. Caris LeVert -- acquired from the Brooklyn Nets in a trade that sent former All-Star Victor Oladipo to the Houston Rockets -- required surgery to treat renal cell carcinoma of the kidney shortly after joining the team.

Pacers coach Nate Bjorkgren told play-by-play announcer Mark Boyle on Saturday that LeVert is "looking good."

Until Warren or LeVert become available, Indiana is seeking a consistent scorer to help replace the 20 points per game Oladipo was averaging. Brogdon and Sabonis average 21.2 and 21 points per game, respectively, but there is a considerable drop to third-leading-scorer Myles Turner's 13.4 points per game average -- not counting Warren's 15.5 average in just four games.

Doug McDermott, who averages 13.3 points per game, primarily off the bench, missed the Monday loss because of a right knee injury.

--Field Level Media

Updated February 17, 2021

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