(MINNEAOPOLIS, MN) – The Indiana Pacers (13-12) erase a 22-point first half deficit but fall short to the Minnesota Timberwolves (12-12) 121-115 to conclude their 7-game, 11-day road trip.
Much like any other game thus far for the Indiana Pacers, they would struggle to score in the first twelve minutes of basketball. Indiana would score just 17 points in the first quarter and trail by a season high first quarter deficit of 18-points. The score would be 35-17 and Anthony Edwards almost single handedly outscored Indiana with 14 points. Rudy Gobert corralled nine rebounds in the first quarter, which was three more than Indiana had as a team. The Pacers leading scorer was Bennedict Mathurin off the bench with six.
The second quarter was totally different than the first for Indiana. They lit up the scoring like a Christmas tree. They went down 47-24, and then would slowly chip away at the deficit because of their three-point shooting. In the quarter Indiana was 7/11 from downtown and outscored Minnesota by 16 in the quarter. The 44 points scored were the second most in a quarter on the season. Buddy Hield poured in 13 points with four three’s and Tyrese Haliburton added 10 points of his own. The halftime score would be 63-61, advantage home team.
Indiana’s hot shooting would carry over despite the break at halftime and would take their first lead of the game in just over two-minutes of action. The Pacers would extend their lead to as much as eight points. Hield and Haliburton once again led the Pacers in scoring with eight points each. Minnesota had seven different players score with Edwards pacing them in the quarter with six points. The defense for Indiana forced Minnesota to turn the ball over eight times. The score after three quarters was 90-90.
The fourth quarter could best be described as a dogfight. Minnesota quickly jumped out to a six-point lead and would maintain a two-possession lead for the majority of the fourth quarter. The catalyst for the Timberwolves scoring was D’Angelo Russell. He dropped 15 points in the quarter. Indiana would fight their way into the game late. After a barrage of three’s from Myles Turner and Aaron Nesmith with a layup mixed in from Haliburton, Indiana would tie the game at 115 with less than 51 seconds left. Indiana played solid defense in Minnesota’s possession, but Gobert was sent to the foul line after being fouled by Hield in the act of shooting. He would make both free-throws, then he would go down and block Hield’s attempt to tie the game. Edwards would ice the game with a pair of free-throws followed by an Indiana turnover, then Gobert would add a dunk with the game already decided. The final was 121-115.
TOP PERFORMERS: D’Angelo Russell (28p, 4a, 4 three’s), Anthony Edwards (26p, 8a, 6s), Tyrese Haliburton (26p, 15a, 3s), Buddy Hield (26p, 6r, 7 three’s), Myles Turner (23p, 8r, 4b), and Rudy Gobert (16p, 21r, 3s, 2b). For tonight’s full box score, click here.
NOTES: Tyrese Haliburton notched his third game with 15+ assists, 15th double-double, and 17th game with 10+ assists. Myles turner recorded his eighth game with 20+ points. Second straight season with the Timberwolves sweeping the season series. Anthony Edwards tied his career high in steals with six (back-to-back games with six steals). Indiana finished the 7-game, 11-day road trip with a 2-5 record.
UP NEXT: Indiana is finally back in Gainbridge Fieldhouse and begin a four-game homestand on Friday night when they welcome the Washington Wizards to Indianapolis. The Kroger Pregame Show with Pat Boylan will start at 6:30pm with tip-off at 7pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan.