Notebook: Wolves 96, Pacers 94

Posted Nov 9, 2012 11:40 PM

By Jim Beilby, for

THE FACTS: With both teams missing key players, the Indiana Pacers and the Minnesota Timberwolves needed their benches to step up. And Minnesota's bench did exactly that as the Timberwolves improved to 4-1, defeating the Pacers 96-94 on Friday. Chase Budinger led Minnesota with 18 points, none more important than a layup with 0.8 seconds to play that gave Minnesota the victory. George Hill led the Pacers with 29 points, including a big step-back 3-pointer with 3.8 seconds to play to tie the score at 94. David West also had a strong game for the Pacers, scoring 19 and grabbing 13 rebounds.

QUOTABLE: "You have to give Andrei [Kirilenko] credit [on that last play] because he was really patient when he got it and he didn't throw up a quick shot. Chase got an unbelievable cut from the 3-point line. . . After Nikola [Pekovic's] miss, we were holding our breath that he could just finish the play. It was a great win for us."

-- Minnesota coach Rick Adelman

THE STAT: Minnesota's bench scored 48 points, a number that matched the output of their starters. Minnesota also shot 50 percent from the floor and outrebounded the top-ranked rebounding team in the league 44-43.

TURNING POINT: Minnesota led by two points 86-84 with a little over three minutes in the game when rookie Alexey Shved took an ill-advised 3-pointer with plenty of time left on the clock, allowing Indiana to tie the game on the next possession. But Shved redeemed himself, scoring on a nice driving layup the next possession and then, immediately after that, another layup on a stolen inbound pass. Minnesota looked to have the game in hand, up by three with the ball, with less than 30 seconds to play. However, after a missed wide-open layup by Pekovic and a clutch 3-pointer by Hill, Minnesota needed a great backcut by Budinger and a perfect pass by Kirilenko to secure the win.

QUOTABLE II: "Our margin of error is very small when you have young and inexperienced players in there at crunch time. We have lost a couple games because of it and we have to overcome it. With losing Danny Granger, we have to find that replacement for him in crunch time to finish those games."

-- Indiana coach Frank Vogel

NOTABLE: Brandon Roy played 15 minutes in the first half, but did not come out of the locker room after half due to a sore right knee. With Budinger leading Minnesota in scoring, the Wolves have had five different players lead the team in scoring in their first five games.

UP NEXT: For the Wolves, Saturday @ Chicago, Monday @ Dallas, Wednesday vs. Charlotte. For the Pacers, Saturday vs. Washington, Tuesday vs. Toronto, Wednesday @ Milwaukee.