Scored 22 points on 7-of-17 shooting with three assists, three rebounds and two steals.
"Our aggression wasn't there in the second half. I told the players after the game, 'The loss is on all of us' but it's on me as much as them. You can't have a 21-point half and expect to win whether you're at home or on the road. It's a tough loss. … I feel bad because it was an opportunity for us to get three in a row which we haven't been able to do this year. To have the air come out of us like it did in the second half, that's the coach's responsibility."
Points in the Paint:
Timberwolves 38, Pacers 32
Fast-break points:
Pacers 15, Timberwolves 2
2nd-chance points:
Timberwolves 16, Pacers 9
Points off turnovers:
Pacers 17, Timberwolves 13
Starters scoring:
Pacers 54, Timberwolves 48
Bench scoring:
Timberwolves 30, Pacers 17
The Pacers scored 20 points in the first 6½ minutes of the game, making 8-of-10 shots in building a 16-point lead. They scored 21 points in the final 24 minutes, making 7-of-36 shots, and were outscored 38-21.
The Houston Rockets, led by dominant center Yao Ming, make their annual visit to Conseco Fieldhouse Tuesday night (7:00).
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    Epic Collapse Dooms Lifeless Pacers

    By Conrad Brunner | Dec. 23, 2006

    Words fail to describe the level to which the Pacers sank Saturday night.

    Which is somehow fitting, since everything else failed, as well.

    Tying franchise NBA record-lows with eight points in the third quarter and 21 in the second half, the Pacers blew a 10-point halftime lead and lost 78-71 to Minnesota. Their second half also tied for the fifth-lowest point total in NBA history.

    Keep in mind, this was a Minnesota team riding a four-game losing streak in which it had allowed an average of 106.8 points per game. A slumping team, missing an injured starter, that promptly missed 12 of its first 14 shots to fall behind by 16. A team that "rallied to win" by shooting 38.2 percent in the second half. A team on which only two players scored in double figures and four of the five starters combined to shoot 6-of-27.

    And so the Pacers (15-14) failed for the sixth time this season to extend a winning streak to three games, falling to 8-4 at home with their second consecutive loss at Conseco Fieldhouse. Minnesota (11-13) won here for the first time in five seasons and third time in franchise history almost exclusively because of Kevin Garnett, a star who always comes to play and finished with 29 points, 19 rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots.


    Jamaal Tinsley tried to spark the offense, scoring 22 points, and did not commit a turnover. Jeff Foster pulled 11 rebounds in 27 minutes. Marquis Daniels made a rare prime-time appearance and scored six quick points early in the fourth quarter before promptly being returned to the bench. Jermaine O'Neal blocked five shots, four in the first quarter.
    The Pacers shot 7-of-36 in the second half (19.4 percent), had more turnovers (19) than assists (16), were outrebounded 50-41 and shot .579 from the free-throw line. O'Neal scored just 11 points, going 1-of-7 from the line. Al Harrington scored just 12 with as many turnovers as baskets (four). Stephen Jackson broke out of his recent hot streak with nine points and six turnovers. Danny Granger managed just three shots and three points in a tentative 24 minutes. Sarunas Jasikevicius shot 2-of-8, although his 3-point play with nine seconds left in the third quarter saved the Pacers from the ignominy of a five-point quarter.

    Garnett carried the Timberwolves with his usual relentless approach and once his jumper started falling in the second half, his teammates came to life around him. The only other Minnesota player in double figures was rookie guard Randy Foye with 10. Garnett and Foye combined for half the team's points and 19-of-34 shooting. The rest of the T-Wolves combined to shoot 12-of-45 (.267).

    The Pacers may have been doomed, in an odd way, by their fast start, making it look far too easy in building a quick 20-4 lead. Minnesota rallied with nine in a row early in the second period to close to 34-29 but the Pacers pushed it back to 50-36 late in the half. That's where they hit the wall so hard, it collapsed and buried them in their own rubble.

    For the next 8 minutes, 50 seconds, the Pacers scored one point, missed 10 shots and committed four turnovers while Minnesota put together a 15-1 run to tie the game. Jasikevicius' three-point play late in the period actually gave the Pacers a 58-57 lead heading into the fourth. And Daniels brought life early in the fourth quarter, attacking the basket three times to give the Pacers a 64-62 lead.

    But the starters returned and so did the icy shooting as just one shot found the basket in the next five minutes as Garnett pushed Minnesota into a 74-68 lead. O'Neal scored his only basket of the second half to cut it to four with 3:27 remaining but on their final six possessions the Pacers produced two missed shots, three turnovers and one free throw.

  • O'Neal missed more free throws in this game (six) than in his previous six games combined (five). O'Neal had gone 39-of-44 in that span (.886).
  • Minnesota was without small forward Trenton Hassell (stomach virus), who was replaced in the starting lineup by Justin Reed.
  • Timberwolves Coach Dwane Casey changed his lineup to start the second half, inserting Troy Hudson at point guard (in place of Mike James) and Marko Jaric at shooting guard (in place of Ricky Davis).