Friday, November 9 at 8:00 PM EST at the Target Center
Game Rewind: IND 94, MIN 96
by Scott Agness
On the final game of a three game road-trip, the Pacers looked to get back to their winning ways against the Timberwolves, who were without starters Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. Yet again in this young season, the game went down to the final possession when Gerald Green lost his man, Chase Budinger. The cutting Budinger got a pass from Andrei Kirilenko and laid it in with 0.8 seconds left. The play gave the Timberwolves' their fourth win of the season, 96-94.
Roy Hibbert, who had been quiet the first five games of the season, tried to change that right away Friday night. On defense, he altered four Minnesota shots. Offensively, he contributed four points early but then started forcing shots and wasn't much of a factor the rest of the way.
In the second quarter, the Timberwolves scored eight straight to go ahead 29-21. Lance Stephenson provided a big lift off the bench, as the Pacers scored seven in a row and used a 15-5 run to take back the lead. George Hill then closed the half with seven straight and the Pacers held a narrow 43-42 lead at half.
In the third, the Timberwolves were the aggressor and they took advantage of opportunities at the free throw line. They outscored the Pacers 15-2 from the line in the quarter.
Behind seven with over seven minutes to go in the game, George Hill scored five in a row to bring the Pacers within two, 78-76. Hill scored half of the Pacers’ 30 fourth quarter points.
Down the stretch, the Pacers kept the ball in Hill’s hands. With 33 seconds left, Hill got the ball back from West on a pick-and-roll, hit up a tear-drop in the lane and was fouled on the play. He made the free throw to cut the Timberwolves lead to three. At the other end, center Nikola Pekovic got the ball on the left block and blew an open layup, giving the Pacers another chance.
After a Pacers timeout, Hill got the inbounds pass with 8.8 seconds left. He dribbled to the top of the key and hit a clutch step-back three-pointer to tie the game at 94. With 3.8 seconds time still remaining, Andrei Kirilenko received the inbounds pass and found Chase Budinger for the layup and the win.
The Pacers go home, shaking their heads after losing all three road games and suffering their third loss by less than three points.
Inside the Numbers
Four Pacers were in double-figures, led by George Hill’s 29 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds in 35 minutes of action. David West registered his third double-double of the season with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Paul George added 13 and Roy Hibbert had 10.
With five players in double-figures, it was a total team effort for the Timberwolves. Chase Budinger, who had the game-winning layup, scored a team-high 18 points. Derrick Williams finished with 15, 13 for Nikola Pekovic, while Alexey Shved and Dante Cunningham each scored 11.
The Pacers have been excellent at the free throw line in their last four games, averaging an 88% clip. Tonight, they were 15-of-17.
Reserve point guard D.J. Augustin needs to contribute. His line read: 0 points, 0-for-6 from the field, 2 assists, one steal and a turnover in 13 minutes.
The Pacers are second in the league in turnovers per game. Tonight, they took better care of the ball, finishing with a season-low 13 turnovers.
George Hill had his highest scoring night as a Pacer (29) and was in double-figures for the fourth straight game. He had his highest point total this season.
A different Timberwolves player has led the team in scoring in all five games of their games. Tonight, it was 18 from Chase Budinger.
"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.” – Frank Vogel
"You don't get calls on the road, we understand that. We have to play through that, we have done a decent job this year of defending without following. We put them to the line a little too much last night." – Frank Vogel on the foul disparity
"We will take a look at the rotation; maybe spread the starters out a little more so there are one or two starters out there with the unit. It is something we have looked at. We are looking at it every day. It is probably something we will have to go to." – Frank Vogel on the second unit
"There is no good way to lose. All of them hurt. There is no reason to point fingers. That last play really lost us the game. We have to regroup. It's the NBA. We know people are going to make runs. It's still early in the season, there are 75 games left. We just have to figure out how to close the game out." – David West
"It's very frustrating, especially when you are pretty much a big part of the second unit. To be honest with you, I think the second unit is totally different than the first. We have to do different things than they do. We just have to find our style right now and we haven't been able to do that." – Tyler Hansbrough on struggling to win
Stat of the Game
In a close game like this, every point matters. The Timberwolves were 24-of-28 from the charity stripe, outscoring the Pacers by nine.
- Timberwolves’ starting point guard J.J. Barea missed the game with a left mid-foot sprain.
- Brandon Roy, who was playing in his 300th career game, didn’t return in the second half due to a sore right knee.
- Alexey Shved was given a technical foul in the fourth quarter.
- The Timberwolves coaching staff wore purple wristbands to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer.
The Pacers return home to face the Washington Wizards on Saturday, November 10th at 7:00 PM. Buy Tickets »
After the Washington game, they’ll have a day off and a day of practice before hosting Toronto on Tuesday, Nov. 13th at 7:00 PM EST. Tuesday marks the first "Two for Tuesday" ticket deal. Buy Tickets »