GAME RECAP: Pacers 116, Timberwolves 114

Indiana edges the Minnesota, 116-114, as T.J. Warren scores 28 points and adds 5 rebounds in the win.

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GAME RECAP: Pacers 116, Timberwolves 114

Indiana edges the Minnesota, 116-114, as T.J. Warren scores 28 points and adds 5 rebounds in the win.
Jan 17, 2020  |  00:01

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room - Jan. 17, 2020

January 17, 2020 - Doug McDermott, T.J. Warren and Myles Turner respond to the 116-114 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Jan 17, 2020  |  01:29

MALCOLM BROGDON

Malcolm Brogdon Lets It Fly to Win
Jan 17, 2020  |  00:10

Domas Denial

Domantas Sabonis Denies the Timberwolves
Jan 17, 2020  |  00:11

TJ Warren with 15 Points in the 3rd Quarter vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

T.J. Warren with a strong quarter that keeps the Pacers ahead of the Timberwolves
Jan 17, 2020  |  00:01

Aaron Back and Behind

Aaron Holiday Shoots From Behind
Jan 17, 2020  |  00:12

Domas Knocks Down 2

Domantas Sabonis Knocks Down 2
Jan 17, 2020  |  00:09

Holiday to Holiday to Bucket

Aaron Holiday to Justin Holiday to the Bucket
Jan 17, 2020  |  00:08

Myles Shows Up

Myles Turner Shows Up with a Big Slam
Jan 17, 2020  |  00:09

Warren. Again.

T.J. Warren on Fire
Jan 17, 2020  |  00:06

Lamb Taps the Glass

Jeremy Lamb Taps the Glass
Jan 17, 2020  |  00:08

Warren Rainbow

T.J. Warren Hits a Rainbow
Jan 17, 2020  |  00:07

Blink and You'll Miss It

Blink and You'll Miss T.J. Warren Slamming a 2
Jan 17, 2020  |  00:06

McConnell Hits Quick 2

T.J. McConnell Hits a Quick 2
Jan 17, 2020  |  00:07

Aaron Holiday Beats the Buzzer

Aaron Holiday Beats the Buzzer
Jan 17, 2020  |  00:16

Doug with the Deep 3

Doug McDermott with the Deep 3
Jan 17, 2020  |  00:10

McConnell Buckets From Behind

T.J. McConnell Hits Buckets From Behind
Jan 17, 2020  |  00:10

Lamb Works the Paint

Jeremy Lamb Works the Paint
Jan 17, 2020  |  00:09

Brogdon Steps Back

Malcolm Brogdon Steps Back for 3
Jan 17, 2020  |  00:07

Domas Floats It Up

Domantas Sabonis Floats Up a 2
Jan 17, 2020  |  00:11

Pacers Win in the Usual Way

by Mark Montieth
Pacers.com Writer
@MarkMontieth

The box score makes no sense. Surely there must be a typo somewhere.

The Pacers were outscored by 27 points behind the 3-point line by a Minnesota team that shot uncharacteristically well, although not uncharacteristically often. They gave up another 27 points to Karl-Anthony Towns, who played for the first time since Dec. 13 and only got eight points from each of their foul-burdened big men, Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner. They were outscored by a point at the foul line, too, so forget the home cooking angle.

So how did they escape Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday with a 116-114 victory over the Timberwolves?

Balance and Brogdon, basically.

All 10 Pacers who played scored — led by the uncanny T.J. Warren's 28 points — and eight of them had eight or more. That kind of balance has supported them through their 27-15 start to the season, a season that's about to get a lot more interesting. And it's never been on better display than in this latest victory, its fourth straight.

"We've got a lot of guys out here who can make plays, man, that's the biggest thing," said Turner, who made most of his plays at the defensive end with three blocks and general harassment around the rim.

Consider that by the first timeout, with 6:31 left in the first quarter, five Pacers had contributed to their 16-point total, one of which, ironically, was not Warren. All of Minnesota's nine points, meanwhile, had come from Towns.

More crucially, consider that seven different Pacers scored in succession down the stretch to extract the improbable victory.

Doug McDermott, who finished with 13 points and eight rebounds off the bench, hit a floater while driving off a screen to give the Pacers a 105-96 lead with nine minutes left. Aaron Holiday, who added another 13 off the bench, got the next basket on a driving layup. Sabonis got the next one on a 20-footer.

Jeremy Lamb scored the next two after a crucial turn of events. Lamb was called for throwing a shoulder into the defender on a transition layup, but Pacers coach Nate McMillan challenged the call. Although the ruling looked correct on some replays, the officials in the replay center overturned it and awarded Lamb two free throws, which he made.

McMillan said he had a timeout to burn with the clock having run down below five minutes so figured he had nothing to lose. Lamb said he was surprised by the initial foul call but wouldn't have been surprised if it wasn't overturned.

Warren scored the next points on an 18-footer. Following a timeout, Turner, taking a feed underneath the basket from Brogdon, drew a foul and hit the second of two foul shots.

The Timberwolves scored the next seven points to tie the game and had three chances to take the lead but failed each time — twice by stepping out of bounds on the sideline. Brogdon hit what turned out to be the game-winner by dribbling off a Sabonis screen and hitting a 16-footer with 18.7 seconds remaining.

It made for a winning relay team: McDermott to Aaron Holiday to Sabonis to Lamb to Warren to Turner to Brogdon. And it surprised nobody that Brogdon was the one to carry the baton across the finish line.

Malcolm Brogdon

Photo Credit: Matt Kryger

The Pacers' marquee offseason addition has become an elite closer. After returning from a prolonged absence due to a succession of injuries and a strep throat, he scored eight points without a turnover in the fourth quarter of the victory over Philadelphia on Monday. He followed with 10 points without a turnover in the victory over Minnesota on Wednesday.

This time Brogdon scored just two points in the fourth quarter and committed what could have been a costly turnover with 59.3 seconds left when he threw a crosscourt pass out of bounds. Still, he scored the biggest two. That brand of clutch play is the biggest reason the Pacers are 21-9 with him and 6-6 without him.

The game-winner came off a play called 15-Twist. Brogdon dribbled off Sabonis' screen and had the option of turning back and dribbling off it a second time. But Towns, who was defending Sabonis on the pick and concerned about a roll to the basket, was retreating as Brogdon turned the corner and left room for him to get off a one-handed runner.

"Coach trusts me to make the read," Brogdon said. "I have a lot of space over there. Second and third quarter shots weren't falling for me, but I had to stick with it. (Sabonis) set a great screen to get me open."

Brogdon made the unusual transition from shooting guard to point guard after joining the Pacers, so he was unsure how things would go at closing time. It's turned out that he makes them go.

"It's a privilege," he said. "Being the closer, sometimes it's about making the last shot, sometimes it's about making the right play, the right pass."

And if he makes the wrong play, such as the pass that sailed out of bounds, he doesn't lose confidence.

"I'm not a guy who's going to get riled up." He said. "It's a turnover, we've got another opportunity."

The closer of seasons past, Victor Oladipo, is scheduled to make his season debut when the Pacers play their first home game following the upcoming five-game road trip, on Jan. 29th. What happens then?

"I think Vic is going to be the dominant scorer on the team," Brogdon said. "It's going to be based on who's hot. He's probably going to be the closer, for sure, but when necessary I will be there to help close games."

There could be a side benefit to Oladipo's return for Brogdon, though. With the defensive attention Oladipo will command when he's penetrating to the basket, Brogdon could get more open shots. His field goal (.444) and 3-point (.344) percentages have dropped from last season because he's had to take more of them while on the move. Soon, he could be getting more spot-ups.

"It's going to be easier basketball for me," Brogdon said. "Vic comes back, we've got an All-Star on the floor, a guy who can score the ball at an elite level, so I'm going to have a lot of set shots."


Have a question for Mark? Want it to be on Pacers.com? Email him at askmontieth@gmail.com and you could be featured in his next mailbag.

Mark Montieth's book on the formation and groundbreaking seasons of the Pacers, "Reborn: The Pacers and the Return of Pro Basketball to Indianapolis," is available in bookstores throughout Indiana and on Amazon.com.

Note: The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Indiana Pacers. All opinions expressed by Mark Montieth are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Indiana Pacers, their partners, or sponsors.

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