Aaron Nesmith
(NBAE/Getty Images)

Game Preview: Pacers at Timberwolves

Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 8:00 PM ET at Target Center

Pacers at Timberwolves
Game Preview

The longest Indiana Pacers road trip since 1986 will come to a close on Wednesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center.

Indiana (13-11) enters game seven of its away span coming off one of its most impressive wins of the season.

Despite missing star point guard Tyrese Haliburton and starting center Myles Turner, along with T.J. McConnell, James Johnson, Chris Duarte and Daniel Theis, the Pacers posted a 112-104 win over the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors on Monday night.

A week after hitting a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to beat the Los Angeles Lakers, Pacers rookie Andrew Nembhard had a career night across the board – recording 31 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds in 41 minutes -- against the Warriors.

Nembhard, the 31st overall pick in the 2022 NBA draft from Gonzaga, was the first Pacers rookie to record 30+ points and 10+ assists in a game since Jamaal Tinsley on March 5, 2002, and third ever to do it.

Also notable, the Pacers – with Nembhard at point – held Stephen Curry, who entered the night fourth in the NBA in scoring at 30.8 points per game, to just 12 points on 3-of-17 shooting (2-of-10 from 3-point range).

Indiana tailed 100-99 with 4:42 remaining before a 10-2 Pacers run – on two 3-pointers from Nembhard – put the visitors ahead by seven with 2:36 remaining. From there, the Pacers held on to move to 5-0 on the second legs of back-to-backs this season.

The loss snapped a 10-game home winning streak for the Warriors.

The win was much-needed for the Pacers, who had lost four of their last five road games going into the game in San Francisco.

Like the Pacers, the Timberwolves (11-12) had a strong stretch of games in November but have since struggled to put together wins.

After winning five in a row from Nov. 13 to Nov. 23, the Timberwolves have lost four of their last five games.

Indiana and Minnesota have already met once this season, with the Timberwolves taking a 115-101 win in Indianapolis on Nov. 23.

This time around, however, Minnesota will be without All-Star forward Karl-Anthony Towns, who is sidelined with a calf strain. Towns had 23 points and 11 rebounds in the first contest.

The Timberwolves come into the second matchup against the Pacers rested, as they’ve not played a game since Saturday – a 135-128 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Thunder scored at least 31 points in each quarter to beat the Timberwolves.

Minnesota trailed 63-57 at half before the Thunder scored 44 points in the third quarter to widen the margin.

On top of missing Anthony-Towns, Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert, a three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and last year’s league-leading rebounder, was ejected in the second quarter.

Despite the Timberwolves taking a one-point lead in the third quarter, the Thunder strung together an 18-3 run to establish some breathing room before securing the win.

D’Angelo Russell topped the Timberwolves with 27 points and Anthony Edwards scored 26.

The Pacers and Timberwolves play at two of the fastest paces in the NBA, as Indiana is second in fast break point at 17.9 per game and Minnesota ranks fifth at 16.0 per contest.

After Minnesota, Indiana will play four straight home games starting with the Washington Wizards on Friday.

Projected Starters

Pacers: G - Andrew Nembhard, G - Bennedict Mathurin, F - Buddy Hield, F - Aaron Nesmith  C - Jalen Smith

Timberwolves:  G - D’Angelo Russell, G - Wendell Moore Jr., F - Anthony Edwards, F - Kyle Anderson, C - Rudy Gobert

Injury Report

Pacers: Tyrese Haliburton - questionable (sore groin), James Johnson - questionable (right elbow sprain), T.J. McConnell - questionable (non-COVID illness), Jalen Smith - questionable (sore right knee), Myles Turner - questionable (sore right hamstring), Chris Duarte - out (left ankle sprain), Daniel Theis - out (right knee surgery)

Timberwolves: Karl Anthony-Towns - out (right calf strain), Tauren Prince - out (right shoulder subluxation)

Last Meeting

Nov 23, 2022: The Minnesota Timberwolves outscored the Indiana Pacers 74-38 in the paint en route to a 115-101 win at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

The 74 points inside were a season high for the Timberwolves, and is tied for the third-most for a game in Timberwolves franchise history. 

Minnesota’s length and size caused issues all night for the Pacers, which shot a season second-worst 38.5 percent and were outrebounded 50-30.

Indiana trailed by 17 points in the first quarter before the visitors put the game away in the final frame.

Turner led the Pacers with 31 points and Mathurin added 21 points. Towns led the Timberwolves with 23 points while Gobert had 21 points and 16 rebounds.

With the win, the Timberwolves snapped a five-game Pacers winning streak.

  • Mathurin, the reigning Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month,  made his first career start on Monday night, finishing with 14 points, two rebounds and an assist.
  • Hield made his 1,500th career 3-pointer on Wednesday night by hitting four from deep. He is the second-fastest player to achieve the feat (492 games) behind just Stephen Curry (477 games). Hield is the 43rd player in NBA history to achieve 1,500 career 3-point makes.
  • The Blue & Gold are 10-1 when six or more players score 10 or more points.
  • Indiana's seven games on the road were held in just 12 days.
Broadcast Information (TV and Radio Listings >>)

TV: Bally Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)

Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (studio host)


After a seven-game road trip, the Pacers will return to Indiana to host Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Friday, Dec. 9 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets >>