Rewind: Pacers vs. Timberwolves 120201
Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012 at Minneapolis
Danny Granger's last trip to Minneapolis was nightmarish -- a 2-of-19 shooting night in a 26-point blowout loss.
This time around, he left the Timberwolves with bad dreams. Granger scored a season-high 36 points, 29 in the second half to spark the Pacers to a 109-99 victory over Minnesota Wednesday night in Target Center.
Darren Collison played a strong supporting role, scoring 15 of his season-high 20 in the second half as all five Indiana starters reached double figures for the fifth time this season.
After topping 100 points just once in the first 18 games, the Pacers have done so three times in winning three in a row to improve to 15-6 overall, 9-5 on the road.
For the fourth time this season, Minnesota failed to seize an opportunity to reach .500, dropping to 10-12 overall and 5-8 at home.
BY THE NUMBERS
Granger was 9-of-19 from the field, 5-of-8 from the 3-point line and 13-of-15 from the free-throw line, adding seven rebounds to his 36 points. Collison shot 7-of-12 and added nine assists and six rebounds to his 20 points. Roy Hibbert had 15 points, nine rebounds and three blocks, David West had 12 points and eight rebounds and Paul George scored 10. The Pacers shot 45 percent and tied their season-high with 26 assists.
Kevin Love scored 21 with 17 rebounds for the Timberwolves but shot just 6 of 16. Luke Ridnour scored 16, Nikola Pekovic 13 with 12 rebounds, Michael Beasley 11 and Ricky Rubio 10 with six assists and four rebounds. The Timberwolves shot 37 percent and committed 16 turnovers.
"I don't really worry myself too much with my scoring, I'm just glad we got the win. We were shorthanded without George Hill, my shot got going, got to the free throw line a lot, made a lot of plays." - Granger
"I thought it was a flagrant foul, I was running away from the goal and he clothes-lined me and it kind of lit my fire a little bit." - Granger on his third-quarter scuffle with Kevin Love
"Darren's been playing awesome for us, being a floor general. He can create his own shot, he creates a lot of shots for me and Roy. He did an awesome job tonight." - Granger
STAT OF THE GAME
Granger (17) and Collison (11) combined for 28 of the Pacers' 31 points in the third quarter. The two made eight of nine shots in the period as the rest of the team went one of 10.
The Pacers jumped out of the gate hot, bolting to a 16-7 lead but lost their stride when the reserves began filtering into the game. Missing nine of their final 11 shots of the period and committing six turnovers -- three in a row by Lance Stephenson -- the Pacers were outscored 18-4 in the final 7 minutes of the period as Minnesota took a 25-20 lead.
Playing a go-to role with the second unit, George warmed to the task, scoring seven quick points as the Pacers quickly erased the deficit in the opening minutes of the second quarter. A 9-2 run late in the half gave Indiana a 45-38 lead but a second-chance 3-pointer by Martell Webster cut it to four at the break.
The Pacers held the Timberwolves to 31.9 percent shooting in the first half and got 10 points from George and eight each from West and Hibbert.
With Granger and Collison carrying the load, the Pacers once again made their move in the third period. Granger scored eight in a 9-2 run that gave the Pacers a 60-52 lead and it was 74-64 late in the period before the Wolves closed with a 6-2 run to cut it to 76-70 heading into the fourth quarter.
Granger and Love tangled briefly with 23.7 seconds left in the period, bringing the wrath of the Target Center fans down on Pacers forward but the Pacers responded with a flourish while the Wolves seemed to lose focus. Indiana opened the fourth period with a 9-1 run to build an 85-71 lead and the T-Wolves did not challenge thereafter.
The third-quarter tussle was prompted by Love, who grabbed Granger's shoulder from behind and spun him partially around. When Granger reacted the players had to be separated, with Vogel walking his star away. After reviewing the replay, the officials gave Granger a technical and Love a personal foul. … Both teams wore Hardwood Classics ABA tribute uniforms, the Pacers representing the road blue of the 1971-74 ABA seasons, while Minnesota wore throwbacks of the 1967 Muskies, whose roster included Mel Daniels and Donnie Freeman, two players who would eventually win championship rings with the Pacers. … George Hill, out indefinitely with a chip fracture in his left ankle, did not make the trip and also will miss Friday's game in Dallas. … Jeff Foster (lower back procedure) missed his ninth straight game. … Minnesota regained the services of starting center Darko Milicic, out the previous three due to illness, and reserve guard J.J. Barea, out the previous seven with a sprained left ankle.
The brief road trip concludes Friday in Dallas against the defending champion Mavericks, coached by Rick Carlisle and led by veteran stars Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Shawn Marion and Vince Carter. The game gives the Pacers a chance to snap another road skid as they've dropped their last seven in Dallas dating back to 2004. They've already snapped road losing streaks to the Bulls (nine) and Celtics (seven), among others, this season.