Pacers at Timberwolves

Pacers on Monday's Win, Home-and-Home with T-Wolves, Hitting Midway Point

Jan. 14, 2020 - Following Tuesday's practice, the Pacers reflect on Monday's win over the 76ers, look ahead to a home-and-home series with Minnesota, and evaluate the team near the midway point of the regular season.

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Pacers on Monday's Win, Home-and-Home with T-Wolves, Hitting Midway Point

Jan. 14, 2020 - Following Tuesday's practice, the Pacers reflect on Monday's win over the 76ers, look ahead to a home-and-home series with Minnesota, and evaluate the team near the midway point of the regular season.
Jan 14, 2020  |  02:07

Game Preview: Pacers at Timberwolves

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 8:00 PM ET at Target Center
by Brendan Rourke
Pacers.com Contributor





Matchup

After dispatching the Philadelphia 76ers late in the fourth quarter, the Pacers (25-15) will travel up to Minneapolis to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves (15-24) for the first time in the regular season. Indiana is looking to extend their current win streak to three games.

The Blue & Gold will be looking to pull their road record to an even 10-10 on Wednesday night against a Timberwolves team that has struggled in first half of the season. They've lost three of their last four, and have been dealing with the recent absence of their two-time All-Star, Karl-Anthony Towns. A sprained left knee has kept him sidelined for the past 14 games. The former Kentucky center was averaging a career-high 26.5 points per game in 33.9 minutes of action before his injury. His status will be re-evaluated prior to their matchup against Indiana at Target Center.

With Towns questionable, Indiana's defense will focus on containing Minnesota's second-highest scorer, Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins is having a solid sixth year, averaging 23.2 points per game and a career-high 5.1 rebounds per contest. T.J. Warren, whose block on Tobias Harris' 3-point attempt late in the fourth helped secure the Pacers' win on Monday night, will have the primary responsibility of defending Wiggins.

As a whole, Indiana's 10th-ranked defense should have a handle on a Timberwolves offense that ranks 23rd in offensive rating. Of their probable starters, only two, Wiggins and Robert Covington, are averaging more than 10 points per game. Where Indiana might struggle is an all-too-familiar place on the stat sheet — rebounding.

Despite their record, Minnesota hauls in the seventh-most rebounds per game in the NBA (46.5), and the second-most offensive rebounds per game (11.3). If the Blue & Gold give the Timberwolves too many second chances, they could be in for a closer contest than preferred.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Malcolm Brogdon, SG - Jeremy Lamb, SF - T.J. Warren, PF - Domantas Sabonis, C - Myles Turner
Timberwolves: PG - Shabazz Napier, SG - Jarrett Culver, SF - Andrew Wiggins, PF - Robert Covington, C - Gorgui Dieng

Injury Report

Pacers: Domantas Sabonis - questionable (sore left knee), Victor Oladipo - out (right knee surgery rehab)

Timberwolves: Karl-Anthony Towns - questionable (left knee sprain), Jake Layman - out (left toe sprain)

Last Meeting

February 28, 2019: Bojan Bogdanovic scored nine straight Pacers points late in the fourth quarter to secure a 122-115 win over Minnesota at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. He finished with a team-high 37, as Indiana managed to spoil a 42-point, 17 -rebound performance by Karl-Anthony Towns.

"Karl-Anthony Towns hurt us in the first quarter," Bogdanovic explained. "We started to double him and started to play very aggressive defensively and we had a lot of easy points in the fast break."

With 3:31 remaining, a backdoor cut from Bogdanovic pushed the Pacers ahead, 109-107. On Indiana's next offensive possession, he drilled a 3-pointer to go up by five. After Jeff Teague connected on one of two free throws for the Timberwolves, Bogdanovic responded with a smooth up-and-under layup to push the advantage to 114-108. The Pacers were able to easily close from there.

"I challenged the guys before the game," said Pacers head coach Nate McMillan. "All we need is what we have in this room, to win games. We've got to bring that energy. We've got to bring that attitude, that focus, out there."

The win snapped a two-game losing streak as both teams were battling fatigue on the second night of a back-to-back.

Noteworthy

  • The teams have split the season series, 1-1, for the past three years.
  • Minnesota bested Indiana 119-111 in a preseason matchup on Oct. 15, highlighted by Robert Covington’s 19 rebounds.
  • Indiana has won four of its past five road games against Minnesota.

Tickets

The Pacers conclude the home-and-home series with Minnesota when they host the Timberwolves at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday, Jan. 17 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »

Ticketmaster - 2019-20 Pacers tickets

Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »

TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 FM/1070 AM The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (studio host)

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