Game Preview: Pacers vs Timberwolves
Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
After losing another starter and another game on Tuesday, the shorthanded Pacers (22-27) are back in action on Wednesday, when they host Karl-Anthony Towns and the Timberwolves (13-38) on the second night of a back-to-back.
The Blue & Gold have been without leading scorers Malcolm Brogdon (sore hip) and Domantas Sabonis (sprained ankle) for the last three and two games, respectively. Myles Turner, the NBA's leading shotblocker, has now joined them on the injury report after spraining his right ankle in Tuesday's 113-97 loss to Chicago. It is possible that one or more could be cleared to return on Wednesday, but chances are the Blue & Gold will go into their meeting with Minnesota undermanned.
The absence of All-Star forward Sabonis was especially noticeable against Chicago, as the Bulls dominated Indiana on the glass (it didn't help, either, when fellow big man Turner exited early in the second half). The Bulls outrebounded the Pacers 57-33 overall and 14-6 on the offensive boards.
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Rebounding will again be an important area against the Timberwolves, who are built around Towns. The 6-11 center out of Kentucky averages 24.5 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. Towns has recorded a double-double in seven straight contests, including a 39-point, 14-rebound performance in Philadelphia on Saturday.
The Timberwolves own the worst record in the NBA and fired coach Ryan Saunders on Feb. 21, replacing him with Raptors assistant Chris Finch. Minnesota has been more competitive since the All-Star break, compiling a 6-9 record that includes wins over Phoenix and Portland. Still, Wednesday's game is a winnable contest for the Pacers (even undermanned) and could be vital to their playoff pursuit.
Pacers: PG - Caris LeVert, SG - Edmond Sumner, SF - Justin Holiday, PF - Doug McDermott, C - Myles Turner
Timberwolves: PG - Ricky Rubio, SG - Anthony Edwards, SF - Josh Okogie, PF - Jaden McDaniels, C - Karl-Anthony Towns
Pacers: Malcolm Brogdon - questionable (sore right hip), Domantas Sabonis - questionable (left ankle sprain), Myles Turner - questionable (right ankle sprain), T.J. Warren - out (left foot stress fracture)
Timberwolves: D'Angelo Russell - probable (left knee surgery), Malik Beasley - out (left hamstring injury), Jaylen Nowell - out (right tibia contusion)
Feb. 17, 2021: Two Domantas Sabonis free throws with 11.1 seconds remaining in regulation forced overtime and the Pacers prevailed in the extra session, 134-128, to beat the Timberwolves in Minnesota.
Sabonis recorded a triple-double in the win with a career-high 36 points on 13-of-21 shooting, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists. It was his seventh career triple-double, the most ever by a Pacer in NBA franchise history.
Malcolm Brogdon almost had a 30-point triple-double of his own, finishing with 32 points while going 6-for-7 from 3-point range, pulling down nine boards, and dishing out seven assists.
"I was taking what they gave me," Brogdon said. "They were going under screens – hit by screens. And Domas (Sabonis) was setting great screens. So I took the shots I had."
Malik Beasley led Minnesota with a career-high 31 points in the loss. Karl-Anthony Towns added 30 points and 10 rebounds, while Ricky Rubio tallied 20 points and 13 assists.
- The Pacers have won four straight games against the Timberwolves, including two in a row at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Minnesota's last win in Indiana came on Dec. 31, 2017.
- Indiana is 6-4 on the season when playing on the second night of a back-to-back.
- Timberwolves guard D'Angelo Russell was teammates with Caris LeVert for two seasons in Brooklyn from 2017-19.
A limited number of tickets for all upcoming Pacers home games from March 17 - April 21 are now on sale. Tickets for the final nine regular season home games will go on sale on Monday, April 19. Single Game Tickets » Health & Safety Guidelines »
Broadcast Information TV & 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 (sideline reporter/host)
Please Note: Inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Pacers radio broadcasts can be heard on 1080 AM instead of 1070.