Postgame Report: Timberwolves 116, Pacers 111 090203
Scored a game-high 28 points in 37 minutes, making 10-of-19 shots including 4-of-7 from the 3-point line, adding five rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal.
Entering the game 11th in the NBA in free-throw percentage at .893, T.J. Ford missed four-of-eight free throws in the fourth quarter, including two in the final seconds.
The Pacers travel to Philadelphia to face the surging Sixers Thursday (7 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, 1070 The Fan).
Feb. 3, 2009 at Conseco Fieldhouse
Timberwolves 116, Pacers 111
PACERS COACH JIM O'BRIEN
“If anything, we proved to ourselves we’re never out of a basketball game. I think our guys played with a great degree of tenacity and never gave up."
"I thought if we held Jefferson down like we did, we’d beat these guys. But Gomes (Ryan) and Telfair (Sebastian) really hurt us."
"(On missed free throws) In a situation like that, the guys desperately want to make them. It’s just the way the ball bounces.”
PACERS GUARD MIKE DUNLEAVY
“Too bad this one got away from us. It is a tough, tough loss to swallow. We just came up a little bit short. We have played ourselves into a deep hole. We can only dig out of this."
"It was close the whole game. In my opinion, the big difference was the run at the end and how they executed. We concentrated on not letting Jefferson beat us but we didn’t control the others.”
PACERS FORWARD TROY MURPHY
(On Al Jefferson) "We tried to front him and we worked hard in practice on defending him. It worked fairly well but the others beat us. We got beat up on the boards pretty good. So it’s back to drawing board."
"This was a very frustrating loss, but we just didn’t get the job done. We’re really behind the eight ball now and we’ve got to come out fighting. They made the final run at the right time and knocked us back on our heels and we just couldn’t recover.”
TIMBERWOLVES COACH KEVIN McHALE
“Overall, that was not the prettiest game we’ve played but I will take the win. We moved the ball pretty good at times. They did a really nice job finding Al (Jefferson). Down the stretch we got good rebounds, a lot of great contributions from everybody. We got to play a lot better defense. We fell asleep. They made some shots."
(On the last 27 seconds) "We did the worst thing we could do, we held the ball. We are waiting for them to foul us, but they didn’t they trapped us."
(On Larry Bird) "Larry is one of my favorite people in basketball. Larry will turn this around."
(General) "We have a lot of stuff to clean up. We are still a work in progress. But I like the grit in these guys.”
TIMBERWOLVES FORWARD MIKE MILLER
(On the key stretch in the fourth quarter when the subs contributed heavily) "We just had to have big energy and do the things we’re capable of doing. That’s our job."
(On the improvement the Wolves have made recently) W"e’re definitely getting better. When you win, confidence starts to build, especially for young teams. We have a lot of new faces on this team. We haven’t been together real long. We knew it would take time and we’ve been battling. We made some mistakes at the end tonight but we haven’t been in those situations much. We’ll keep working on that and get better.”
TIMBERWOLVES GUARD SEBASTIAN TELFAIR
(On the win) "It’s us being aggressive. When we are, good things happen—offensively and defensively. We can’t be out there passive on offense and soft on defense."
(On the Wolves finding their rhythm recently) "We’re finding a way to play through Big Al (Al Jefferson). He’s our all-star on this team. He’s scoring a lot of points, and we’re playing off him. It’s definitely working for us a lot."