Plan to keep this short tonight. The Wolves stuck with Indiana for the majority of the game. Trailing by just six points after three quarters (70-76). However a 9-1 run to begin the fourth quarter by Indiana buried the Wolves as they took a 15-point lead.
The entire starting five for Indiana scored in double-digits, headlined by 36 points from Danny Granger and 20 from Darren Collison. Hibbert had 15, West with 12 & George rounded them out with 10. Beyond that starting five they don't have a lot of scorers coming off the bench.
Kevin Love led Minnesota with 21pts & 17rebs. Ridnour added 16 and Pek came off the bench--and in 30 minutes had 13pts & 12rebs for his third career double-double.
Just a few more notes from this one...
1.) Kevin Love & Danny Granger got into a shoving match with just under thirty seconds left in the third quarter. Love and Granger went up for a rebound, but Granger was on Love's foot and Kevin ended up shoving Granger. It got a little chippy and Granger got in Love's face, but Michael Beasley & Martell Webster quickly stepped in as Kevin Love backed WAY off. Let's be honest. A Timberwolves team that has Pekovic, Darko, Miller & Beasley on it--is not the kind of team you want to toy with, when it comes to picking fights! The picture is above is of the foul in-progress.
2.) Granger--simply--couldn't be stopped tonight. Of his 36pts--29 of them came in the second half as he exploded in the third quarter with 17! He shot 13-of-15 at the line, 9-19 from the field and 5-of-8 from deep!
3.) The Wolves finished with just 16 assists on the night. Their leader in that stat: Ricky Rubio--finished with just 6 assists (compared to his nearly 9apg average). Ridnour had 4 & Barea added 3 off the bench.
4.) The Wolves shot a putrid 18% from deep hitting 3-of-17! While Indiana hit 7-of-15 (5 makes came from Granger alone). For a team that relies on those shots to go down at least 30% of the time--shooting half that, hurts (to say the least).
5.) Minnesota went 28-37 as a team from the free throw line--leaving 9 points at the stripe! Clearly--those nine points are a difference-maker in a game you lost by just 10 points! They still made 76% of the shots--but you make even 5 more free throws, it's a whole different ball game!
6.) The Timberwolves bench outscored the Pacers' 44-16. HOWEVER, the Pacers starters outscored Minnesota 55-93!
7.) This was just the second time this season, the Pacers have topped over 100 points!
8.) Tonight saw the return of J.J. Barea and Darko Milicic. The Wolves therefore had 14 healthy players, but you can only dress 13 players on the bench--so tonight Rick Adelman sat Anthony Randolph--who was inactive for the game. Brad Miller & Anthony Tolliver did not play (coach's decision). J.J. played 14 minutes and had 7 points off the bench. Darko played 18 minutes and had 4pts & 3rebs as the starting center.
9.) Size did seem to matter tonight...The Timberwolves started 6-5 Rubio & 6-2 Ridnour in the backcourt--followed by 6-7 Wes, 6-9 Love & 7-0 Darko on the frontline. That was up against a lineup of 6-0 Collison, 6-10 George, 6-9 Granger, 6-9 West & 7-2 Hibbert! The Wolves just got bullied. There were numerous times Ridnour & Rubio hit the floor on picks set by Hibbert, Jones, Hansbrough & West!
10.) This was Minnesota's fourth chance this season to move to .500 on the year--unsuccessfully. If they beat the Nets on Friday, they'll have another chance this Saturday vs. the Houston Rockets.
That's all for now. Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!