I think this one is a game that the players, coaches and fans would much rather forget about! Minnesota scored a season-low in points for one half with just 30 points in the first half (13 in the 1st Q, 17 in the 2nd Q). The lowest before that was 34 points in three different games, most recently vs. the Clippers on April 12th.
Minnesota went on a good run in the fourth quarter: 18-0, that cut the Pacers lead to just 14 points, before a three from A.J. Price made it a 17-point lead with 4:30 to play. When A.J. Price, Kyrylo Fesenko & Jeff Pendergraph are playing in the fourth quarter, you know the game is over.
The Pacers won by 23 points, though they did hold a 37-point advantage at one point! This is Indiana’s 5th consecutive win and Minnesota’s 10th straight loss.
With Kevin Love (concussion) and Luke Ridnour (ankle) still out, Anthony Randolph started at power forward and J.J. Barea at the point. This was Love’s 3rd straight game out and Ridnour’s 7th. This was Randolph’s 1st start of the season, his 4th as a Timberwolf and the 34th of his NBA career.
Let’s get a look at some of tonight’s top performers…
HOT: The INDIANA PACERS! The Pacers just dominated in this one. All five starters scored in double digits: Hill (11), George (18), Granger (19), West (22), Hibbert (12). They got another 9pts apiece from Jones & Barbosa off the bench. They outscored Minnesota 30-64 in the first half and the starters only had to play three quarters. An easy win for Indy who locked up home court advantage for the Eastern Conference playoffs for the first time since the ’03-’04 season.
NOT: The MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES! Is there any question here? They played a bit better in the second half, but by then it was too late. All five starters posted a negative +/- Barea: -28, Pekovic: -27, Randolph: -27, Webster: -24, Johnson: -12 and Beasley: -12. Just a rough night for the VERY shorthanded TWolves.
MISC.: J.J. nearly had a double-double (14pts & 9ast) it would have been his 4th consecutive double-double…..Brad Miller played a season-high in minutes (25) and set new season-highs in defensive rebounds (3) and rebounds (3) as well as tying season-highs in blocks (1) and steals (1)……
KEY STATS: The Pacers shot a higher percentage from the field, from deep, from the line, had more rebounds (a +13), more assists, more fast break points (+2) and more points in the paint (+8). They beat the TWolves in nearly every statistical category. The Pacers set a new season-high for the Timberwolves opponents in defensive rebounds with 44 and had the second-most rebounds for an opponent with 58 (high is 59 vs. the Grizzlies on Feb. 8th).
UP NEXT: Tuesday, April 17th vs. the Memphis Grizzlies, at the Target Center, tipoff 7pmCT.
Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!