Wednesday, November 23 at 7:00 p.m. ET at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Two of the NBA’s hottest teams entered the hardwood at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Thanksgiving Eve, but it was the visitors who left with a sweet taste of victory.
The Minnesota Timberwolves (10-8) spoiled a five-game winning streak of the Indiana Pacers (10-7) with a 115-101 away win on Wednesday.
Indiana led only once in the game – by a single point in the third quarter.
The win was the fifth in a row for the Timberwolves.
Minnesota’s big men gave the Pacers trouble all night as three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert finished with 21 points and 16 rebounds and All-Star power forward Karl Anthony-Towns had 23 points and 11 boards. Overall, the Pacers were outplayed 74-38 in the paint and rebounded 50-30.
Pacers center Myles Turner put on a strong showing, scoring 31 points while rookie Bennedict Mathurin scored 21 points.
The Pacers fell behind early on.
After trailing 17 points in the first quarter, the Pacers cut the scoreline to 53-48 by the break.
The Blue & Gold came off the field cold and made just eight shots from 26 in the opening frame (4-for-9, 3 points), but managed to narrow the deficit to 29-21 in the dwindling seconds of the first quarter.
From the front, the Timberwolves went on an 8-0 run when the Pacers missed their first five shots.
A 3-pointer from Buddy Hield took the lid off the rim after three scoreless minutes for the Pacers before Aaron Nesmith hit a Trey that cut to 10-6.
Minnesota then responded with an 11-2 run, including nine unanswered points, to lead 21-8 with 4:22 on the clock.
In the final 1:43 of the first quarter, the Pacers went on an 8-2 run, anchored by a four-point play by Mathruin.
While Indiana struggled on offense, Minnesota came out strong, making 13 of 23 shots in the first quarter.
“I think we took ourselves out of our game,” Turner said. “I think we have to start better. When we start playing these teams in West and Brooklyn (on) Friday, these teams that are playing in the playoffs, you can’t start slow with them because they’re going to bury you.
The Pacers had a very different start to the second quarter, opening with a 7-0 run on five points from Mathruin to make it a one-ball game with 10 minutes remaining at halftime.
Minnesota was able to gain some distance until a 9-1 run — with three points each from Mathurin, point guard Tyrese Haliburton and Turner — cut it to 43-41 with 3:34 minutes remaining.
Two baskets by the Timberwolves in the last 26.3 seconds made it 53:48 at the break.
Mathruin led all scorers with 16 points and Turner had 10 points for the Pacers, who shot 17 to 47 (8 to 19 3 points) in the first half. Gobert outscored the Timberwolves by 11 points as the visitors shot 55 percent in the first half.
Turner was unstoppable from the break, scoring 15 of the team’s first 20 points, including a trio of 3 points and a yielding dunk over Jaden McDaniels to reduce the Pacers’ 4-28 deficit to 72-70 in the third quarter .
Despite Turner’s goal, the Timberwolves used two small goals to extend their lead to 87-77 after 24 minutes.
It was a battle of the greats in the third quarter as Turner had 15 points while Towns had 13 in the frame.
The Pacers came closest to the lead in the final frame with nine points.
A 3-pointer from Anthony Edwards and a four-pointer from Gobert extended the Timberwolves to 101-86 midway through the fourth quarter and the Pacers were unable to make a comeback.
Haliburton finished his 11th double-double of the season with 10 points and 14 assists, which continues to lead all NBA guards.
Five different players scored double digits for the Timberwolves.
From the field, the Pacers were 37-96 (16-44, 3 points) ahead of the Timberwolves 47-78 (13-17, 3 points).
“That was tough,” said Pacers coach Rick Carlisle. “It’s pretty clear we’re not sneaking up on anyone anymore. A team like Minnesota’s is a team with a lot of veterans and they came up with the idea that physically they wanted a lot of disposition and presence to start the game and they made it difficult for us on defense. And so obviously we didn’t do a lot of things very well.
“The rebound wasn’t good, our shooting was bad,” Carlisle continued. “They had something to do with it. We fought our way through but they were just better tonight.”
state of the night
Minnesota’s 74 points in the paint is the most the Pacers have given up in a single game this season. Previously, on November 9, the Pacers gave up 60 points in the paint to New Orleans.
Minnesota is averaging 5.6 blocks per game this season. The team totaled 10 blocks against the Pacers, led by four McDaniels.
The Timberwolves beat the Pacers in both second chance points 19-4 and fast break points 22-14.
If five or more players score in double figures for the Pacers, the team is now 7-4.
Turner’s 31 points is the second most he has scored in a game this season. He accumulated 37 points against New Orleans on November 7th.
Haliburton has exactly 14 assists in three straight games and has finished with 12 double-digit assists this season.
Mathurin, who continues to lead all rookies in scoring, has at least 20 points in eight games.
Post-game media availability: November 23, 2022
“We need to watch a movie and see what we did wrong and get back to (our) defensive principles. I don’t think we were in the right place tonight. I don’t know what happened out there, but it wasn’t us defensively.” – Held while giving up 74 points in the suit
“They just had trouble guarding me…. You’ve been looking for me all night. I continued to be aggressive and had a great result.” – Turner on his score
“We really fought at both ends. I wouldn’t say it was all over. I thought it was a combination. It’s a game and it felt like two or three losses, they just came at us in waves. But it’s a game and we have to learn from it. … What separates our team from some other teams is our bond, our sharing of the ball. And we just didn’t do well offensively tonight. And you know, when you’re unconnected offensively, your defense fights the same way. – Carlisle on the loss
At the end of Wednesday night’s games, the Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers had the longest winning streaks, each with five games.
Chris Duarte missed an eighth straight game through injury. The Pacers were also without Andrew Nembhard and Isaiah Jackson.
The Pacers’ five straight wins were their longest winning streak since the 2019-2020 season. This season, the Pacers have won five straight games three times in a row.
Program information (TV and radio program >>)
TV: Bally Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/anchor)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Eddie Gill (analyst), Pat Boylan (side reporter/host)
The Pacers complete a four-game homestand at 8:00 p.m. ET on Friday, November 25 when they welcome Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets to Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Find tickets >>