Lucky 13? Pacers aim for mark with Wolves in town
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Indiana Pacers will go for a conference-best 13 wins on Monday night when they welcome the Minnesota Timberwolves to Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Pacers have taken three straight since their only defeat of the campaign, a loss in Chicago a week ago Saturday. Two of the latest victories came on the road, but their most recent win was at home.
Indiana grounded out a tough, 106-98 win over the scrappy Philadelphia 76ers Saturday night.
"Good team win for our guys. I'm happy with the balance in the starting five and the scoring," said Pacers coach Frank Vogel. "I don't care what anybody says, it's tough to play a game when you find out at the last minute that three or four of their top guys are out and you have a lot of new faces that you're not familiar with."
Roy Hibbert was dominant on Saturday with 27 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks.
"He's been dominant defensively all year and when we need him to step up on the offensive end, he does. A big effort by him," Vogel said of Hibbert.
Paul George had 19 points, followed by 18 from Lance Stephenson and 17 points and 11 boards out of David West. George Hill chipped in 11 for Indiana, which has surrendered 100 points just once all season.
The Wolves have dropped three of their last four, culminating with a 112-101 road loss to the Houston Rockets on Saturday.
The Rockets shot 54.8 percent from long range Saturday, going an eye-opening 17-for-31.
"We showed fight but in the end it's really tough when the first three shots of the fourth quarter from three and they hit three in a row," said Kevin Love. "That kind of made it tough for us to come back but we continued to fight and cut it to 10 and then they kept hitting threes. It was tough."
Love was excellent, as always. He finished with 27 points and 15 rebounds.
Corey Brewer added 22 points, followed by 19 from Kevin Martin. Nikola Pekovic managed 14 points, but no other Minnesota player was able to crack the 10- point plateau.
The Wolves shot 40 percent from the field and only committed 10 turnovers, but it wasn't enough to stop the long-range attack of Houston.
Minnesota returns to the Target Center Wednesday, then hits the road for two in a row.
The T'Wolves and Pacers teams split their two meetings last season. Minnesota lost four straight in Indianapolis and is just 3-16 over its last 19 as the visitor in this series.
11/25 10:36:17 ET