NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, March 13th (All times Eastern)
Minnesota Timberwolves (22-39) at Indiana Pacers (39-24), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Indiana Pacers will try to get back into the win column on Wednesday night when they welcome the Minnesota Timberwolves to Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Pacers were just another victim to the torrid play of the Miami Heat their last time out. The Heat avenged their last loss, which came on Feb. 1 in Indianapolis, on Sunday when they toppled the Pacers, 105-91.
The win was Miami's 18th straight.
"We didn't compete hard enough," said Pacers forward David West. "You can't beat a team like that in their building as well as they're playing without competing."
West led the way for Indiana with 24 points. Roy Hibbert added 16, but Paul George was held to 10 points thanks to some defensive scheming by the Heat. Dwyane Wade guarded George most of the contest, not LeBron James.
"It threw us off a bit," George admitted.
"Paul George and Lance Stephenson are still very young players and their two superstars got the best of us tonight," said head coach Frank Vogel. "We responded during the game, and our team has shown great resolve all year and I have every confidence that they are going to respond in the playoffs."
The Pacers have dropped two of their last three and they are in virtual tie with the New York Knicks for second in the Eastern Conference.
The Timberwolves come into Indiana off a spectacular 107-83 drubbing of the NBA's best team, the San Antonio Spurs, on Tuesday night. Minny hammered the Spurs in Minneapolis thanks to a great performance from Ricky Rubio.
The Spanish star notched his first career triple-double with 21 points, 13 rebounds, including 12 defensive boards, and 12 assists.
"I just try to be aggressive all the time, and stats are the last thing I watch," Rubio said. "Victories are the most important thing."
J.J. Barea, Alexey Shved, Derrick Williams and Luke Ridnour all scored in double figures for a Timberwolves team in desperate need of a victory.
The Wolves had lost two in a row before Tuesday, and although the win came against a San Antonio team without Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard, it was Minnesota's fifth victory since Feb. 1.
The T'Wolves were without Kevin Love, Chase Budinger, Malcolm Lee and Brandon Roy. They also played Tuesday's game without Andrei Kirilenko and Nikola Pekovic and neither is expected to play in Indiana.
Minnesota heads to the road where they've lost five straight.
The Timberwolves won this season's only matchup with Indiana, a 96-94 decision in Minnesota on Nov. 9. The Pacers won the last three times the teams met in Indianapolis.
03/13 10:41:58 ET