NBA

Timberwolves-Pacers Preview

Share This Story

   
 

The Indiana Pacers have virtually no chance of catching the Eastern Conference leaders, but they still have plenty at stake.

Coach Frank Vogel hopes his team remembers that when it seeks a fourth straight home win on Wednesday night facing the injury-plagued Minnesota Timberwolves.

Looking to end Miami's 17-game winning streak and sweep the three-game season series, Indiana (39-24) lost 105-91 in South Beach on Sunday to fall nine games behind the Heat.

The Pacers are now 9 1/2 back, but they're four up on second-place Chicago in the Central Division race and percentage points behind the Atlantic Division-leading New York Knicks for the No. 2 spot in the East.

"We've got to win the Central Division first then try to get the two seed second," Vogel said after Tuesday's practice. "We've got to take care of every game."

If any of the Pacers were overlooking the Timberwolves (22-39), watching them rout West-leading San Antonio 107-83 on Tuesday should have caught their attention. Minnesota has been without Kevin Love (broken right hand), Nikola Pekovic (abdominal strain), Andrei Kirilenko (strained left calf), Malcolm Lee (right knee) and Chase Budinger (knee), so it wasn't about to apologize for beating a Spurs team missing Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard to injury.

The Timberwolves had lost eight of nine before point guard Ricky Rubio posted his first career triple-double with 21 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists.

"He's had that effort, but we had so many people step up tonight and it really made a big difference," coach Rick Adelman said.

Minnesota now has a chance to win back-to-back games for the first time since winning a season-high four straight from Dec. 7-15.

The Timberwolves are also eyeing their first sweep of the Pacers since 2006-07 after Budinger's layup with 0.8 seconds left gave them a 96-94 victory on Nov. 9.

Budinger, who led Minnesota with 18 points in that game, hasn't played since tearing his left meniscus Nov. 10 in Chicago. However, he said Tuesday that he's been cleared to resume practice with no restrictions.

Love could also be nearing his first action since Jan. 3 as he's scheduled to meet with his surgeon in New York on Wednesday.

Pekovic is expected to miss a seventh consecutive game, while Kirilenko's return after sitting out the last seven is unlikely.

"They're limited obviously, with their injuries, but that really doesn't matter in this league," Vogel said.

Indiana isn't without injury concerns of its own. Danny Granger has been out the last three games with a sore left knee and will miss at least the next three.

Pacers point guard George Hill, who scored a season-high 29 points in the November loss, will face Rubio for the first time. The Wolves guard has missed the last two games against Indiana due to a torn ACL, while Hill did not play against Rubio - who had 10 points and six assists - in Indiana's 109-99 win at Minnesota on Feb. 1, 2012, due to a sprained ankle.

Tagged: Pacers, Timberwolves, Spurs, Tim Duncan

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

Francesa: Knicks coaching situation is comical Posted: Apr 18, 2014
Mike Francesa discusses the Knicks coaching situation. Find out if he thinks Mik...

NBA Eastern Conference playoff preview Posted: Apr 17, 2014
Bill Reiter and Jim Jackson look ahead to the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Francesa: No downside to Lamar Odom signing Posted: Apr 17, 2014
Mike Francesa says the Knicks' Lamar Odom signing doesn't have much downside.

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..