NBA Game Preview - Pacers v Timberwolves

NBA Basketball
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Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Indiana 24 30 22 28 104
Minnesota 30 29 18 22 99
5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 PM CT23:00 , January 15, 2020
Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota  Attendance: 12,648

With Brogdon back in fold, Pacers take on T-wolves

According to STATS
According to STATS

Indiana Pacers at Minnesota Timberwolves

  1. The Pacers and Timberwolves split their two matchups last season with the home team winning each game. Indiana has held Minnesota under 110 points in seven straight matchups in Minneapolis, the T'Wolves' longest active streak scoring under 110 points versus any opponent at home.
  2. Indiana has won two straight, including a 101-95 victory over Philadelphia on Monday despite shooting just 38.4 percent from the floor. It was the Pacers' lowest field-goal percentage in a win since February 6, 2017, when they shot 37.9 percent in a 93-90 win over the Thunder.
  3. The Timberwolves have lost back-to-back games by double digits and are now 5-16 since the start of December -- only the Warriors have a worse record in that span (5-17). However, the T'Wolves have made 12+ threes in eight straight games, the longest streak in franchise history.
  4. Malcolm Brogdon put up 21 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in his first game back after missing eight of the nine with injuries. Brogdon is averaging 7.5 assists per game, up from 3.2 last season with Milwaukee -- that +4.3 increase in assists per game is the largest in the NBA among qualifiers.
  5. Naz Reid led the Timberwolves with 20 points and four three pointers off the bench against the Thunder on Monday. Reid has made 14 threes since entering the rotation on December 30. Among centers, only Maxi Kleber (21) and Nikola Vucevic (17) have made more threes in that span.
  6. Karl-Anthony Towns could make his return from a 14-game absence with a knee injury tonight. He averages 26.4 points against the Pacers in his career, his third best against any opponent. Minnesota is averaging 114.4 points per game with Towns compared to 107.7 without him this season.

With one key player possibly returning by month's end, the Indiana Pacers have gladly welcomed another one back in time for the first of two consecutive games against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, this one in Minneapolis.

Guard Malcolm Brogdon played his first full game since Dec. 22 on Monday, flirting with a triple-double -- 21 points, nine assists and seven rebounds -- in a 101-95 defeat of the Philadelphia 76ers.

"It's a lot of fun, especially a competitive game like that," Brogdon told FOX Sports Indiana following the win. "Being with my guys, being on the floor, (to) be able to pull out a win like that, it's good to be back out there."

Brogdon missed eight of the Pacers' previous nine games, and played fewer than eight minutes in an attempted return on New Year's Day. He missed five straight after that, a stretch in which the Pacers went 2-3.

His return came at an important juncture. By knocking off Philadelphia, Indiana is one game up on the 76ers in the loss column as the teams currently sit fifth and sixth in the Eastern Conference standings.

"There was definitely rust, but I've got really patient teammates (who) continue to feed me," Brogdon said.

With Brogdon back in the lineup, Indiana now awaits the return of guard Victor Oladipo. The two-time All-Star told Stadium last week that he is eyeing Jan. 29 for his first action since sustaining a ruptured quadriceps last January.

In the meantime, the Pacers embark on a stretch with six road games over their next seven contests, beginning Wednesday at Target Center.

Wednesday's matchup is the first of two straight against Minnesota, which visits Indiana on Friday.

The Timberwolves are .500 at 5-5 since snapping an 11-game losing streak last month, but they may be without All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns against Indiana.

Towns missed Minnesota's 117-104 loss to Oklahoma City on Monday, the second of two straight losses sending the Timberwolves into Wednesday's contest.

"We have guys out who are big parts of this team," Minnesota coach Ryan Saunders said in his postgame news conference Monday. Jake Layman has been out since Jan. 5.

Saunders alluded to the absences impacting consistency, in particular second-leading scorer Andrew Wiggins scoring just 10 points in the loss. However, Naz Reid came off the bench to score 20.

"I was happy with what Naz was able to do. I was happy with Josh (Okogie)'s dribble penetration and the way he was able to kick to shooters and guys at the rim," Saunders said.

Potentially being down Towns presents a matchup issue for Minnesota against Indiana. At 26.5 points and 11.7 rebounds per game, Towns is the Timberwolves' statistical leader, and the best possible counter to Indiana's Domantas Sabonis.

Sabonis comes in also averaging a double-double at 17.8 points and 13.1 rebounds per game. He is Indiana's second-leading scorer behind T.J. Warren, who scored 21 points in the win over Philadelphia.

Warren is also a little more than a week removed from hitting a season-high 36 points against Charlotte.

Indiana's offensive balance poses difficulties for a Minnesota defense allowing 114.8 points per game -- more than all but five teams in the NBA.

The Timberwolves allowed 139 points in a 30-point loss Saturday at Houston.

--Field Level Media

Updated January 14, 2020

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