Wolves Never Lead in Loss to Pacers
Roy Hibbert had a season-high 27 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Indiana Pacers to a 107-91 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.
Paul George had 17 points and George Hill added 16 points with six assists to help the Pacers get their second win in three games.
Ricky Rubio had 21 points and 10 assists and Luke Ridnour scored 17 points for the Timberwolves, who have lost nine of their last 11 games.
The Pacers went on an 8-0 run at the end of the first half to take a 62-54 lead at halftime. They stretched the advantage to 16 late in the third quarter as George hit a fadeaway jumper and then a 3-pointer to put Indiana up 86-66 with 2:06 to go in the period.
The Timberwolves didn't lead the entire game, but still didn't make it easy for the Pacers to pull away.
Rubio hit a 3-pointer and Ridnour made a layup before Hill's made it 67-59. Hill made another layup to give the Pacers a 71-61 lead before Rubio hit another 3.
Hibbert scored two baskets and David West another to put the Pacers up 77-66 with 4:17 remaining in the third.
Barea hit a 3-pointer and Dante Cunningham scored at the start of the fourth quarter before Hibbert made a basket and Orlando Johnson hit a 3-pointer to give the Pacers an 87-76 lead.
Indiana took a solid lead at the start of the game before the Timberwolves made a run back.
The Pacers jumped out to a 12-2 lead to start the game. Hibbert had a jumper and George and Hill hit back-to-back 3s, and Hill made another basket before Rubio scored two free throws.
Hibbert scored with 9:17 left in the first quarter to give the Pacers a 10-point lead early.
The Timberwolves got back within four when Cunningham hit two free throws with 1:49 left in the quarter and again when Derrick Williams split from the line with 6:43 left in the second quarter to make it 45-41.
Augustine hit a 3-pointer to put the Pacers back up seven.
However, the Timberwolves weren't done.
Ridnour made a layup and Williams a putback to pull Minnesota within three.
Then Williams blocked Hibbert's shot and Cunningham and Williams scored 3-pointers around a jumper by Hill to tie the score at 50 with 3:49 left in the first half.
Hibbert converted a three-point play to put the Pacers ahead again, 53-50.
George extended the lead to four when he made 1 of 2 from the line.
But then the Rubio made two free throws, then grabbed a steal and Ridnour hit a jumper to tie the score at 54 with 1:59 left in the second quarter.
Hibbert scored two free throws and Lance Stephenson drove to the basket and scored and Hibbert was fouled on a put-back and converted the three-point play to make it 61-54.
Indiana's Tyler Hansbrough split from the line with 2.9 seconds left in the half to give the Pacers their eight-point lead at halftime.
NOTES: Indiana coach Tom Crean attended the game, two nights before the Hoosiers play in the Big Ten Tournament in Chicago. ... Timberwolves F Andrei Kirilenko (calf strain) and C Nikola Pekovic (Abdominal straight) didn't travel with the team. ... Chase Budinger (left knee), Malcom Love (right knee and hip), Kevin Love (right hand), and Brandon Roy (right knee) were out against the Pacers. ... Indiana F Danny Granger was out with a sore left knee. ... The Pacers have scored 97 or more points in 13 of the last 20 games.
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