Pacers Pull Away From Timberwolves in OT, Win 134-128

Grant Afseth

The Indiana Pacers faced a need to bounce-back from Monday's overtime loss to avoid falling below .500. They avoided that mark by winning 134-128 against the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

The Pacers hit the ground running offensively in this matchup. Indiana scored 39 points in the frame and was led by Malcolm Brogdon (11) and Justin Holiday (9) combining for 20 points. Minnesota wasn't far behind with 33 points of their own. 

Indiana continued to produce offensively in the second quarter but the negative trend of not being able to get stops on defense worsened. The Timberwolves recorded 40 points within the frame. Indiana had 30 points of their own with Domantas Sabonis (14) accounting for just under half. 

There was a lot of hot offensive results from both teams in the opening half of this game. The Pacers put up 69 points through two quarters but it wasn't quite enough to hold a lead as the Timberwolves had 73 of their own.

Domantas Sabonis put together stats in the opening half that resemble a final line on a good day for plenty of players. He recorded 20 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals in just 21 minutes. 

The impressive results both teams had achieved offensively in the initial two quarters did not carry over after halftime. Each side was held to below 20 points scoring and combined to shoot just 14-of-46 (30.4%) from the field and 3-of-18 (16.7%) from deep.

Entering the final period, the Timberwolves held a 92-86 advantage on the scoreboard. At the 9:45 mark of the fourth quarter, Minnesota managed to build their lead to double-figures, but it didn't last long. 

The Pacers answered back by outscoring Minnesota by a 16-8 margin to take a 102-100 advantage with 6:07 left to play. Both teams managed to trade blows for the rest of regulation and even held a five-point of their own at one point. 

It was the Timberwolves who led 119-114 with 1:21 remaining but a 7-2 run by the Pacers at the end of regulation was just enough to force overtime. 

Brogdon and Sabonis led the way for the Pacers in overtime as they managed to score 11 of the team's 13 points. It was more than enough to win the game as the Timberwolves put just seven extra points on the board. "

We wanted to learn from our mistakes," Jeremy Lamb said. "When we pushed it to overtime, we didn't want to come out flat. We really tried to make it a point to come out with a lot of energy and get stops, execute on the offensive end, and get good shots – whether they go in or not. And tonight, they went in." 

Brogdon and Sabonis led the way for the Pacers in overtime as they managed to score 11 of the team's 13 points. It was more than enough to win the game as the Timberwolves put just seven extra points on the board. 

"That's exactly what the guys were talking about at the end of regulation, getting into that last five minutes and really digging in," Pacers coach Nate Bjorkgren said. "I thought we came out more assertive on offense to start that (overtime)."

It was a historic performance from Sabonis in this one. His stat-line of 36 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 assists made him the Pacers' all-time leader in career triple doubles with seven. It was also the first 30/15/10 performance in franchise history.

Brogdon had a very respectable outing in his own right with 32 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists. He has struggled to score efficiently so far this month, but this performance was a significant step in the right direction. 

The Timberwolves also received robust contributions from their starting point guard and center. Karl-Anthony Towns racked up 30 points and 10 rebounds with a pair of blocks while Ricky Rubio finished with 20 points and 13 assists. 

Off the bench, the Pacers netted a combined 33 points from Jeremy Lamb (18) and Aaron Holiday (15). However, the Timberwolves benefited from a staggering 57 bench points with Malik Beasley (31) and Naz Reid (18) totaling 49 points together.

The Pacers will return to action on Saturday during their road matchup with the Houston Rockets. 

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