INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Malcolm Brogdon made a tiebreaking 16-footer with 18 seconds left and T.J. Warren scored 28 points night to help the Indiana Pacers beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 116-114.
Indiana has won four straight including two in the past three days against the Timberwolves, earning their first season sweep in the series since 2015-16.READ MORE: How Are Wild Turkeys Able To Thrive In The Twin Cities?
Two-time All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns had 27 points in 28 minutes after missing the previous 15 games with a sprained left knee. Andrew Wiggins added 22 points but missed two chances in the final minute to give Minnesota the lead. Shabazz Napier also came up short on a 3-pointer with 8 seconds to go as the Timberwolves lost their fourth in a row.
But the Timberwolves sure made Indiana sweat it out.
After Napier tied the score at 88 with a long 2-pointer with 4:37 left in the third quarter, the Pacers closed the period on an 11-5 run and outscored Minnesota 8-3 early in the fourth to take a 107-96 lead with 8:12 left.
Again, Minnesota fought back, finally tying the score at 114 on two free throws from Towns with 1:48 to go. But the Wolves never scored again.
The referees ruled Towns stepped out of bounds as his potential go-ahead 3 went through the net with 1:16 left. Wiggins then missed a layup on a fast break and later turned the ball over when he was ruled out of bounds with 31 seconds to go.
That gave Brogdon a chance to break the tie.
And Napier hit nothing but air on another 3 on Minnesota’s final shot of the game.
Admittedly, coach Ryan Saunders played it safe with Towns, who last played Dec. 13.READ MORE: Minnesota To Offer Gift Cards, Scholarship Drawings As Vaccination Incentives For Kids
He said the Timberwolves would limit Towns’ minutes and closely monitor his fatigue level.
Towns wound up 9 of 21 from the field with three 3s and should see his minutes increase as he gets back in shape.
“You always want to have a full complement of players and when you have a guy who is as productive as KAT is, you always want that guy out there,” Saunders said.
Timberwolves: Josh Okogie had 15 points while Napier and Jarrett Culver each scored 12. … Jordan McLaughlin had nine points and three 3s, all in the first half. … Robert Covington finished with nine points and 10 rebounds. … … Minnesota made eight 3s in the first half and six early in the third quarter before finishing 17 of 29 from behind the arc.
Pacers: Jeremy Lamb had 18 points and six rebounds. … Doug McDermott had 13 points and a season-high eight rebounds off the bench. … Aaron Holiday also had 13 points. … Victor Oladipo is expected to return at the Pacers’ next home game, Jan. 29 against Chicago.
Minnesota heads home Saturday to take on defending champion Toronto.
Indiana begins a five-game road trip Sunday at Denver.MORE NEWS: Father Of 2's Dying Wish Sets Up Future Cancer Patients' Families With Healing Flats
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