Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 11/16

Game 1: Friday, November 16th
Timberwolves120Final
Pacers113
Game 2: Friday, March 15th
Pacers98Final
Timberwolves85

Pacers 98

(33-32, 14-20 away)

7:00 PM ET, March 15, 2002

Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

1 2 3 4 T
IND 30 29 20 1998
MIN 35 17 9 2485

Top Performers

Indiana: B. Miller 23 Pts, 8 Reb, 2 Ast

Minnesota: K. Garnett 24 Pts, 12 Reb, 3 Ast, 3 Blk

Tinsley gets a triple-double to top Indiana

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- After their season-high sixth consecutive defeat, the Minnesota Timberwolves talked about all the things they wished they were doing on offense.

Brad Miller

AP

Indiana's Brad Miller drives past Minnesota's Joe Smith on his way to a 23-point performance.

The Indiana Pacers did all of them, and won.

Brad Miller scored 23 points and Jamaal Tinsley had a triple-double Friday night as Indiana used aggressive penetration from the point, smart shots in the paint and strong weakside shooting to beat Minnesota 98-85.

Tinsley had 11 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his second triple-double. Jermaine O'Neal added 15 points and Reggie Miller 14 for Indiana, which won its third consecutive game by outscoring the Timberwolves 49-26 in the second and third quarters.

"We let them go on a number of runs in the first quarter," Tinsley said. "We just locked up. I felt like we took care of business."

Chauncey Billups was impressed by Tinsley, his counterpart at point guard.

"He was taking the seam and kicking it out to guys for open shots," Billups said. "I like to do that, but it's tough right now with our offense not being at its usual (strength)."

Kevin Garnett had 24 points and 12 rebounds for Minnesota, which lost its third in a row at home.

"We've got to get our swagger back," Garnett said. "The heck with the score, let's just enjoy the game."

In their previous five defeats, the Wolves were woeful in the fourth quarter -- getting beat by an average of 10 points in the final period. They didn't have to worry about that Friday.

Indiana outscored Minnesota 20-9 in the third -- the Wolves' lowest score in any quarter this season -- as the Timberwolves made only four of 19 field goals.

"We were just on a roll," said Brad Miller. "Everything we did came out of the same set -- the pick-and-roll. I think they got frustrated trying to defend the same play."

Pacers coach Isiah Thomas thought the Timberwolves would be OK.

"They're talented enough to come out of this," Thomas said. "It's not any indication of the quality of their team."

Garnett, who blamed himself for much of the Timberwolves' troubles after they blew a seven-point lead with 1:22 left in a one-point defeat against Houston on Wednesday, scored 18 points in the first half and committed just one turnover.

Minnesota is 1-7 in March, and Garnett has been averaging only 18 points and more than four turnovers a game.

But the Wolves' 59-52 deficit at halftime wasn't his fault -- they didn't play any defense on the perimeter and let the Pacers shoot 57 percent in the first half, including 6-for-15 from 3-point range. Indiana made 10 of its first 13 shots in the second period.

"What's there to be happy about?" Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said with a shrug. "We lost. That's all Kevin cares about."

The Pacers used a 15-2 run, capped by Tinsley's three-point play, to take a 59-49 lead late in the second quarter.

Garnett was fouled on a powerful dunk, adding a free throw with 25 seconds left before the half, and drained a jumper to start the third period and cut the deficit to five.

But Indiana scored 14 consecutive points, six by Brad Miller, to build a 73-54 advantage midway through the quarter.

"We're starting to understand a lot better that it's not one man," said Reggie Miller. "Some nights, but not all the time. On any given night, we need people to step up. It was nice to get that inside game tonight."

Wally Szczerbiak, just 2-for-8 in the first half, had 12 points in a 22-9 Timberwolves spurt that sliced the Pacers' lead to 88-79 with 5:47 left, but that was as close as they came.

Szczerbiak finished with 21 points.

Game notes


Tinsley, a rookie, had his first triple-double Nov. 22 against Washington. ... The last time the Pacers (33-32) were one game above .500 was Feb. 5. "We really needed this one," Brad Miller said. "We couldn't seem to put two in a row together." ... Minnesota forward Gary Trent, who was ejected from the game Wednesday for a technical foul after a flagrant foul, started for the second consecutive time in place of Joe Smith. Saunders said he wants to try something different. ... The NBA rescinded the flagrant foul on Trent, but slapped him with a $3,000 fine for unsportsmanlike conduct. After getting tossed, Trent picked up a stack of papers on the scorer's table and threw them, sending them scattering to the floor.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
IND
MIN
Points 98 85
FGM-FGA 38-79 (.481) 34-92 (.370)
3PM-3PA 8-27 (.296) 4-20 (.200)
FTM-FTA 14-20 (.700) 13-14 (.929)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-47 18-47
Assists 25 20
Turnovers 15 9
Steals 5 2
Blocks 3 5
Fast Break Points 3 4
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 14 (1/0) 18 (0/0)

Top Performers

Indiana
Minnesota
Brad Miller Miller
Points: 23
Reb: 8
Ast: 2
Stl: 0
Blk: 0
Kevin Garnett Garnett
Points: 24
Reb: 12
Ast: 3
Stl: 0
Blk: 3