(Sports Network) - So far the Minnesota Timberwolves haven't missed a beat
without two of their major pieces.
While Kevin Love (hand) and Ricky Rubio (knee) continue to recover from their
injuries, the Timberwolves target their third win in a row Friday versus the
Indiana Pacers from Target Center.
The Timberwolves improved to 3-1 on the season with Wednesday's 90-75 victory
versus Orlando, as Luke Ridnour netted a game-high 19 points and Derrick
Williams chipped in 14 and six rebounds for Minnesota, which held on for the
win even though it shot 44.7 percent and made just 7-of-20 3-pointers. On the
flip side, Orlando made just 35 percent of its shots and committed 20
turnovers for 19 Minnesota points.
Minnesota also recorded 11 steals and blocked nine shots.
"We did poorly on the offensive end, but excelled on the defensive end, that's
how we were able to maintain the lead," Wolves forward Chase Budinger said.
"It just shows you how tough of a team we can be."
Budinger scored 10 points in less than 18 minutes. Wolves guard J.J. Barea is
bothered by a left foot sprain that forced him to leave the Orlando game and
he is questionable versus the Pacers.
The Timberwolves are trying to match their longest winning streak from all of
Indiana knows what it's like not to have its best player on the floor and has
been dealing with the absence of Danny Granger, who is out for a while due to
a balky knee. Granger is expected to miss about three months with a bout of
The Pacers have struggled to a 2-3 start and suffered their second straight
loss in Wednesday's 89-86 setback at Atlanta. David West and George Hill both
had 20 points, while Paul George contributed 13 points for Indiana, which blew
a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter is 0-2 on a three-game road trip.
"We struggled to score down the stretch, but we competed our tails off,"
Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said. "It just wasn't enough. We got some good
looks down the stretch. I extended the starters in the third quarter and they
probably ran out of gas in the fourth."
Five of Indiana's first six games are on the road and the team will return
home for two games versus Washington and Toronto. The Pacers will play 12 of
their first 18 games outside of Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Indiana won both games against Minnesota a season ago and has taken six of the
last nine meetings between the two clubs.
The Sports Network