NBA Game Summary - Indiana at Minnesota
(Tuesday, March 13th)
Final Score: Minnesota 86, Indiana 81
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Kevin Garnett scored 30 points and added nine rebounds, and the Minnesota Timberwolves held on to defeat Indiana, 86-81, sending the Pacers to their 10th straight loss.
Randy Foye chipped in with 16 points off the bench for Minnesota, which had dropped two straight and eight of its last 10 coming in, but is now just a game back of the Los Angeles Clippers for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference playoff race.
Rashad McCants added 12 points, and Marko Jaric scored 11 for the Timberwolves, who waived troubled forward Eddie Griffin on Tuesday.
Griffin's career has been clouded by numerous run-ins with the law, along with team-related issues. He appeared in just 13 games for Minnesota this season, averaging 1.4 points and 1.9 rebounds per game. He also served a five-game suspension -- without pay -- for violating the NBA's Anti-Drug Program earlier in the season.
Jamaal Tinsley scored a game-high 37 points, had six rebounds and dished out six assists for Indiana, whose last win was a 136-129 double - overtime victory over Milwaukee on February 21 -- the first game after the All-Star break. Mike Dunleavy scored 11 points, Danny Granger finished with 10, and Jeff Foster pulled down 11 rebounds for the Pacers.
Holding a seven-point lead, Indiana took over in the third, and Granger's layup opened a 14-point margin, 56-42, at 6:50. Minnesota battled down the stretch, however, and trailed by just nine, 67-58, heading to the fourth.
It was all Minnesota in the final frame, as the Pacers managed just one point -- a free throw by Ike Diogu -- over the first 7:33 of the quarter. Tinsley finally snapped the cold spell with a pair from the line, but the damage had been done as Minnesota scored 15 unanswered points to grab a 76-70 edge with 4:27 remaining.
Tinsley's jump shot brought the Pacers within three, 82-79, with 1:43 to play, but Indiana stumbled to the finish. Troy Murphy's three-point attempt bounced off the rim and Diogu grabbed the rebound, but couldn't score on the put-back.
It was the last quality chance the Pacers would have to tie the game, as Tinsley managed one more layup with 14 ticks remaining, but Minnesota went 4- for-4 from the charity stripe to close out the game.
"We were out-playing them three quarters, but then making a couple mistakes in the fourth quarter, not getting loose balls, not helping each other on the defensive end," said Tinsley. "You know, they made shots down the end. They got in the zone. They made us shoot perimeter jump shots, and the shots weren't falling in."
The Pacers held a slim 20-19 lead after the first quarter, and the lead grew to five, 29-24, on Murphy's jump shot at 7:18 in the second stanza.
Indiana later closed out the half on a 9-4 run and led 42-35 at the break.
"Yeah, we got beat up a little bit in the first half," said Garnett. "In the second half, we did a better job of moving the ball, made some shots. In the first half I felt like the defense was defense, but we just couldn't make any shots. In the second half we sort of combined the two."
Murphy finished with seven points and eight rebounds...The Pacers haven't had this long of a skid since dropping a franchise-record 12 consecutive games from January 26-February 23, 1989...Indiana has been without leading scorer Jermaine O'Neal, who has missed three straight games because of a strained left knee.
03/13 23:37:43 ET