5 reasons why Domantas Sabonis' historic game couldn't lift Pacers past Timberwolves
MINNEAPOLIS – After scoring a season low in Sunday’s home loss to the defending champion Bucks, Pacers big man Domantas Sabonis returned to his usual all-star form with a historic performance at Target Center on Monday, but it still wasn’t enough as Minnesota took down short-handed Indiana 100-98. The Pacers were without Myles Turner, the league leader in blocks, due to a non-COVID-19 illness. It was the first game Turner missed this season.
Domantas Sabonis makes history
After Sabonis, a two-time all-star, was held to a season-low four points Sunday against Milwaukee, teammate Justin Holiday hardly gave his poor performance much thought. Why would he? The veteran guard trusts Sabonis’ track record, and less than 24 hours later his confidence in Sabonis shined through in historic fashion.
Sabonis finished the night with 16 points, 10 assists and 25 rebounds to become the first player in Pacers history to record a 20-rebound triple-double. However, his herculean effort was in vain.
"It definitely sucks not winning, even if I didn't have whatever I did (Monday)," Sabonis said. "We're going through a tough stretch in our season, and every (game) is important, especially this one."
After making a late rally to tie the game at 94, Mailk Beasley buried a corner 3 with 52.4 seconds left to put his team ahead and Josh Okogie blocked Holiday on the ensuing possession. Leading 98-96 with 4.7 seconds left, D’Angelo Russell sealed the Timberwolves' win with two free throws.
KAT and D'Angelo Russell have big night
Without Turner in the lineup to defend Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns one-on-one, the Pacers used a 2-3 zone to slow down Towns early in the game. Towns was held to two points in the first quarter, but in the other three he showed why he was the No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft. Towns nearly canceled out Sabonis’ strong night with 32 points and eight rebounds, scoring 16 points in the third quarter.
Towns did commit a season-high nine turnovers, but teammate D'Angelo Russell was arguably the sharpest player on the court. He recorded 21 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds with one turnover.
Anthony Edwards swings momentum
Throughout his first two seasons, Anthony Edwards has taken the NBA by storm with his box-office play-making ability, which was on full display in the third quarter. He scored 11 of his 21 points in the period and swung the momentum with an alley-oop dunk that looked like he jumped off a trampoline. Edwards followed that up with a step back 3 on Holiday that gave the Timberwolves a 78-76 lead going into the fourth quarter.
"It's kind of similar to when we play Charlotte and those young boys get to running around dunking and everything gets exciting," said Holiday, who had 15 points and three 3s. "They feed off of that, and they become very, very hard to guard and hard to stop at that time."
Naz Reid gives boost
For the second straight game, Naz Reid scored 13 points off the bench for the Timberwolves. The 6-foot-10 center had seven points in the second quarter and was the only Minnesota reserve to score in double figures. Reid played 23 minutes, and the Timberwolves outscored the Pacers by 20 points when he was on the floor.
Caris LeVert regresses
Pacers guard Caris LeVert scored a season-high 23 points on Sunday against the Bucks. But on the second night of a back-to-back, and as he continues recovering from a back injury, he was held to nine points on 3-of-14 shooting at Minnesota.
Minnesota 100, Indiana 98
INDIANA (98): Holiday 6-15 0-0 15, LeVert 3-14 2-2 9, Sabonis 5-12 6-7 16, Brogdon 9-20 5-6 25, McConnell 3-6 2-2 8, Craig 0-1 0-0 0, Duarte 5-11 1-2 14, Jackson 1-2 0-0 2, Martin 4-9 0-0 8, Bitadze 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 36-91 17-21 98.
MINNESOTA (100): Okogie 1-4 0-0 2, Prince 0-4 0-0 0, Towns 13-22 5-8 32, Edwards 7-19 5-6 21, Russell 7-17 4-4 21, Reid 5-7 2-4 13, Beasley 2-7 3-4 9, Bolmaro 0-1 0-0 0, Nowell 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 36-82 19-26 100.
Indiana 26 31 19 22 — 98
Minnesota 20 28 30 22 — 100
3-Point Goals—Indiana 9-37 (Duarte 3-5, Holiday 3-8, Brogdon 2-6, LeVert 1-7, Martin 0-4, Sabonis 0-4), Minnesota 9-35 (Russell 3-9, Beasley 2-7, Edwards 2-7, Reid 1-2, Towns 1-4, Okogie 0-2, Prince 0-3). Fouled Out_Indiana None, Minnesota 1 (Towns). Rebounds_Indiana 47 (Sabonis 25), Minnesota 47 (Edwards 9). Assists_Indiana 27 (Sabonis 10), Minnesota 25 (Russell 11). Total Fouls_Indiana 18, Minnesota 25. A_14,191 (19,356)