Going into Sunday night's game at Target Center, both the Timberwolves and the Indiana Pacers had only managed to win one game so far in the month of December. The Pacers came out on top, 100-96, despite a strong performance from Mo Williams, who scored 24 points and had 10 assists in the losing effort.
The Wolves were sluggish for the first half of the game, missing 13 of their first 14 shots and allowing Indiana to shoot 55 percent from the floor and build a 16-point lead, the Associated Press reports.
“We had no energy to start the game,” said head coach Flip Saunders, according to NBA.com. “We didn’t play as hard as we needed to play in the first half and that’s disappointing.”
The Pacers led 52-38 at halftime. But the Wolves came out firing in the third quarter with a 17-1 run that featured eight straight points from Shabazz Muhammad, and the Wolves closed to within three.
Williams hit a jumper to tie the game at 87 with 3:33 to play. The teams went back and forth in the last few minutes and the Pacers (9-19) ended up on top.
Indiana's C.J. Miles led all scorers with 28 points. Roy Hibbert added 15 and David West scored 14.
Muhammad scored 21 for the Wolves (5-21). Chase Budinger had 13 and Gorgui Dieng had 10.
The newest member of the Timberwolves, Troy Daniels, played for a few minutes toward the end of the second quarter. Daniels came from Houston in the trade that sent Corey Brewer to the Rockets.
The Wolves are at the bottom of the league in 3-point shooting, which is Daniels’ specialty. “There’s definitely going to be a lot more 3s, I can tell you that,” Daniels said, according to the Associated Press.
This was the Wolves' last home game of the year. Their next game is Tuesday night in Cleveland against the Cavaliers, which will be the first time they've faced off against Kevin Love since they traded him in the offseason.
The other matchup to watch will be Andrew Wiggins, who came to the Wolves in exchange for Love, against LeBron James. Minnesota will return to Target Center on New Years Day and play host to the Sacramento Kings.