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    Pacers take huge lead early, overcome mid-match slip to defeat Butler-less Timberwolves

    Oct 25, 2017
    Indiana’s Victor Oladipo tries to shake off Minnesota’s Taj Gibson. AP

    MINNEAPOLIS — Victor Oladipo scored 28 points and Cory Joseph added 21 to lead the hot-shooting Indiana Pacers past the Minnesota Timberwolves 130-107 on Tuesday night.

    Darren Collison had 15 points and 16 assists, Bojan Bogdanovic scored 19 points and Domantas Sabonis had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Pacers, who shot 67 percent from the floor.

    Karl-Anthony Towns had 28 points and seven rebounds for the Timberwolves, who came out flat after a thrilling last-second win at Oklahoma City on Sunday.

    Minnesota was missing forward Jimmy Butler, who sat out with an upper respiratory infection. Shabazz Muhammad took Butler's spot in the starting lineup, and he contributed to Minnesota's slow start, going 1-for-5 from the floor and missing two free throws in the first quarter.

    Oladipo scored eight points and Indiana made 15 of 22 shots (68 percent) in the first quarter to take a 33-20 lead.

    Muhammad and the Wolves bounced back in the second quarter. After Nemanja Bjelica hit a pair of 3-pointers, Muhammad slammed home alley-oop dunks on consecutive fast breaks to tie the game at 42.

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    That momentum didn't last long. Coming out of a timeout, Joseph hit a 3-pointer and Oladipo knocked down back-to-back jumpers, the second one from behind the arc, as Indiana surged ahead 50-42.

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    Towns then scored nine points in an 11-2 Minnesota run and the teams entered halftime tied at 61.

    The Pacers ended the third quarter on a 24-5 run to pull ahead 98-84. Then they buried Minnesota with a 14-2 run early in the fourth.


    Pacers: Indiana played without C Myles Turner, who missed his third straight game with a sore neck and concussion-like symptoms. ... Sabonis hit all seven of his field goal attempts, while Oladipo began the game 6-for-6 from the floor. ... The Pacers had lost two straight after opening the season with a win over Brooklyn.

    Timberwolves: PG Jeff Teague spent the 2016-17 season with the Pacers. He played all 82 games and averaged 15.3 points and 7.8 assists per game. Teague had two points and seven assists on Tuesday. ... Wiggins, a career 75 percent free throw shooter, was just 1-for-6 from the line and finished with seven points. It was his lowest output since he scored seven points at Memphis last November 19.


    Pacers: At Oklahoma City on Wednesday night.

    Timberwolves: At Detroit on Wednesday night.

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    Indiana’s Victor Oladipo tries to shake off Minnesota’s Taj Gibson. AP
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