Pacers-Timberwolves Preview

The Associated Press

The Minnesota Timberwolves have failed in three attempts at a .500 record this season. A home game against the Indiana Pacers might help them finally achieve that goal.

The Pacers, meanwhile, will try for a season high-tying third straight win on Wednesday night at the Target Center.

Minnesota (10-11) hasn't been at .500 this late in a season since it was 22-22 on Jan. 30, 2007, and gave itself another chance Monday with a 120-108 victory during coach Rick Adelman's return to Houston. The Timberwolves trailed by two points at halftime but pulled away with a franchise-record 42 points in the third quarter.

In his third game back from a sprained right foot, Michael Beasley tied a franchise scoring record for a bench player with 34 points.

Kevin Love added 29, narrowly missing his fourth 30-point game in five contests. Rookie point guard Ricky Rubio matched a season high with 18 points and had 11 assists for his fourth double-double in six games.

"It was a really good team win," Adelman said. "A lot of guys played and a lot of guys contributed."

Minnesota will try for its seventh win in 10 games by continuing its recent success at the Target Center against Indiana (14-6), which has dropped five of six there. The Timberwolves' latest home win over the Pacers was a 101-75 rout March 9 that tied their most lopsided defeat in 2010-11.

Love had 21 rebounds in that game as Minnesota posted a 66-46 advantage on the boards, and he and Beasley each scored 16 points. With 21 points, Tyler Hansbrough was the only Indiana player with more than 13, and Danny Granger missed 17 of 19 shots while finishing with just 10.

Granger is a career 29.5 percent shooter in Minnesota, his worst in any opponent's building, but has helped during a pair of strong scoring performances for the Pacers. He had 24 points during a 106-85 rout of Orlando on Sunday - Indiana's fourth win in five road games - then topped 20 for the fourth straight contest during a 106-99 home victory over New Jersey on Tuesday.

Paul George led the way in that second straight win with a career-high 24 points. Roy Hibbert contributed 18 and 14 rebounds despite having his broken nose set the day before. The Pacers, who are off to their best 20-game start since going 16-4 to open the 2003-04 season, topped 100 points once in their first 18 games.

"We continue to grow our identity," coach Frank Vogel said. "Paul George really carried us through some offensive stretches. He's a heck of a weapon at both ends."

Granger and Dahntay Jones had 19 points apiece during a 116-105 home win over Minnesota on Feb. 11. The Pacers have produced 109 or more points in seven of their last eight against the Timberwolves, but Minnesota has proved equally adept at scoring on Indiana with at least 101 in every game in that span.

The Pacers will be short-handed for this game with George Hill out indefinitely after sustaining a small fracture in his left ankle in Tuesday's victory. Jeff Foster is expect to remain out for the rest of the week with a sore lower back.

Minnesota reserve J.J. Barea says he'll be back on the court Wednesday after missing 10 of the past 11 games with a sprained left ankle. It's unclear if Darko Milicic (illness) will return.