The Indiana Pacers rapidly are adding injuries to their roster and losses to their record.
The Pacers will look to get healthier on both fronts Wednesday night when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves in Indianapolis.
Indiana sustained its fourth loss in five outings overall and ninth in the last 10 games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Tuesday with a 113-97 setback to the Chicago Bulls.
The Pacers faced the Bulls without All-Star forward Domantas Sabonis (sprained left ankle) and point guard Malcolm Brogdon (sore right hip). They soon played without NBA shot-blocking leader Myles Turner, who sustained a sprained left ankle in the third quarter. Coach Nate Bjorkgren told reporters after the game that Turner’s X-ray was negative.
“You get frustrated with things, no doubt about it,” Bjorkgren said of the team’s injuries. “We want to be better, I want to be better, the guys want to be better. Some guys go down (but) we haven’t used it as an excuse at all. We have guys on this team that can play, guys on this team that I believe in very much.”
One of those players is Caris LeVert, who recorded a team-high 20 points to lead Indiana on Tuesday. LeVert has made 19 of 37 shots over his past two games after sinking just 17 of 53 shots in his previous four.
LeVert, however, admitted that the numerous injuries have played a role in the team’s chemistry.
“When you’re playing with different lineups, getting chemistry and getting rhythm that’s a huge thing that not a lot of people talk about,” LeVert said. “We’re still trying to find lineups that work well together.”
Sabonis and Brogdon lit up the Timberwolves in the teams’ last meeting, a 134-128 overtime win for Indiana on Feb. 17. Sabonis collected a career-high 36 points to go with 16 rebounds and 10 assists while Brogdon added 32 points and nine boards.
Minnesota’s Malik Beasley erupted for 31 points in that contest, however the promising star will be sidelined between four and six weeks with a left hamstring injury.
“It seems like we’re always adjusting to something. We’ll figure out a way,” Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said of his team, which has won three of its past seven games after posting a 116-106 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Monday. That stretch comes on the heels of Minnesota losing 34 of its first 44 games on th season.
D’Angelo Russell scored 13 of his team-high 25 points in the fourth quarter to highlight his return from arthroscopic knee surgery. He missed 26 games.
Karl-Anthony Towns added 23 points and 13 rebounds against the Kings. He had 30 and 10, respectively, in the Timberwolves’ previous encounter with the Pacers.
“Every game we value,” Towns said. “Me and (Russell) on the court, you can see the vision we all had. When we’re on the court, we can do special things. We can open the floor for everyone else. We can make (rookie Anthony Edwards’) job easier as well, give him more chances to do what he does and be special.”
–Field Level Media