The NBA’s highest-scoring offense and top-rated defense will soon square off in the Circle City.

Following a three-game road trip, the Indiana Pacers (35-28) return to Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Thursday to host the Western Conference’s first-place Minnesota Timberwolves (43-19).

Brilliance will flash on both sides of the ball, as the Pacers remain the top-scoring team in the NBA at 123.5 points per game, and the Timberwolves hold the best defensive rating (108.0). The Timberwolves are giving up an NBA-low 106.3 points per game, and are ranked third for overall net.

After failing to put up more than 105 points in back-to-back losses, the Pacers got their offense back on track Tuesday by posting a 137-120 win over the Dallas Mavericks (34-28) at American Airlines Center.

A season-best nine players scored in double digits for the Pacers, including 20 points from Myles Turner and 19 from Tyrese Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin each. When eight or more Pacers score in double figures, the team has a record of 5-0 this season.

While Luka Doncic posted a fourth straight triple-double for the Mavs, the Pacers bench, which leads all NBA second units at 47 points per game, outscored the Dallas reserves 69-32.

Minnesota is 7-3 over their last 10 games but has dropped two of their previous three.

The Timberwolves are coming off a 119-114 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday. Wolves 7-foot-1 center Rudy Gobert, a three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, led his squad with 25 points and 16 rebounds, and Indiana native Mike Conley posted 19 points and seven assists.

While their stats weren’t eye-popping against Portland, the All-Star tandem of Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards has proven one of the most lethal duos in the NBA this season. Towns, a 7-foot forward/center, is averaging 22.3 points per game on 50.7 percent shooting (42.7 percent from 3-point range), 8.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists, while Edwards is putting up career-bests in points (26.3) and assists (5.1).

When the teams last met in December, Towns and Edwards scored a combined 77 points in an 18-point win over the Pacers in Minneapolis.

However, the second matchup will look different. Haliburton didn’t play in the first game due to injury, and the Pacers hadn’t acquired forward Pascal Siakam yet from the Toronto Raptors.

After hosting the Timberwolves, the Pacers take on the Orlando Magic on Sunday in the Sunshine State.

Projected Starters

Pacers: G – Tyrese Haliburton, G – Andrew Nembhard, F – Aaron Nesmith, F – Pascal Siakam, C – Myles Turner

Timberwolves: G – Mike Conley Jr., G – Anthony Edwards, F – Jaden McDaniels, F – Karl-Anthony Towns, C – Rudy Gobert

Injury Report

Pacers: Doug McDermott – TBA (right calf strain)

Timberwolves: TBA

Last Meeting

Dec. 16, 2023: The Timberwolves duo of Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns combined for 77 points in a 127-109 win over the Pacers at Target Center.

After leading 57-55 at the half, the Timberwolves used a 38-point third quarter to go ahead by double digits.

Just 30 seconds into the fourth quarter, Indiana trailed by 20, and the Blue & Gold couldn’t recover from there.

Minnesota shot 55.7 percent from the field, including 18 made 3-pointers. Towns led the Timberwolves with a season-high 40 points and 12 rebounds, Edwards scored 37, and Naz Reid supplied 17 points off the bench.

The Pacers shot 55.8 percent as a team but made just six threes. Aaron Nesmith and Bruce Brown each scored 17 points for the Pacers. Tyrese Haliburton missed a second straight game after bruising his knee.

Deep shooting provided a major difference in the game, as the Pacers actually outgained the Timberwolves 70-50 in points in the paint and won the rebounding margin 40-36.


Minnesota has won five straight games against Indiana dating back to the 2021-2022 season. Prior to the current streak, the Pacers had beaten the Timberwolves five games in a row.

Minnesota guard Mike Conley Jr. is a graduate of Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis. From 2004 to 2006, he helped guide the Wildcats to three straight state championships before playing at Ohio State.

Pacers forward Doug McDermott has missed four straight games with a calf injury.

Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle is five wins from passing Dick Motta (935 career wins) for 13th place all-time in NBA head coaching wins.

Indiana backup center Jalen Smith needs 17 rebounds to reach 1,000 for his career.

Broadcast Information (TV and Radio Listings >>)

TV: Bally Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)

Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (studio host)


The Pacers return to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to host Anthony Edwards and the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday, March 7 at 7:00 PM ET.