Indiana (22-22) at Minnesota (17-28)
When: Wednesday, January 26th 2017
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: FSN Indiana, FSN North
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The Indiana Pacers look to halt a three-game skid when they visit the surging Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night. Indiana, which had won seven of eight to get to three games over .500, are now back to level after the three straight defeats. Indiana coach Nate McMillan is experimenting with different lineups in an effort to get the offense going again and moved George to the shooting guard spot for a stretch in Monday’s 109-103 loss to the New York Knicks, with swingman C.J. Miles slotting into the small forward spot on the opposite wing. George, who scored 31 points on Monday, is down with the new idea. The Pacers hope to have shooting guard Monta Ellis (ankle) and point guard Rodney Stuckey (hamstring) ready for Thursday. Indiana took both meetings last season and five of the last seven in the series. The Pacers will host the Kings Friday night and are currently tied for sixth in the Eastern Conference with Charlotte.
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The Timberwolves are climbing the standings after a hot run and are just 2.5 games out of Western Conference playoffs. They have won six of their last eight including the last three led by Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Towns posted 30+ point double-doubles and hit the go-ahead shot in the final minute in wins over the Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets in the first two games of the current winning streak, but Wiggins was the hero on Tuesday by hitting an 18-foot jumper at the buzzer to give Minnesota a 112-111 win at Phoenix. Minnesota was 0-10 in games decided by four or fewer points until winning each of the last three by three points or fewer. Wiggins is averaging 27.3 points on 50% shooting in those three games while Towns, who battled foul trouble in Tuesday’s victory, is averaging 29 points on 67.3% shooting in that span. Ricky Rubio, who missed Sunday’s game following a death in the family, scored 14 points and dished out 10 assists against Phoenix.
I have to take the hot team in this one. Indiana and Minnesota are currently going in different directions and this young T’Wolves team is playing well. I’ll lay the points at home.
Pick: Timberwolves -3