Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler (23) dunks while defended by Indiana Pacers forward Thaddeus Young in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/R Brent Smith)
Sunday, December 31, 2017 8:50 pm
Butler scores 26, Timberwolves beat slumping Pacers 107-90
JIM JOHNSON | Associated Press
INDIANAPOLIS – Jimmy Butler had 26 points, six rebounds and five assists, and the Minnesota Timberwolves never trailed in a 107-90 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 18 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks, and Taj Gibson added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Timberwolves (23-14), who have won nine of the last 12 games.
Joe Young scored a career-high 20 points and Bojan Bogdanovic scored all of his 13 points in the third quarter as the Pacers (19-18) dropped their fourth straight, equaling their worst skid of the season. Indiana also lost four in a row in early November.
This time, the Pacers have been without guard Victor Oladipo, who averages a team-leading 24.9 points per game. He missed a third straight game with an injured right knee.
After taking a 49-38 lead into halftime, the Timberwolves scored eight straight to open the second half. Gibson's 3-pointer at the end of an 11-2 run gave Minnesota a 73-53 lead with 4:40 left in the third quarter.
Timberwolves: Butler was 10-of-11 from the free throw line. ... Minnesota turned it over just eight times.
Pacers: Corey Joseph scored 10 points. ... Indiana committed 17 turnovers.
Timberwolves: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday in the second game of a back-to-back.
Pacers: At Milwaukee on Wednesday.