After two close calls away from home, the Indiana Pacers finally ended an eight-game road losing streak as C.J. Miles scored a game-high 28 points in a 100-96 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves Sunday night at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Miles came up clutch down the stretch with a 3-pointer and four free throws in the final two minutes. Forward David West put the Pacers ahead to stay on a left-handed, inside bank shot with 34.3 seconds remaining.
Miles’ final foul shots with 1.1 seconds remaining iced it. The reserve shooter continued his recent hot streak — he’s averaged 18.7 points in the last seven games — with a 10-of-18 shooting night including four 3-pointers and four-of-five from the foul line.
"We held it out, we got the win,” Miles said in an on-court interview televised by Fox Sports Midwest. “That’s the biggest thing, is get wins right now.”
The Pacers (9-19) were coming off a frustrating 76-73 loss at Denver on Saturday night in which they posted a season-low in points and shooting at 31 percent. They had also dropped a hard-fought 102-100 road game at the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.
For the first time this season, the Pacers shot 50 percent in a game with 42 baskets in 84 attempts. Minnesota made 36-of-77 (47 percent).
Both teams had lost 10 of 11 coming in, so something had to give. The Pacers trailed 92-91 when Miles hit his last 3-pointer. He praised West for setting a screen to free him up.
The Timberwolves (5-21) trailed by 14 at halftime but rallied to make the final minutes interesting as reserve guard Mo Williams scored 24 points and forward Shabazz Muhammad had 21.
But West backed into the lane and banked home his left-handed shot for a 96-94 lead. Miles hit two foul shots for a four-point lead, then after a Timberwolves basket made two more.
One night after failing to score, Pacers center Roy Hibbert had 15 points and eight rebounds. West scored in double digits for the sixth consecutive game with 14. Luis Scola and Donald Sloan each contributed 10 points off the bench.
The Pacers return home Tuesday to host the New Orleans Pelicans (14-13) before spending the weekend Friday in Detroit (5-23) and Saturday in Brooklyn (11-15).
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.