The Indiana Pacers rarely lose to the Minnesota Timberwolves at home. They haven't lost to anyone there this season.
The Pacers aim for the best home start in franchise history when they try to continue their dominance of the Timberwolves in Indianapolis on Monday night.
Indiana (12-1) is 19-4 all-time when hosting Minnesota (8-7), winning five of the past six meetings while averaging 115.2 points.
The Pacers seem more than capable of continuing that trend as they attempt to open a season with an eight-game home winning streak for the first time.
They're tied with San Antonio for the NBA's best overall record thanks to a particularly outstanding defensive showing on their home court this season.
Indiana is limiting opponents to an average of 82.7 points and 36.8 percent shooting at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Another solid effort contributed to Saturday's 106-98 win over Philadelphia. The Pacers did allow a homecourt season high for points but harassed the 76ers into shooting 34.3 percent, including 4 of 25 from beyond the arc.
Roy Hibbert had a season-high 27 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks. The center leads the NBA with 4.3 blocks per game - he's averaging 5.0 at home - while adding 12.2 points and 9.2 boards.
"He's been dominant defensively all year, and when we need him to step up on the offensive end, he does," coach Frank Vogel said.
"We've been struggling to get Roy the ball," Vogel said. "He's doing all the dirty work for us, protecting the rim, rebounding, offensive rebounding. We haven't been sharp in our post game the last couple games."
That wasn't the case in the most recent meeting with Minnesota, which was dominated by Indiana in the paint by a 52-24 margin in a 107-91 loss on March 13. Hibbert had 27 points, 12 boards and four blocks in that win.
Paul George is another big reason behind the Pacers' incredible start, leading them with a 24.2 scoring average. However, he's managed just 15.3 points over three career home meetings with the Timberwolves.
Minnesota is 2-5 on the road, losing its last four away from home while surrendering an average of 110.5 points on 50.7 percent shooting and 42.7 from beyond the arc.
Those struggles continued Saturday in a 112-101 loss at Houston in which the Wolves allowed the Rockets to go 17 for 31 from long range.
Kevin Love had 27 points, matching his total from the previous two games. The All-Star forward also added 15 rebounds, lifting him into a tie with Houston's Dwight Howard for the NBA lead at 13.6 per game.
Love, who has missed the last three meetings with the Pacers due to injury, has averaged 17.7 points and 11.3 rebounds in three career visits to Indianapolis.
Corey Brewer, who had 22 points against Houston, has totaled 39 points while making 17 of 32 field goals over his last two at Indiana.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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