Wolves nipped by Pacers, 102-101

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 10, 2004

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) &045; Jermaine O’Neal had 22 points and eight rebounds to help the Indiana Pacers hold off the Minnesota Timberwolves 102-101 on Tuesday night.

Minnesota missed two late chances to win. Kevin Garnett’s turnaround jumper fell short with 5 seconds left, but the Timberwolves retained possession after the ball went out of bounds. Latrell Sprewell couldn’t convert his 23-footer from the wing as the buzzer sounded.

Stephen Jackson had 21 points and six rebounds for Indiana, which owned a 47-30 rebounding advantage and went 21-for-23 at the free-throw line. Minnesota, which got 22 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists from Garnett, made 20 of 28 foul shots. All the misses were by Garnett, who went 6-for-14.

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Ron Artest didn’t play for the Pacers &045; they called it a &uot;coach’s decision.&uot; The volatile forward, often in trouble throughout his six-year career, sat along the baseline most of the night in his warmups. Artest was bothered by a sore knee during the preseason, but this was the first regular-season game he missed.

Fred Jones filled in capably with 14 points and seven rebounds. O’Neal, brought along slowly with a sore left foot, made his first start of the season. Jamaal Tinsley had 18 points and six assists. Scot Pollard, returning from a back injury, led the Pacers with 11 rebounds.

Sprewell (21 points) and Wally Szczerbiak (20 points) led a Timberwolves rally in the fourth quarter.