Chase Budinger's path to the basket in the final seconds Friday night were unmarked. The forward, playing much of the second half for Brandon Roy, who reinjured his right knee took a pass from Andrei Kirilenko and layed it into the basket with 0.8 seconds remaining in the game sealing the 96-94 win over Indiana.
"I was about to shoot it first and I thought I caught it right," said Kirilenko. "When I turned and saw Paul George right in my face. I looked at the clock and saw two seconds and saw Chase with that cut I had to pass it."
Playing without J.J. Barea who sprained his ankle Wednesday night left the teams backcourt situation as a major question mark. When Roy didn't return for the second half it was Budinger whom head coach Rick Adelman turned to. Budinger scored 18 points but was only part of the equation off the bench. Rookie Alexey Shved scored 11 points and dished seven assists and played critical minutes down the stretch.
Shved accounted for back-to-back baskets as part of an 8-2 fourth quarter run extending the lead to 94-88 with under a minute left in the game.
George Hill, who led all scorers with 29 points picked up a three-point play to pull the Pacers to within three points, then burried a huge three pointer to tie the game with 3.8 seconds left in the game setting up the final sequence.
The final play was set up for Kirilenko. With time winding down and the ball in his hands, he took two dribbles then found the cutting Budinger for the winning basket.
"No one picked me up at all," said Budinger. "I just kept going and was wide open."
The Timberwolves upped their record to 4-1, their best start since the 2001-2002 season when the team started 6-0. The Wolves are 3-0 at Target Center and will head to Chicago to face the Bulls tomorrow night.
Derrick Williams scored nine of his 15 points in the first half while Nikola Pekovic scored 13 points while grabbing eight reboungs. Dante Cunningham was the other player in double digits with 11.
The Wolves bench outscored Indiana 48-25 in the win.