INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana stopped Al Jefferson, which is the usual recipe for success against Minnesota.
Jefferson, who averages 23 points per game, had 12 points and 15 rebounds.
"They did a nice job of denying Al," Minnesota coach Kevin McHale said. "We were really trying to go through all our series of stuff trying to get Al the ball."
Minnesota has only eight wins this season when Jefferson hasn't at least tied for the team scoring lead, so he was happy to see his teammates share the scoring load. Seven Timberwolves scored in double figures, and every Minnesota player who entered the game scored at least seven points.
"When teams feel they have to do that to me, my teammates are going to step up," Jefferson said. "I have trust and confidence in my teammates to come and take over the game like they did tonight."
Minnesota shot 49 percent and the Pacers 48 percent. The Timberwolves committed 21 turnovers, but made up for it by outrebounding the Pacers 54-44.
Minnesota led 110-106 in the final minute, but Indiana had a chance to draw closer. Marquis Daniels missed twice in close, then T.J. Ford missed a 3-pointer before the Timberwolves rebounded. Minnesota's Mike Miller made two free throws with 31 seconds left to make it 112-106.
Granger made a 3-pointer with 27 seconds left to make it 112-109.
Ford intercepted Minnesota's inbounds pass and was fouled by Miller. Ford made the first of two free throws with 21 seconds left. Jefferson rebounded the missed second free throw, but Foye turned the ball over and the Timberwolves fouled Ford again. Ford again made the first free throw and missed the second to make it 112-111, Minnesota.
Ford entered the game shooting 89 percent from the free-throw line.
"I definitely let the team down," Ford said. "I had an opportunity more than once to tie the game or take the lead. I just wasn't able to come through in the clutch for my team. I have to sleep on that one tonight."
Minnesota's Telfair made two free throws with 13.4 seconds left.
Granger missed a 3-pointer from the left wing that could have tied the score with seven seconds left. Minnesota rebounded, and Indiana couldn't get to any of the Timberwolves to foul them.
Strangely for the Pacers, it was their offense that let them down at the end. Indiana entered the game as the league's No. 3 scoring team.
"We got enough stops down the stretch to win tonight, we just didn't score," Dunleavy said.
Granger took charge early in the final quarter. He started it with a 3-pointer, hit two free throws, and converted a three-point play in the opening three minutes to give the Pacers a 94-85 lead.
It took Minnesota one minute to tie the score. Brian Cardinal was fouled on a clear path. He made the two free throws, then made a 3-pointer when the Timberwolves kept possession. Love's bank shot tied the game at 94, and the game stayed close the remainder of the way.
Minnesota had won 10 of 12 before losses to Detroit, the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston. McHale said he's pleased to see the team coming together.
"They're starting to get a little rhythm with each other and that's the biggest thing," he said. "They have to be able to find each other and believe in each other. Life's not worth living if you don't have belief in something."
McHale appreciated the victory over Larry Bird's team. Bird, the Pacers' president, was a longtime teammate of McHale's with the Celtics.
"To be truthful, Larry is one of my favorite people in basketball," McHale said. "I would just as soon not beat his team, but if the options are beating his team or my team losing, I would much rather beat his team."
- Minnesota made its first five field goals.
- Indiana made its first four 3-pointers.
- Minnesota F Rodney Carney is from Indianapolis.
- The teams combined to make 22 of 47 3-pointers.
- Murphy notched his 26th double-double of the season.
- Indiana C Jeff Foster had a career-high five assists for the Pacers.
- Granger has made 32 straight free throws.