Sometimes things even out in an 82-game NBA season.

The last time, the Timberwolves and Indiana Pacers played, the Wolves were without an ill Jimmy Butler and they got thumped 130-107 at Target Center in the season's fourth game.

 

 

This evening in Indianapolis, the Pacers play with rising young star Victor Oladipo, out for a third consecutive game because of a sore knee.

"You don't like to see anyone hurt," Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said, "but that's part of the league."

The Pacers played in October without promising young center Myles Turner. The Wolves will play tonight without starting point guard Jeff Teague, who will miss his second consecutive game because of a Grade 1 sprain in a knee MCL.

Teague will be in uniform tonight back home in Indianapolis (his hometown) and technically available to play, but won't play.

There's a difference been available to play and able to play and there has been no miraculous recovery. He won't play.

The Pacers have lost their last two games without Oladipo and are 0-3 this season without him in a seasion when he's averaging 24.9 points and is well on his way to All Star designation.

Wolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders coveted him in the 2013 draft, when he was drafted second overall by Orlando.

"I think he's grown quite a bit," Thibodeau said. "In Orlando, he was a young trying to figure it out. Oklahoma City probably was a good experience for him and obviously he's having a breakout season here. He's gone to a completely different level. He's always been an explosive guy, terrific defender. I think he has had that from the time he has come into the league. Now his offense (has improved). His first step is terrific, the way he's shooting the ball, his aggressiveness. He's having an All-Star type season."

Lance Stephenson -- a Wolf last season for the briefest of times -- will start in Oladipo's place alongside Darren Collison in the Pacers backcourt.

Andrew Wiggins (sprained ankle) and Tyus Jones (finger) appear available and able to play.

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