MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Timberwolves aren't asking a lot from 38-year-old forward Sam Mitchell, but Friday night he came through in the clutch.
Mitchell tied the game with a tip-in, then broke that tie with a 3-pointer as Minnesota scored the game's final 15 points to beat the Indiana Pacers 122-114.
"If I play, fine. If I don't, that's fine, too," said Mitchell, who has played nine of his 12 NBA seasons in two stints with the Timberwolves. "I just want to do whatever I have to do to help the team win."
His baskets down the stretch helped Minnesota (6-1) conclude its second-best preseason ever. The Wolves were 7-1 in 1995, the year Mitchell returned to Minnesota after playing three years in Indiana.
He's seen the Wolves go from a perennial doormat to a team that has made five consecutive trips to the playoffs.
"My goal was to play one year in the NBA," Mitchell said. "While I was (playing) in Europe, I would pray to God just to play one year in the NBA. I take care of myself and work hard."
The Wolves had trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half. Reggie Miller scored 14 points and Jeff Foster added 11 in the Pacers' 38-point third quarter.
Each had seven points during a 20-2 run, which erased a six-point deficit and put Indiana ahead 90-78 with 4:21 left in the quarter.
Minnesota chipped away in the fourth quarter, then started its run with 3:22 left in the game when Wally Szczerbiak took a Mitchell pass and converted a lay-up to pull the Wolves to within 114-109.
Chauncey Billups followed with a 3-pointer, then Mitchell made his consecutive baskets.
"He's a true professional," Wolves guard Terrell Brandon said of Mitchell. "As a point guard, he's a guy you like to play with because you know you can count on him."
Kevin Garnett finished with 26 points and 10 assists for the Wolves. Szczerbiak added 22 points and Brandon had 18.
Jalen Rose, who missed the previous five games with an upper respiratory infection, scored 24 points for Indiana (3-5) in 39 minutes.
"He was a little winded at the end of the game," Pacers coach Isiah Thomas said. "We have to give him some time to get back in shape because we want to play an up-tempo game."
Al Harrington added 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers, and Miller had 19.
The Wolves shot 59 percent in the first half and led 62-58 at halftime. Garnett had 16 points in the first half.
Wolves forward Joe Smith left the game with 1:59 remaining in the first quarter after suffering a hard fall while defending a Rose layup.
Smith fell on a microphone box that was attached to the back of his shorts. Smith was one of four players in the game being miked by NBA Entertainment.
He was diagnosed with a lower back bruise but is expected to be ready for Minnesota's opener Tuesday against Philadelphia.
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