Mavericks halt Timberwolves' three-game win streak
DALLAS--The Minnesota Timberwolves had hoped to extend a season-long three-game winning streak before tough road tests at San Antonio and the Los Angeles Clippers, but they failed to take advantage of the struggling Dallas Mavericks and fell 98-8...
DALLAS-The Minnesota Timberwolves had hoped to extend a season-long three-game winning streak before tough road tests at San Antonio and the Los Angeles Clippers, but they failed to take advantage of the struggling Dallas Mavericks and fell 98-87 on Sunday at the American Airlines Center.
Dallas (13-27) got a balanced scoring attack with six players in double figures, led by Wesley Matthews' 19 points and Dirk Nowitzki's 17. J.J. Barea produced 15 off the bench.
The Mavericks shot 46.8 percent from the field and helped themselves by draining 12 3-pointers on 29 attempts.
"We are doing better and the key for us to win is going to be balance on offense," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "We have a lot of guys sharing the scoring responsibility, moving the ball, etc. It is pretty clear we are picking up the pace with Dirk [Nowitzki] and Barea back in there. We are showing signs of making some progress and tonight two things were really important, we did a better job on the boards, and I thought our energy and determination were terrific."
After a fast and even start, Dallas took command with a 29-point second quarter and built a 44-29 lead. The Timberwolves (14-27), coming off a big win over Oklahoma City on Friday, worked hard to get back in the game and trailed just 68-66 in the third quarter.
But all that hard work flew out the window as Minnesota allowed Dallas to regain control and expand the lead back to the original 15-point cushion midway through the fourth quarter.
"I knew we did a good job in the first, and in the second we were cutting it close," Barea said. "I knew the bench had to do a better job in the second half, and I was aggressive and got in a little rhythm. I made a couple shots and kept being aggressive."
Timberwolves forward Gorgui Dieng scored a team-high 21 points. Karl-Anthony Towns had a bit of an off day considering his recent box score-stuffing performances. He finished with 18 points and nine rebounds to end a streak of 10 consecutive double-doubles.
Andrew Wiggins had 19 points, eight rebounds and four assists for the Timberwolves. Ricky Rubio, playing well lately, had just eight points on 2 of 9 shooting from the field and 10 assists.
The Timberwolves were limited to 43.8 percent shooting from the floor and were severely outscored behind the arc, hitting just 5 of 21. They also managed to go just 12 of 18 from the free-throw line.
The Mavs put up a stop sign with their veteran players coming through and handing theTimberwolves' youngsters a loss they hoped to avoid considering their upcoming road schedule.
"Well, it's going to look that way when it's not going in, but if you don't play with energy you're going to have a problem," Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said of his team possibly reverting to more one-on-one play. "So, they had their way. They made shots. They spread us out, and then we got to hit the first open man. We've got to move the ball. We've got to play with more intensity-that's a big thing."
Helping Matthews and Nowitzki was point guard Deron Williams with 13 points on 5 of 9 shooting from the field, including three 3-pointers, and 10 assists. Harrison Barnes added 13 points and Devin Harris had 10 points off the bench.
Even without starting center Andrew Bogut, who missed the game with a strained hamstring, Dallas managed to hold its own on the boards, a problem that has dogged them all season. Minnesota had just a 44-41 rebounding edge.
"We just didn't win tonight. We didn't do anything that we usually do to win the game," Towns said. "That's why our winning streak is over and now we'll have a losing streak."
It was just the eighth home win for Dallas all season. Minnesota lost for the 15th in 19 road games.
NOTES: Mavericks C Andrew Bogut (strained right hamstring) missed his second consecutive game and was ruled out indefinitely by coach Rick Carlisle. ... F Dirk Nowitzki entered Sunday's game needing to play 27 minutes to take over ninth place from Reggie Miller (47,619 minutes) on the NBA's career minutes played list. ... Dallas signed G Pierre Jackson to a 10-day contract. After a short stint with the team earlier in the season, the former Baylor standout was playing for Dallas' D-League affiliate. ... The Mavs recalled F Nicolas Brussino from their D-League affiliate. Brussino averaged 16.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists in three games. He could again be assigned to the Texas Legends after Sunday's game. ... Minnesota G Zach LaVine (hip contustion) was active after missing the previous two games. ... Timberwolves C Karl-Anthony Towns entered the game with a streak of 10 consecutive double-doubles. ... ... Sunday's game was changed from an evening tipoff to 2 p.m. ET to reduce overlap with Sunday's 4:40 p.m. ET kickoff for the NFC divisional playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers