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Game 6: Mavs at Timberwolves presented-by-bbva-2 Subscribe via RSS

MINNEAPOLIS — If the Dallas Mavericks were going to avoid dropping their third straight road game of the young season then they were going to have to do so without the services of one of their top contributors.

Friday morning, the Mavericks learned that they would be without eight-time All-Star Vince Carter as the team entered the Target Center for a battle against the Minnesota Timberwolves, after the NBA announced that the sixth man would have to serve a one-game suspension for his flagrant-2 foul in the third quarter of Dallas’ 107-93 loss Wednesday in Oklahoma City.

The news got worse by the time Friday night concluded with the 36-year-old out of the lineup, as the Mavericks (3-3) would fail to seize their first road win of the season and fall to 0-2 on their current road trip following a 116-108 loss.

“We’ve got to play a little bit harder and we’ve got to compete a little bit harder,” 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki said of the loss after the Dallas defense gave up triple digits for the fifth time in six games. “We’ve got to compete a little harder on the glass … and we’ve got to be on the same page defensively.”

Entering the night just 44 points away from tying Jerry West for 16th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, Nowitzki would be handed an early technical foul after arguing with officials. Meanwhile, his counterpart Kevin Love continued his early-season assault on opposing defenses as the Timberwolves (4-2) forced a timeout by Mavs coach Rick Carlisle with 8:12 left in the opening quarter after jumping out to a 12-4 advantage.

The Mavs then found themselves down by as much as 10 before clawing back to trail 28-24 despite Love’s nine points, six rebounds and six assists in the first 12 minutes of play.

With rookie backup point guard Gal Mekel giving starting floor general Jose Calderon a breather to open the second stanza, the Mavs began to run while taking a slight edge on the scoreboard. The Mavericks also battled foul trouble at the center position, forcing Carlisle to slide four-time All-Star forward Shawn Marion to the 5 as the Dallas team went to a small-ball lineup.

Carlisle then continued to trust second-year standout Jae Crowder, who took the bulk of Carter’s minutes. But it would be the duo of Nowitzki and starting 2-guard Monta Ellis that would lead the Mavs into the visiting locker room up one, 56-55, at the intermission.

Countering Love’s 17 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in the first half, the Mavericks escaped with the edge at the midway mark by outshooting the Wolves, 50 percent to 40 percent. The Mavs also overcame Minnesota’s 27-23 rebounding edge through two quarters.

Leaning on Calderon’s perimeter shooting to open the second half, the Mavs tried to remain afloat as Love continued to dominate the interior. Love’s three-point play was then followed by Kevin Martin’s 3-pointer from the wing, putting the Mavericks in a 77-66 hole and forcing a Carlisle timeout with 5:02 left in the third quarter.

But back-to-back 3-pointers by Calderon would settle the visiting team. Ellis then joined his backcourt mate’s scoring barrage before bringing the Mavs within four, 85-81, entering the fourth period.

Again turning to his bench, Carlisle would continue to get a lift from the duo of Mekel and Crowder while the Mavs’ starting backcourt rested in the early minutes of the fourth. Ellis then returned to the court, slicing into the lane for a score to bring the Mavs within four, 99-95, with 6:02 remaining.

But the Timberwolves would again surge ahead by eight before Calderon kept the Mavs within striking distance with his sixth 3-pointer of the night, which was quickly proceeded by Ellis’ attacking move to make it a three-point deficit.

Love then delivered back-to-back daggers, swishing in a triple of his own from the wing before draining a jumper over Marion to force a Dallas timeout down eight with 1:13 left to play.

“[Love] is a very good player, and he’s a guy that causes problems. You know, he creates difficult situations, and his two step-back threes that he hit in the game were big shots,” Carlisle said with a great amount of respect for the former All-Star.

“Those guys played at a high level, and we had a good game plan on them. Those guys hit tough shots late,” Crowder also confessed. “I feel like late on the offensive end we didn’t do what we needed to do to win the game.”

Martin and Wolves point guard Ricky Rubio then closed the Mavs out a short time later.

Leading the way for the Mavs in a losing cause, Ellis scored 23 points on 9-of-24 shooting and Calderon pitched in 21 points on 7-of-11 from the field and 6-of-8 from 3-point range.

“It was there for us today,” Calderon said of the loss. “I think we’ve got to be on everybody today. We should win this game. It was right there for us. We made good runs, we came back, we had good momentum, and we just made easy mistakes.

“We’re going to get better. Like I said, it’s easy mistakes … and that was all.”

Nowitzki added 14 points, and Marion and Crowder both finished with 10 points each to give the Mavs five scorers in double figures.

Love led four Timberwolves in double figures with 32 points on 12-of-21 shooting, 15 rebounds and eight assists, while Martin also tallied up 32 points on 10-of-19 from the field.  The Timberwolves also claimed the win despite getting outshot by the Mavs, 48.9 percent to 46.1 percent, finishing the night with a 44-40 rebounding advantage.

“We just had too many breakdowns and they had some guys that played really well,” Carlisle concluded. “We had some bright spots, but our consistency so far on the road hasn’t been there. And we’ve got to get it together by tomorrow night.”

“I feel like it’s going to take time, but at the same time this is a road trip where we knew we could have got wins,” Crowder added. “We’ve just got to let this one go and get back on it. We’ve got a quick one tomorrow that we feel we can win.”

Note: The Mavericks will now conclude their three-game road trip Saturday on the second night of a back-to-back, touching down in Milwaukee for a battle against the Bucks. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT.

The Mavs return home Nov. 12 against the Washington Wizards. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.

Dallas Mavericks
PLAYER MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Shawn Marion, F375-130-10-025723342-1210
Dirk Nowitzki, F315-111-43-303311142-1914
Samuel Dalembert, C122-30-00-031401323-164
Monta Ellis, G369-241-44-421331032-1623
Jose Calderon, G337-116-81-104471012-1421
DeJuan Blair204-60-00-25492202468
Jae Crowder325-100-20-2246100001210
Wayne Ellington132-22-20-00111001236
Gal Mekel153-80-11-201140001107
Bernard James72-20-01-10220000365
Vince Carter00-00-00-00000000000
Devin Harris00-00-00-00000000000
Shane Larkin00-00-00-00000000000
Ricky Ledo00-00-00-00000000000
Brandan Wright00-00-00-00000000000
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF   PTS
44-9010-2210-1514264021971721 108
48.9%45.5%66.7%
Minnesota Timberwolves
PLAYER MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Corey Brewer, F377-141-32-3123400231317
Kevin Love, F3412-213-65-56915801221932
Nikola Pekovic, C314-90-07-842601322115
Kevin Martin, G3710-193-59-10055220211432
Ricky Rubio, G342-80-02-203343031136
Alexey Shved70-10-11-201111101-51
Jose Juan Barea162-81-30-004440032-65
Dante Cunningham293-60-00-05273110206
Robbie Hummel101-30-20-000000001-92
Chase Budinger00-00-00-00000000000
Gorgui Dieng00-00-00-00000000000
Shabazz Muhammad00-00-00-00000000000
A.J. Price00-00-00-00000000000
Ronny Turiaf00-00-00-00000000000
Derrick Williams00-00-00-00000000000
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF   PTS
41-898-2026-3016284426861415 116
46.1%40.0%86.7%

MINNEAPOLIS — For the first time in his 1,072-game career Vince Carter will miss an NBA game due to suspension.

Friday morning, the league announced that Carter was suspended a game following his flagrant-2 foul call and subsequent ejection with 4:01 remaining in the third quarter of the Dallas Mavericks’ 107-93 defeat Wednesday night in Oklahoma City. The Mavericks (3-2) will now try to get back on track while playing the second outing of a three-game road trip without their sixth man, looking to seize their first road victory of the season in the process against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“It what it is. Gotta move on now,” Carter said after news of the suspension broke during the Mavs’ morning walkthrough. “Like I said after the game, I’ve got to accept it and move forward.”

Minus Carter’s 9.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists an outing in 22.0 minutes of reserve work a night, however, the Mavs may have a hard time moving forward from their last loss while playing without one of their emotional leaders. With Carter out of the lineup, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle will now likely call upon a trio of young substitutes as second-year standout Jae Crowder, new addition Wayne Ellington and rookie Ricky Ledo are all expected to see playing time.

But the bulk of the minutes will likely fall on Crowder’s broad shoulders, as the former Marquette standout looks to continue taking full advantage of his opportunities while averaging 10.6 points on 67.9 percent shooting from the field and 68.4 percent from 3-point range through the first five games. And with Carter’s mentorship echoing in his head and carrying over to the court, Crowder hopes to alleviate the Mavs of their obvious void coming off the bench.

“It’s a team effort to try to make up for what Vince brings,” Crowder confessed. “I don’t feel like it’s just me. I feel like it’s a team effort, and as a team we know that. … His poise and stuff like that you can’t teach. He has a poise out there that a lot of guys can’t teach, and that’s what I try to get from him — how he approaches the game and stuff like that each and every day.”

Note: The Mavericks return to action Friday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves as the Dallas team continues its three-game road trip. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7 p.m.

The Mavs return home Nov. 12 against the Washington Wizards. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.

MINNEAPOLIS — After their own miscues proved to lead to their demise Wednesday night in Oklahoma City, the Dallas Mavericks head into the Target Center ready to correct matters against Kevin Love and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Committing 21 turnovers, which led to 24 points at the other end of the floor for the Thunder, the Mavericks (3-2) admittedly continued to shoot themselves in the foot while falling to a 107-93 defeat to begin their three-game road trip. Dallas was also outshot from the field, 54.4 percent to 42.4 percent, in addition to losing a 44-36 rebounding battle.

The Mavs will now try to make the proper corrections quickly, looking to get back on track Friday night while attempting to claim their first win on the road this season.

“I mean, 23 points off turnovers on the road is going to be really hard to overcome,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle concluded after Wednesday night’s loss. “And then we got beat on the boards and we just didn’t play well enough. It’s a disappointing night, but we’ve got to get ready for the next one.

“We want to have balance,” the coach added after seven Mavericks scored in double figures the night prior in a 123-104 home win over the Los Angeles Lakers. “We had good balance, but (Wednesday night) we didn’t have great balance. The ball got stuck a little bit. Some of that was their defense, so you’ve got to give them some credit. But the 21 turnovers for 23 points did us in.”

However, the Mavs may have to do much more than just protect the ball better Friday night as they try to contain Love, who is quickly making up for lost time after missing most of the 2012-13 season with a broken hand.

Love has returned to action in a big way, averaging 26.2 points and 14.6 rebounds through the Timberwolves’ first five games. But with the Timberwolves (3-2) dropping back-to-back games to Cleveland and Golden State following three wins to start the season, the Mavs may be catching the Minnesota team at the perfect time.

“I mean, they’re playing well. I didn’t see them play yet, but obviously they’ve been winning some big games,” 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki said of the Minnesota team. “Love is healthy, and he’s an animal. So they’re a very good team and they’re very well-coached. … They’re usually very good at home, and we’ve got our hands full. We want to win our first road game. I think that’s obvious. We’ve won three at home and lost two on the road, so we’d love to get on the board on the road as well.”

Note: The Mavericks return to action Friday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves as the Dallas team continues its three-game road trip. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7 p.m.

The Mavs return home Nov. 12 against the Washington Wizards. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.

Mavs Head Coach Rick Carlisle

“We just had too many breakdowns and they had some guys that played really well. We had some bright spots but our consistency so far on the road hasn’t been there and we have to get it together by tomorrow night.”

You got the game down to 3, what happened after that?

“They went on a run, we just couldn’t get the ball in the basket and had one or two turnovers.”

Love’s performance

“He’s a very good player. He’s the kind of guy that causes problems and creates difficult situations. His two step-back three’s he hit in the game were big shots. The one in the 4th was a huge shot and that’s just one of those really difficult plays to guard by a good player.  We had too many other breakdowns in execution areas throughout the game which were the sum total of which ended up getting us beat.”

What needs to be done to improve on the road?

“We’ve got to bond together and we’ve got to do things better as a whole. It’s that simple, even with a team like us that plays with a lot of flow there’s a lot of execution with pass, catch, screening angles, making sure we’re getting back. Brewer had 3-4 run outs off of long passes where we just have to do a better job of getting back and that’s execution and attention to details so we have to get better.”

 The Wolves limited Nowitski to four shots in the 2nd half

“Some of it is how they play him where it opens up shots for other guys. We need good shots, we don’t necessarily need a certain number of shots from any particular guy. The guys know that Dirk’s got to touch it a lot and we’re always going to look for him.

 

Jae Crowder

“Things didn’t go our way tonight, I don’t think it was too much of what they were doing. We knew exactly what they were going to be doing.”

 On Love and Martin
“Those guys play at a high level. We had a game plan on them but those guys hit tough shots.”

After their losses on the road

“It’s going to take time but this was a road trip we knew we could get some wins. We just have to let this one go. We have a quick one tomorrow and we feel like we can win”

On the opportunities they were presented

“It’s something we talk about, execution. Not even on offense but on both sides of the court. Lately on the offense of end we didn’t do what we needed to do to win the game”

 

Jose Calderon

“Kevin love got a lot of big baskets. We couldn’t get two in a row or three in a row. We were in like a 4 point game for like 12 or 16 minutes. Whenever we got the ball we got some type of turnover and they go back to 6. It was there for us today but I think we need to be on us on everybody today. We made a good run, we came back and we had good momentum. We just made easy mistakes. It’s not like we were forcing baskets. It was little things. We know we are going to get better with those; this was just one of those games we need to get the confidence back. We need to win on the road tomorrow.”

On stops.

“When we get the stops, we were making something bad on offense as well. When we were at a 4 point game we were making the turnover or something like that. So it wasn’t just all about getting a stop and them scoring. We were getting those stops we couldn’t just do a stop and a basket. We were just making little mistakes.”