Game 69: Mavs vs. Timberwolves

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Timberwolves vs. Mavericks

The Mavs made a raucous fourth-quarter rally to send the game into overtime but came up just short against the Timberwolves Wednesday night.

DALLAS — After dropping two of the previous three matchups against the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier this season, the Dallas Mavericks entered Wednesday’s contest knowing they’d need to elevate their play.

Looking to run their overall winning streak to four, the Mavericks welcomed the Timberwolves to town for the second outing of an eight-game homestand. Meanwhile, the Mavs tried to remain afloat in the competitive Western Conference playoff race, sitting in the seventh spot in the standings as the night began.

But, after staging a valiant comeback from down 22 points in the first half, the Mavs would push the Timberwolves into overtime. The Mavericks (41-28) then ran out of steam late, ending their three-game win streak and losing the season series 3-1 following a 123-122 overtime loss.

“They came out and struck first, and we were playing catch-up the rest of the game,” forward Shawn Marion said of the loss. “We got it tied and had the lead for a little bit, but we weren’t able to close it out. We were able to fight and get it to overtime, but we just weren’t able to close it out and get the win.”

With his team unable to keep Minnesota from getting off to a fast start, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle would be forced to burn his second timeout of the opening quarter following Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio’s layup to make it a 15-7 deficit. Matters then went from bad to worse for the Mavs after 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki was forced to sit at the 7:04 mark with two early fouls.

And with the Dallas defense unable to solve its transition deficiencies while the turnovers piled up, the Mavs quickly fell behind by double digits before trailing 37-24 after one quarter of play.

“They were aggressive, we were sloppy and it turned into a lot of fast-break points. The first quarter really was the biggest factor in the game,” Carlisle said of the opening 12 minutes after the Timberwolves sprinted to a 15-2 advantage in fast-break points.

With former Mav J.J. Barea looking for his own shot early in the second stanza, the separation on the scoreboard continued to spread. But, with Nowitzki back on the floor, the Mavericks would show some signs of life after falling behind by as many as 22. And even with starting 2-guard Monta Ellis picking up his third personal foul with 4:10 left in the first half, the Mavs crept to within three before finding themselves on the downside of a 66-59 deficit as sixth man Vince Carter’s buzzer-beating trey willed his team back into the game.

Surrendering 17 points off their 10 first-half turnovers, the Mavericks would also allow the Timberwolves (34-32) to shoot 56.5 percent from the field while knocking down 52.3 percent at the other end. Meanwhile, the Mavs searched for a way to slow down Timberwolves big man Kevin Love, who scored 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting through the first 24 minutes of play.

“I’m not sure if we were quite ready to play,” Nowitzki said of the first half. “You know, we just had dumb turnovers and they were kind of into us. We weren’t quite ready and we were caught on our heels … but I really liked our fight in the second quarter and how we came back in it — started to play harder, started to make them work a little harder on offense and rebound the ball. I liked how we responded there in the second quarter.”

With Nowitzki taking charge of the offense and center Samuel Dalembert anchoring the defensive end, the Mavericks looked to make a stand as the second half got underway. Point guard Jose Calderon also began to lend some assistance, attacking the basket relentlessly.

But frustration would soon boil over for Ellis, who was assessed a technical foul with 4:46 in the third for arguing his fourth personal. And despite the best efforts of reserve guard Devin Harris and second-year standout Jae Crowder off the bench, the Mavs entered the fourth down 94-87 after backup big man Brandan Wright’s score to beat the buzzer.

In need of a spark, the Mavericks would receive it through the interior play of Wright early in the fourth period. But again the Mavs took a blow when Ellis picked up a fifth foul, barreling into Rubio for a charge with 9:19 remaining.

The Timberwolves then proceeded to regain a double-digit advantage, taking a 104-92 lead on Robbie Hummel’s corner 3-pointer to force a Dallas timeout with 7:09 left to respond. Respond the Mavs would indeed do, getting a conventional three-point play from Ellis with 3:49 on the clock to bring the home team within five at 109-104.

The Dallas defense did the rest, forcing a stop before Ellis cashed in with a corner 3-pointer at the other end to continue a 10-0 run. And after a 1-of-2 trip to the foul line by Rubio, Ellis continued to stroke the hot hand with a trey from the top of the key to tie the game at 110-all with 2:47 remaining.

After Love split a pair at the foul line, Ellis again showed he wasn’t done, swishing a triple from the wing to put the Mavericks up 113-111. However, two free throws by Rubio would again tie the game at 113-113 with 50.1 seconds left. And with both teams growing stagnant down the stretch, Harris’ desperation attempt in the final seconds of regulation would fall short of the rim to send the game into overtime.

Following a Nowitzki jumper to open the extra period, Ellis stepped into another corner 3-pointer and found nothing but the bottom of the net. Nowitzki followed suit as the Mavericks tried to keep the visiting Wolves at bay. But the Mavs then lost Carter for the night due to his sixth personal, sending Love to the line for a 3-for-3 trip after a foul beyond the arc. And following another 1-of-2 visit to the foul line by Love, the Mavericks faced a 121-120 deficit with 1:51 still on the clock.

Nowitzki would provide a response, spinning over Love and connecting on a vintage jumper to put the Mavs up one with 33.1 ticks remaining to hold on. Love immediately answered, spinning out of a double-team and scoring to put the Wolves ahead by one with 17.1 seconds left. And after a sequence of moves at the other end by Nowitzki matched up against Love, the 7-footer would draw all iron on a mid-range jumper before the clock ran out in a scramble for the rebound.

“I knew I was going to shoot one off the dribble,” Nowitzki said of the final sequence. “Obviously, I made one facing up earlier on him in overtime, so he was going to push up a little bit. So I probably shouldn’t have even pump faked. I knew he was probably not going to go for it, ’cause he uses the pump fake himself 20 times a game, so I should have probably (used) just one dribble and up. But, you know, it’s too late now.”

Finishing an 11-of-27 shooting performance and 0-of-7 from 3-point range, Nowitzki led six Mavericks in double figures with 27 points.

“Well, I had good looks all night. Just wasn’t good enough there in the second half and in overtime,” Nowitzki admitted. “I had so many open looks, even from three. Just one of those nights, so I take that on me. I thought the team responded well and played well, and I just had a lot of good looks that just didn’t go down.”

Ellis added 22 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists. Marion recorded a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds in the first unit, while Carter registered 14 points and Harris pitched in 13 points off the bench. Meanwhile, Calderon scored 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting.

Love scored 35 points on 11-of-20 shooting to lead six Wolves in double figures and Rubio recorded a triple-double with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists. And despite ending the game with a 51-46 rebounding edge and outshooting Minnesota, 49.5 percent to 47.8 percent, the Mavs couldn’t overcome the 29 points they surrendered off 16 turnovers.

“We had some good looks,” Harris explained. “You know, we got the ball to the guys we wanted to get to. … We got off to a horrific start, but I love the fight that we had to get back into it. You’ve got to play so hard and things have got to go perfectly in order to come back from that kind of deficit, and we just didn’t make enough plays.”

Note: The Mavericks will return to action at American Airlines Center Friday, hosting the Denver Nuggets. Denver leads the season series 3-0. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting


All Stats

C. Brewer, F 47 6-15 1-3 0-0 1 3 4 2 1 0 1 3 10 13
K. Love, F 41 11-20 2-5 11-14 1 7 8 3 0 1 4 2 -9 35
G. Dieng, C 25 5-5 0-0 0-0 3 8 11 1 1 1 0 4 15 10
K. Martin, G 37 5-15 3-7 6-6 1 1 2 0 1 0 3 2 -10 19
R. Rubio, G 49 8-12 0-1 6-7 1 9 10 15 4 1 3 2 11 22
J. Barea 19 6-13 2-7 1-2 0 5 5 4 1 0 2 2 1 15
D. Cunningham 18 1-4 0-1 1-2 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 5 3
C. Budinger 5 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 -9 0
R. Hummel 21 2-6 2-5 0-0 0 4 4 0 0 0 0 2 -9 6
L. Mbah a Moute 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
S. Muhammad 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
N. Pekovic 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
A. Price 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
A. Shved 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
R. Turiaf 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   44-92 10-29 25-31 8 38 46 25 8 4 13 18   123
    47.8% 34.5%                      

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All Stats

S. Marion, F 38 8-12 0-3 0-0 2 9 11 5 2 0 2 1 8 16
D. Nowitzki, F 39 11-27 0-7 5-6 0 3 3 0 0 0 2 3 1 27
S. Dalembert, C 21 3-7 0-0 1-2 7 7 14 2 1 3 0 0 2 7
M. Ellis, G 36 7-15 4-6 4-5 0 6 6 4 2 0 3 5 10 22
J. Calderon, G 27 5-9 2-4 0-0 0 3 3 4 1 0 0 2 8 12
B. Wright 20 3-3 0-0 1-4 1 2 3 1 0 0 0 1 -18 7
V. Carter 29 4-7 3-4 3-3 0 5 5 3 1 1 4 6 -6 14
D. Harris 31 4-11 0-3 5-5 0 4 4 4 2 0 4 3 -8 13
W. Ellington 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -13 0
D. Blair 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 -3 0
J. Crowder 15 2-4 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 3 0 0 0 3 14 4
B. James 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
S. Larkin 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
R. Ledo 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
G. Mekel 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   47-95 9-27 19-25 10 41 51 26 9 4 16 25   122
    49.5% 33.3%                      

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Steal of the Night: Jose Calderon

Jose Calderon makes the steal and finds Shawn Marion who passes to Jae Crowder for the one-hand slam.


Buckets Off Defense

Jose Calderon makes the steal and finds Shawn Marion who passes to Jae Crowder for the one-hand slam.


Ellis All the Way

Monta Ellis grabs the board and takes it coast-to-coast for the lay-in.


Denied by Dalembert

Samuel Dalembert steps up and denies Corey Brewer's shot out of bounds.


Shootaround: Shawn Marion

Mavs F Shawn Marion dishes on Wednesday's tilt against Minnesota, the challenges Kevin Love presents, how he compares to Dirk and more.


Shootaround: Rick Carlisle

Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle comments on Monta Ellis' toughness, Wednesday's matchup against the Timberwolves, his alma matter's chances in the NCAA tournament and more.

DALLAS — After arguably their most disappointing effort on the boards this season, the Dallas Mavericks know they’ll have their hands full in the rebounding department as All-Star power forward Kevin Love and the Minnesota Timberwolves come to town.

Despite being outrebounded 57-36, the Mavericks (41-27) were able to hold off the Boston Celtics en route to Monday’s 94-89 victory to begin an eight-game homestand. However, with Love second in the NBA while averaging 12.9 rebounds an outing, the Mavs know they’ll need a better effort on the glass Wednesday night while bidding for a fourth straight win.

“[Monday] was our worst rebounding effort in probably two months,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle confessed. “We had five more no-blockouts than we did actual blockouts, and that just hasn’t happened. And so we made it an emphasis this morning, we talked about it and we went through things that reminded us that we have to check out, in particularly against Love. He goes after it like crazy and they have other guys that pursue it, too.”

In addition to keeping Love off the glass, the Dallas defense will also attempt to contain the league’s No. 4 scorer. Love is averaging 30.4 points in his last five games against the Mavs. And with the Timberwolves (33-32) hopeful to take the season series 3-1, the Mavericks know they’ll have to suffocate Love on the defensive end in order to keep the big man from adding to his league-leading 54 double-doubles this season.

“He’s a handful,” forward Shawn Marion said with a great deal of respect for Love. “For some reason he just has a knack for being around the ball and getting offensive rebounds and defensive rebounds, and they look for him a lot. So we’ve just got to make it hard for him and do what we need to do to get this win.”

Note: The Mavericks will return to action at American Airlines Center Wednesday, hosting the Minnesota Timberwolves. Minnesota leads the season series 2-1. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting

DALLAS — Pushed to the brink of defeat Monday night while beginning a season-long homestand against the Boston Celtics, the Dallas Mavericks utilized late-game execution to scratch and claw their way to a hard-fought 94-89 victory.

Still flying high following Sunday’s emotional 109-86 win in Oklahoma City, the Mavericks (41-27) admittedly came out sluggishly against the struggling Celtics. Wednesday night, however, the Mavs will try to reel off their fourth win in a row while attempting to pull even in the season series with the Minnesota Timberwolves, playing the second outing of an eight-game homestand that could surge the Dallas team up the Western Conference standings.

“We all know that after an emotional and tough win on the road sometimes it’s hard to get up the next day, especially against a team that so-called does not have a great record,” 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki said following Monday’s win. “But we wanted to get this win somehow and it wasn’t pretty. … We’re fortunate to come away with the win down the stretch.”

The Timberwolves (33-32) have won three of the last four matchups in Dallas led by All-Star big man Kevin Love, who is averaging 30.4 points in his last five games against the Mavs. But, after matching last season’s win total Monday, the Mavericks look to continue trending upward following victories in five of the last six outings, hoping not to have a carryover effect against a Minnesota team that leads the season series 2-1.

Meanwhile, with an opportunity to make up ground in the heated West playoff race, the Mavs will try to take the court with an edge that could lead to a home-court advantage.

“Well, we’ve got an opportunity,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said of his team’s home-heavy stretch. “I’ve never seen an eight-game homestand in this league in 30 years. It’s very unusual. There’s opportunity here, but it’s going to be very challenging, too. We’re going to have to work to keep our edge every day and every night, and we’ll find out a lot about our character. The ability to keep that edge is one of the signs of real competitive character, and we’re going to have to have it.”

Note: The Mavericks will return to action at American Airlines Center Wednesday, hosting the Minnesota Timberwolves. Minnesota leads the season series 2-1. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting