MINNEAPOLIS – For Seth Curry, one great shooting night deserved another.
One game after firing in a career-high 37 points on 13-15 shots, Curry was back at it on Sunday with 27 points on 11-of-17 shooting during the Dallas Mavericks’ 111-91 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves before 18,058 at the Target Center.
Against the Heat, Curry was a blistering 8-of-9 form 3-point range. Against the Timberwolves he was 3-of-7 from downtown as he entered Sunday’s game ranked No. 2 all-time in the NBA in 3-point accuracy at 44.2 percent.
“Coming into this year, you look at the stats and the metrics, he was top five all-time I believe coming into this year just based on efficiency, so I’m not surprised,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “I played against his dad, I coached against his brother, and him, too, early on when he was getting spot minutes with (other) teams.
“He really had his breakout year with us in 2016-17. That was great to see. Then from there the rest has been pretty well documented. He dealt with some health issues and now really has gotten his feet solidly underneath him.”
Curry played for Portland last season before signing a four-year free agent contract with the Mavs last summer. The Mavs’ system seems to fit his game like a glove.
“We play with a lot of space, and it gives me a chance to usually space the floor with my jump shot, but also make plays off the dribble and get comfortable doing that,” Curry said. “We get out in good spots to create offensively, and I’ve got great teammates who draw a lot of attention.
“I’m just trying to take good shots. If I take good shots I know the percentages will always come around for me. I didn’t start off shooting the way I wanted, but I knew I would always have a streak like this to get it back to my average.”
Curry played for the Mavs for two seasons before moving to Portland. An injury forced Curry to miss the entire 2017-18 campaign, but he’s definitely bounced back after helping the Trail Blazers reach last year’s Western Conference finals.
“He’s worked hard at his health over the last four years really, and it’s been good to see,” Carlisle said. “I followed his season closely with Portland last year and it surprisingly was a modest start in terms of the number of minutes.
“But as it went along, the minutes built up higher and higher — the rhythm and the conditioning, you can feel getting better – that by the end of the year he was a main player on a conference finals team. So, we’re very happy to get him back.”
The reasoning is obvious.
“Great shooting is something that is a commodity in this league,” Carlisle said. “You’ve got to have it to be successful, and the stats will tell you he’s one of the very best. “
Curry said he hasn’t sent a text to Stephen Curry about his latest hot streak.
“I’m sure he knows it,” Seth Curry said. “But he’s made a lot more than me, so he’s got a comeback.”
DONCIC A NO-GO AGAINST MINNESOTA: After watching him struggle through Friday’s game against the Miami Heat, the Mavs decided to sit Luka Doncic in Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
And it’s not a lock that he’ll play in Monday’s game against Chicago.
Doncic sprained his left thumb last Wednesday against San Antonio and said he had difficulties dribbling with his left hand against the Heat.
“I couldn’t catch the ball,” Doncic said. “I didn’t know how important the thumb was until I couldn’t hold the ball, so it was tough.”
That’s why the decision was made to sit Doncic against Minnesota.
“It’s pretty clear in the Miami game that it’s really a problem, still,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “So he’ll be out today, and (Monday) we’ll see where we are.”
Doncic said he doesn’t know yet if he’ll play against the Bulls.
“We’ll see about it when I wake up in the morning,” he said. “But it feels way better.”
Briefly: Coach Rick Carlisle expects center Willie Cauley-Stein to play in Monday’s game against Chicago. Cauley-Stein has missed the last five games for personal reasons. “I anticipate he will join us there (in Chicago) later this evening,” Carlisle said before the win over Minnesota. We’ll try to get him prepared to play some minutes if needed tomorrow.” . . . Center Kristaps Porzingis usually sits out one end of a back-to-back. So will he sit out Monday’s game in Chicago? “I don’t know,” he said. “I hope I do (play), but it’s leaning towards probably that I’m going to rest tomorrow, but we’ll see.”