MAVS (36-24) AT TIMBERWOLVES (17-41)
Time: 2:30 p.m. CT
Place: Target Center, Minneapolis
Radio: ESPN 103.3 FM; Univision 1270 AM (Spanish)
About the Mavs: With All-Star point guard Luka Doncic questionable for this afternoon’s game with a sprained left thumb, the Mavs will battle the Timberwolves for the second time in a week and on the third game of this four-game road trip. Doncic sprained his thumb last Wednesday in San Antonio in the opener of this road trip, which concludes Monday in Chicago before the Mavs return home to face Zion Williamson (for the first time) and the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday. . .Tim Hardaway Jr. (23 points), Doncic (20 points, nine rebounds, seven assists) and Seth Curry (19 points) led a parade of seven players who scored 11 or more points in guiding the Mavs to a convincing 139-123 triumph over the Timberwolves Monday at American Airlines Center. The Mavs scored a franchise record-tying 81 points in the first half of that game. . .The Mavs also beat the Timberwolves in Dallas, 121-114, on Dec. 4. . .The Mavs are 70-51 all-time against the Timberwolves, including a 33-26 record during games played in Minnesota. . .Curry put on a show-stopping performance Friday in Miami as he scored a career-high 37 points during a 126-118 loss to the Heat. Curry finished that game shooting a spectacular 13-of-15 from the field and 8-of-9 from 3-point territory. Curry is the NBA’s No. 2 all-time leader in 3-point percentage at 44.2 percent. . .Dorian Finney-Smith is the only member of the Mavs who has played in all 60 games this season. . .The Mavs (20-10), Milwaukee Bucks (24-5) and Los Angeles Lakers (24-6) are the only teams to win at least 20 road games thus far this season. . .The Mavs are 6-4 in the opener of a back-to-back.
About the Timberwolves: After getting drilled in Dallas by 16 points last Monday, the Timberwolves went to Miami on Wednesday and upsetting the Heat, 129-126, behind 27 points from D’Angelo Russell and 21 from Malik Beasley. Russell was 7-of-14 from 3-point land in that game. Since joining the Timberwolves via a trade from Golden State last month, Russell is averaging 25 ppg and 7.8 apg in six games with Minnesota. . .Acquired in a trade with the Denver Nuggets, Juan Hernangomez is averaging 14 ppg and 6.1 rpg in eight games with Minnesota. . .Also for the Timberwolves, Jeff Teague averages 13.2 ppg and 6.1 apg, while Jarrett Culver – a rookie from Texas Tech who was the sixth overall pick of last June’s NBA Draft – is averaging nine points in 24.1 minutes per game. . .The Timberwolves last played on Friday when they lost in Orlando, 136-125, despite 28 points and seven assists from Russell. . .Minnesota has hit some hard times this season as it has lost 19 of its last 21 games. Oddly enough, besides the victory over Miami, the only other game they’ve won during this bumpy period was a thorough spanking of a Los Angeles Clippers’ team (142-115 on Feb. 8) that many are projecting to capture this year’s NBA title. . .The Timberwolves have the second-worst record in the Western Conference and the third-worst record in the NBA. . .The Wolves will be without star center Karl-Anthony Towns, who is sidelined with a wrist injury.