Minnesota Timberwolves (0-2) at Mavericks (2-0)
Time: 7:30 p.m., Thursday
Place: American Airlines Center, Dallas
Radio: ESPN 103.3 FM
About the Mavericks: This is the finale of the short three-game preseason before the Mavs open the regular season on Dec. 23 in Phoenix. The regular season home opener is Dec. 30 against Charlotte. . .Fans won’t be allowed in the game against Minnesota, and no decision has been made yet on whether fans will be allowed to attend regular season games at American Airlines Center this season. . .The Mavs’ previous two preseason games have been on the road against the highly-touted Milwaukee Bucks. In the second half of the two preseason games, the Mavs more than showed their worth while also showing how deep they can go to their bench. In the 112-102 victory in Saturday’s contest, the Mavs outscored the Bucks in the second half, 59-43. And in Monday’s 128-112 win over Milwaukee, the Mavs outscored the Bucks in the second half, 69-43. And make no mistake about it, when the game shifted in both of those games, it was the Mavs’ bench who basically did a number on the Bucks’ starters. . .Luka Doncic is averaging 20 ppg, 5.0 rpg and 4.0 apg while shooting 14-of-33 from the floor (42.4 percent) and 6-of-13 from 3-point land (46.2 percent). Doncic didn’t get to the free throw line in the opener against the Bucks, but was 6-of-10 from the line (60 percent) in the second game. . .Josh Richardson scored 23 points and collected seven rebounds in the second preseason game against Milwaukee. In two games, Richardson is averaging 16 ppg and shooting 10-of-16 from the field (62.5 percent) and 8-of-10 (80 percent) from downtown. . .Maxi Kleber has poured in 11 ppg and averaged 5.5 ppg, while converting 6-of-10 shots (90 percent) and 6-of-9 three-pointers (66.6 percent).
About the Timberwolves: Minnesota lost its previous two preseason games at home against the Memphis Grizzlies. Last Saturday the Grizzlies edged the Timberwolves, 107-105, and this past Monday, Memphis defeated Minnesota, 123-104. . .The Timberwolves come to Dallas after winning the NBA Draft Lottery over the offseason and promptly using the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft to select forward Anthony Edwards, who played one season for the Georgia Bulldogs before declaring for the draft. The 6-5, 225-pound Edwards was named second-team all-Southeastern Conference and also was the SEC Freshman of the Year in his one season for Georgia. But the first two preseason games were a struggle for Edwards as he averaged just 8.5 ppg and 4.0 rpg while shooting only 6-of-23 from the floor (26.1 percent) and just 2-of-12 from beyond the 3-point arc (16.7 percent). . .Karl-Anthony Towns is the undisputed leader of the Timberwolves. Last year the 6-11, 248-pound center averaged 26.5 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 4.4 apg and 1.2 bpg, and shot 50.8 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from 3-point territory. In the two preseason contests against the Grizzlies, Towns averaged 13.5 ppg and 8.5 rpg. . .Guard D’Angelo Russell averaged 21.7 ppg and 6.6 apg in 12 games for the Timberwolves last season after they acquired him in a Feb. 6 trade with the Golden State Warriors. Russell averaged 16.5 ppg in the two preseason games against Memphis. . .The Timberwolves have advanced to the playoffs just once in the past 16 seasons. That occurred in 2018 when they lost their first-round playoff series to the Houston Rockets in five games. . .In last year’s shortened season, the Timberwolves finished next-to-last in the Western Conference with a 19-45 record.