1. LUKA RETURNS: After missing two games with a right thigh contusion, rookie point guard Luka Doncic was back in the starting lineup on Wednesday against the Timberwolves. And back pulling rabbits out of his bag of hats. Doncic wound up registering double-double No. 23 as he finished the game with 27 points and 12 rebounds, and also distributed six assists. He also was 11-of-21 from the field and 2-of-8 from behind the 3-point line. During Doncic’s absence, the Mavs missed all of the creativity that he brings to the table and the attention he draws from opposing defenses.
  2. POWELL WAS NEARLY PERFECT: Dwight Powell had one of those games players would love to have on a regular basis, as the five-year veteran put on a near picture-perfect performance against the Timberwolves. In 31 minutes, Powell was 8-of-9 from the field and 9-of-10 from the free throw line and rounded out his night by scoring 25 points, grabbing eight rebounds and picking up a pair of steals. The point total is one shy of the career-high 26 points Powell scored at Washington on Mar. 6. And the eight made field goals ties for his third-highest total in a game this season.
  3. MERJI CONTINUES TO SURGE: Salah Mejri backed up Monday’s 16-point, 14-rebound showing against the Philadelphia 76ers with Wednesday’s 11-point, five-rebound showing against the Minnesota Timberwolves. And Mejri’s performance against the T-Wolves likely would have been much better had he not incurred four fouls in the first half, limiting his overall playing time to just 17 minutes. Merji was particularly impactful when his two power dunks – one coming on a put-back basket that ignited the crowd – helped the Mavs overcome a 12-point deficit and get back in the game.
  4. BURKE MAKES QUICK WORK: Trey Burke gave the Mavs so much against the Timberwolves in a short period of time. The six-year veteran only played 16 minutes and ended up with 12 points and four assists, and was 5-of-9 from the floor and 2-of-5 from beyond the 3-point arc. Burke has this knack for darting past defenders and getting to the basket for layups off a set play, which he successfully negotiated twice in Wednesday’s game. Also, the plus 13 point plus/minus differential Burke finished with tied him with teammate Devin Harris for the best by any player on either team.
  5. TOWNS WAS VERY EFFECTIVE: Before the game, coach Rick Carlisle had this to say about Karl-Anthony Towns: “He matches up well against us. We don’t match up well against him. That’s kind of how it’s gone as far as stopping him.” Carlisle’s words proved to be prophetic as Towns rambled his way to game highs of 28 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots while being all over the place in putting his imprint of this game. Also, when the Mavs rallied from a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter and took the lead, Towns was one of the players converting key baskets that kept the Mavs at bay.

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