Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) – Dirk Nowitzki led all scorers with 25 points and Jason Kidd ended with 13 points and nine assists, as the Dallas Mavericks outlasted the Minnesota Timberwolves, 108-105, at Target Center.
Brian Cardinal came off the bench to hit 4-of-8 from three-point range and supply 12 points, while Jason Terry contributed 11 points in a reserve role for the Mavericks, who regrouped after having their eight-game winning streak snapped by Memphis on Sunday. Dallas, which has been one of the hottest teams in the NBA, has won 19 of its last 21 overall.
“Without Cardinal I don’t think we would have won the game,” Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said.
Kevin Love posted his 51st consecutive double-double, finishing with 23 points and 17 rebounds for Minnesota to tie Hall of Famer Moses Malone for the league’s post-merger record. Malone recorded 51 straight double-doubles from December 29, 1978 to October 12, 1979 when he was with Houston. Love will go for the record on Wednesday night when the Timberwolves host Indiana.
“To have the crowd on their feet, such a great ovation. It’s one of those moments you pinch yourself to see if it’s real,” Love said about the fans’ reaction to tying the record. “It was a great moment for me. I wish we would have won.”
Michael Beasley chipped in 20 points and nine rebounds for Minnesota, which has dropped three in a row and 11 of 13.
The Timberwolves were up 80-73 after three quarters, but Dallas scored the first eight points of the fourth to quickly even things and the game stayed tight throughout the period.
Beasley’s two free throws with 2:15 left gave Minnesota a brief 97-96 edge before Nowitzki responded with two makes of his own to put his squad ahead by a point with 2:02 remaining and Dallas started to pull away from there.
After a Nikola Pekovic turnover, Terry hit from long distance with 1:37 to play, giving the Mavs a 101-97 lead.
Dallas was near perfect from the foul line, making 7-of-8 down the stretch, the latter two makes by Nowitzki that gave the visitors a 108-102 advantage with 1.5 seconds on the clock.
Wayne Ellington’s half-court heave at the buzzer accounted for the 108-105 final score.
Minnesota dictated the pace in the opening quarter and led 30-22 after 12 minutes.
Anthony Tolliver’s three-point play with 8:22 before the break stretched the Timberwolves’ advantage to 11, 37-26, and they held a slim 50-48 edge heading into the locker room.
In a back-and-forth third, Dallas was ahead 70-65 after a Shawn Marion dunk with 4:49 left, but Minnesota answered by scoring 15 straight. Love started the run with a pair of free throws and Jonny Flynn finished it off with a three-pointer with 18.7 seconds left.
Nowitzki hit from beyond the arc in the closing seconds, but Minnesota was still ahead, 80-73, after three.
Dallas has now won 17 of the last 18 matchups versus the Timberwolves…The Mavericks shot 45.2 percent from the field and 12-of-35 from three-point range…Minnesota made 44.3 percent of its shots and 11-of-23 from beyond the arc.