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Martin leads Timberwolves to win over struggling Mavs
Dallas, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin Martin scored 27 points to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 112-106 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.
Kevin Love had 21 points and 11 rebounds and Nikola Pekovic had 21 points and nine rebounds for Minnesota, which snapped a three-game losing streak.
Monta Ellis had 26 points, six assists and six rebounds and Dirk Nowitzki added 23 points with six assists for the Mavericks, who have lost four of their last five games.
"We're going to learn about our team right now," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "Lose four out of five, have a tough loss like last night and then another tough one like tonight -- it's going to test the togetherness and the collective will."
With 6:33 left to play DeJuan Blair's putback brought Dallas within two points but that would be the closest the Mavs would come in the fourth quarter.
Minnesota led by as much as 11 in the fourth despite the Mavericks' effort to come back.
"Yes, it was very important," Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman said. "Like I told them, it doesn't mean you can't come out and win tomorrow. You have to get the first win and then you have to build off it. There are teams that turn things around and get going the other direction. Denver did it. They came in here and won it and then they beat us. We have to win on the road, since we're playing a lot of road games."
There were four lead changes and three ties during the third quarter.
Dallas came out of the locker room down seven and quickly pulled to within three points just one minute in. With 7:05 left in the third a Shawn Marion bucket tied the game at 63-63.
Ellis' 3-pointer and tip-in gave Dallas a four-point lead.
With 2:50 left in the third the Timberwolves started 15-4 run on Love's 5- footer. The stretched into the fourth quarter and ended on Dante Cunningham's jumper for an 86-77 lead early in the fourth.
Minnesota led by five, 29-24, at the end of the first quarter and maintained the lead but not without facing resistance from the Mavericks.
Dallas got within two points with 5:42 remaining in the second quarter after an Ellis reverse layup. The Timberwolves ended the half with a 54-47 lead.
Dallas' Jose Calderon was out with a bone bruise in his right ankle ... Corey Brewer scored 13 points and Ricky Rubio had 12 points for Minnesota ... Samuel Dalembert scored 12 points and had seven rebounds, Vince Carter had 10 points and Blair added 11 points and eight rebounds for Dallas.
12/01 03:18:05 ET