Final Score: Minnesota 114, Dallas 106 (OT)
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Nikola Pekovic scored a game-high 21 points
and pulled down nine rebounds as the Minnesota Timberwolves outlasted the
Dallas Mavericks, 114-106, in overtime Saturday at Target Center.
Alexey Shved netted 18 points with six assists, while Derrick Williams
contributed 16 points and six rebounds for the Timberwolves, who have won a
season-high four straight.
Luke Ridnour added 15 points for Minnesota, while Andrei Kirilenko put home
14 and grabbed 10 boards and J.J. Barea finished with 14 points in the
Minnesota point guard Ricky Rubio made his season debut after recovering from
a torn anterior cruciate ligament and lateral collateral ligament in his
left knee last March. He donated eight points and handed out nine assists in
"I think Ricky is a fantastic point guard," Kirilenko said. "He likes to play
with a creative flair for finding his teammates. it's always a privilege to
play with that kind of guy, You know if you move without the ball, he'll find
O.J. Mayo and Derek Fisher scored 20 points apiece for Dallas, which has lost
three straight games.
Dallas entered the fourth quarter trailing 80-70, but began to chip away at
the lead, as a corner 3-ball form Fisher and a jumper by Elton Brand brought
the visitors within four with 7:32 to play.
Ridnour hit a jumper shortly afterward to put the T'Wolves back up by eight
with 6:04 to go, but the Mavs answered with a 12-3 surge to snag a 97-96 lead
with 2:50 to play.
A Brand tip-in with 1:22 on the clock gave the Mavs a 102-100 lead, but
Pekovic answered with a layup at the other end to tie the game.
Mayo missed a 12-footer with 35.9 seconds left, but the T'Wolves couldn't
capitalize as Ridnour, Rubio and Pekovic all missed in the final seconds to
send the game to overtime.
In the extra session, it was all Minnesota. Shved got the T'Wolves off to a
good start with a run-out slam right off the opening tip. Shawn Marion then
missed on the Mavs' ensuing possession and Kirilenko added a pair of free
throws and a 3-point play to give the T'Wolves a 109-102 lead,
Pekovic completed another 3-point play to push the lead to 112-102 and the
Timberwolves held on for the victory.
"We just ran out of juice, but the way we started the game, we had
them on their heels," Marion said. "We should have never let it go. We just
can't turn the ball over and give them easy buckets."
Dallas came out of the gate on fire, hitting six of its first 11 shots from
the floor -- capped by an emphatic putback slam from Marion -- to build an
18-7 margin with 6:04 on the first-quarter clock.
Minnesota cut the deficit to single digits a few times, but the Mavs remained
firmly in control during the frame and led 32-22 heading to the second
Brand buried a turnaround 8-footer on the Mavs' first possession of the second
quarter to push the lead to 12, but Minnesota answered with a 13-4 burst to
cut the deficit to three with 7:20 to play in the half.
It remained a one-possession game until layups by Williams and Pekovic gave
the T'Wolves a 46-42 lead with 3:21 to go in the half. Dallas cut it to one on
a deep trey from Vince Carter, but Minnesota closed the half with an 8-0 run
to lead 54-45 at intermission.
Minnesota remained in control for the duration of the third quarter and a deep
deuce by Dante Cunningham gave the T'Wolves their largest lead of the night,
70-55 with 6:08 to go.
A layup by Brand sliced the deficit to eight, but the home side led 80-70
heading into the final quarter.
The Mavs fell to 10-2 in their last 12 games at the Target Center ... Dallas
dropped to 0-4 in overtime this season ... Minnesota shot 43.6 percent from
the floor and outscored Dallas 50-36 in the paint ... The Timberwolves
outscored the Mavs in the overtime period, 12-4 ...Timberwolves forward Kevin
Love did not play due to flu-like symptoms.
12/15 23:37:45 ET
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