NBA Game Summary - Dallas at Minnesota
(Saturday, November 1st)
Final Score: Dallas 95, Minnesota 85
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Dirk Nowitzki led all scorers with 21 points and Jason Terry added 19 points off the bench as the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves, 95-85, giving head coach Rick Carlisle his first victory with the team.
Nowitzki finished 8-of-17 from the field, including 1-of-2 from three-point range and grabbed six rebounds. Josh Howard chipped in with 14 points for the Mavericks, who made a winner of Carlisle in his second game with Dallas since replacing Avery Johnson as the team's bench boss in the offseason. The Mavs lost their season opener at home to Houston on Thursday night.
"We had a tough start versus Houston for three quarters and just couldn't get the job done, so it's important to get our first win," Nowitzki said. "We know Minnesota won their first game and their confidence was up, so we had to be ready to play."
Jason Kidd contributed nine points, nine rebounds and seven assists, while Gerald Green had nine points off the bench for Dallas.
Rashad McCants had a team-high 18 points, while Al Jefferson had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who were unable to feed off a victory over Sacramento to start the season on Wednesday night. Mike Miller had 13 points in defeat for Minnesota.
With the Mavs holding a slim 53-49 edge after one half, the Timberwolves went on a 9-2 run to open the third and held a three-point advantage with 8:02 remaining in the quarter. However, Dallas ran off nine straight points, led by Nowitzki, who had five during the spurt.
Minnesota continued to keep things close and after a dunk by McCants with seven seconds left in the third, trailed by a 67-64 margin after three quarters.
A 13-5 run by the Mavericks to start the fourth, put the visitors ahead 80-69 following a layup by DeSagana Diop with 8:22 left. But Jefferson's jumper with 4:18 to go gave the 'Wolves hope, trailing by nine. Then a pair of free-throws by Miller and Randy Foye sandwiched around a bucket by Ryan Gomes made it a 90-85 game in favor of Dallas with 2:17 remaining.
With the Wolves attempting to claw a little closer, Jefferson had the ball stripped clean by Kidd near the foul line with 1:35 left and the Mavericks made their free throws the rest of the way for the victory.
"Defensively when the shot clock was running down, our communication wasn't good," Gomes said about Minnesota's play. "That's what led to some of those wide open shots. Nowitzki getting wide open shots, we didn't switch or rotate enough in time, so those are plays that hurt you."
With the Mavericks leading 31-20 after one quarter, Dallas held the double- digit lead through the early stages of the second. However, the Timberwolves managed to whittle the deficit to 44-37 after Kevin Love knocked down a pair of free throws at the midway point of the stanza.
After a free-throw by Jefferson tied the game at 49-49 with 1:31 left in the half, Dallas got a tip-in from Erick Dampier and a jumper from Howard to take a four-point advantage into intermission.
Dallas will host Cleveland on Monday night, while Minnesota plays at Oklahoma City on Sunday...Dallas won all three matchups with Minnesota a season ago and has won nine straight in the series...The Mavs have also won five straight and seven of their last eight in Minnesota...Gomes finished with six points and five rebounds.
11/01 23:52:38 ET