NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, March 13th (All times eastern)
Dallas Mavericks (40-21) at Minnesota Timberwolves (32-31), 1 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The improving Minnesota Timberwolves take aim at their fifth win in six games this afternoon, when they begin a home-and-home set against the Dallas Mavericks at the Target Center. These teams will meet again on Tuesday in Dallas.
Thanks to its recent success, Minnesota has climbed a game above .500 (32-31) and resides just one game behind the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver for the final playoff slot in the West. The T'Wolves continued their recent success with a 101-96 victory over Orlando on Friday night.
Kevin Garnett had 25 points, 18 rebounds and scored the go-ahead basket with 52.7 seconds remaining to lift Minnesota to the win. Troy Hudson added 17 points and hit three key three-pointers in a one-minute, 44-second span late in the fourth quarter for the T'Wolves.
Latrell Sprewell added 17 points, while Trenton Hassell and Wally Szczerbiak chipped in 10 apiece. Minnesota won despite committing 16 turnovers in the contest.
Minnesota shot 42.5 percent from the field, including 5-of-12 (.417) from three-point range. The T'Wolves also drained 22-of-30 (.733) attempts from the charity stripe.
Minnesota point guard Sam Cassell sat out his sixth straight game with a strained hamstring. Cassell is listed as questionable for this afternoon's tilt.
Center Michael Olowokandi (sprained knee) and forward Eddie Griffin (sprained finger) will remain sidelined for this game. However, there is a good chance they could return sometime this week.
The T'Wolves are 7-5 since Kevin McHale took over as interim coach for the fired Flip Saunders. Minnesota has won five of its last seven contests overall.
Minnesota hasn't had one of its best years at the Target Center, posting just a 18-14 mark. However, the T'Wolves have won four of five and five of their last seven home tilts.
Dallas has won two of its last three games, including a 112-110 victory over Milwaukee at the Bradley Center on Friday. Dirk Nowitzki had 29 points and nine rebounds to carry Dallas to the win. Nowitzki drained 10-of-21 shots from the field and 6-of-7 free throws, while grabbing nine rebounds.
Jason Terry added 28 points and five rebounds for the Mavericks, who rebounded from a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday. Michael Finley tossed in 19 points and Marquis Daniels registered 13 points off the bench.
Dallas continues to do without the services of starting center Erick Dampier (stress fracture) and veteran guard Jerry Stackhouse (groin). Meanwhile, Josh Howard sprained his left ankle in the win. Howard is listed as day-to-day and could miss today's game.
The Mavs shot the lights out in the victory, hitting 50.6 percent from the field, including 5-of-9 (.556) from three-point range. Dallas drained 19-of-24 (.792) of its attempts from the free throw line.
Dallas remains fourth in the West, 6 1/2 games behind San Antonio and Phoenix for the top spot. The Mavs are two games ahead of fifth place Sacramento as well.
Dallas enters this game with an impressive 20-10 record on the road this season. The Mavs have won seven of their last 10 road tilts overall.
These teams have split a pair of meetings this season with the road team winning both contests. Dallas has won four of the last seven meetings overall, but has dropped four of its last six trips to Minnesota. These squads have amazingly split 68 meetings all-time.
03/13 10:07:02 ET