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                === Timberwolves limp into matchup with Mavs ===
 
 (Sports Network) - The Minnesota Timberwolves head to Big D on Monday night to
 take on the Dallas Mavericks in a battle of the walking wounded.
 
 The Timberwolves began the season without All-NBA power forward Kevin Love and
 cornerstone  point  guard Ricky Rubio.  Things turned worse in this relatively
 new NBA campaign.
 
 Chase  Budinger, a key contributor off the bench, tore the lateral meniscus in
 his  left knee. He  will have surgery to repair the injury and his return date
 is in question.
 
 Brandon  Roy, who  retired from  the league  with bad  knees two  seasons ago,
 dressed but didn't play Saturday in a loss at the Chicago Bulls. Three guesses
 on the reason - yep, right knee soreness.
 
 Point  guard  J.J. Barea  has missed the  last two games  with a left mid-foot
 sprain and he didn't even fly to Dallas with the team.
 
 "We're  playing hard.  We're trying  to do  what we're  supposed to  do," said
 Timberwolves  head  coach Rick Adelman. "We  have a group that's going to keep
 playing hard. I don't understand it. The other guys have to step up. We're not
 going to get those guys back. We have to keep playing."
 
 The  Mavs haven't  had an  easy go  of  it either  on the  health front.  Dirk
 Nowitzki  is out indefinitely after knee surgery and Shawn Marion continues to
 sit with a sprained left MCL.
 
 The Mavericks started four players who weren't in a Dallas uniform last season
 in  Saturday's 101-97  overtime loss to the Charlotte Bobcats in Charlotte. It
 was the first victory over the Mavericks in the Bobcats' history and Charlotte
 is now 1-16 against their peers from Dallas.
 
 "We missed some good shots and made some poor decisions," Mavericks coach Rick
 Carlisle admitted. "This team has a lot to learn about winning. This is a very
 painful lesson."
 
 O.J.  Mayo  continued to pace  the Mavs on Saturday.  He scored a team-high 22
 points  and it was  the fifth consecutive game he led Dallas in scoring. Vince
 Carter had 19 off the bench thanks to 5-for-8 beyond the arc.
 
 The  problem for  the Mavericks is definitely not on the offensive side, where
 they  lead  the NBA in points  per game. Dallas has struggled defensively this
 season.  The Mavs  rank 25th  in points  allowed and  share last  in turnovers
 caused.
 
 The Mavericks have won 20 of the last 24 meetings with Minnesota, although the
 Wolves  took two of three last season, including a 105-90 victory in Dallas in
 January.
 
 11/12 10:51:19 ET

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