Notebook: Mavericks 113, Timberwolves 98



Posted Jan 15, 2013 12:23 AM

Dave Ivey, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Darren Collison, O.J. Mayo and Elton Brand fueled a sizzling shooting performance by the Dallas Mavericks in a wire-to-wire 113-98 victory over the slumping Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday at the American Airlines Center. Collison scored 23 points and Mayo and Brand added 20 apiece as the trio shot a combined 25-for-35 from the field.

It was a season high for Brand. Collison and Mayo each tallied nine assists for the Mavericks (16-23), who won their third straight by shooting 59.7 percent overall, 46.2 percent (6-for-13) from downtown and 93.8 percent (15-for-16) at the line. Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Kaman and Vince Carter each scored 10 points. It was the most points and highest shooting percentage allowed by the Timberwolves this season.

Minnesota (16-19) suffered its fourth straight setback. Nikola Pekovic had 20 points and a game-high 12 rebounds and former Maverick J.J. Barea scored 21 points off the bench. The Wolves had a huge 46-33 advantage on the glass, including 20 offensive rebounds and a 19-2 edge in second-chance points, but it wasn't enough to offset the Mavericks' lights-out shooting.

QUOTABLE: "We're playing with more familiarity with one another, with more familiarity with the system. Our reads are better. We've been doing some good things in that area. The challenge will be continuing."

-- Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle

THE STAT: The Timberwolves lost their four games on this road trip by an average margin of 16.8 points.

TURNING POINT: Minnesota sliced the Mavericks' lead to two points late in the second quarter before Brand simply took over. He sank his last four jump shots of the half, pushing the lead back to 55-45 at intermission. Brand scored 14 in the first half on 7-for-8 shooting.

HOT: The Mavericks had their transition game running on all cylinders. Their edge in fast-break points was 18-2 at halftime and 27-4 through three quarters, finishing at a decisive 31-11. Dallas set a season high with 33 assists, topping the 31 against Charlotte on Nov. 3, and committed just 10 turnovers.

NOT: Pekovic was only 4-for-10 at the charity stripe and Minnesota rookie Alexey Shved was 1-for-7 from the field. ... All nine players who took the court for the Timberwolves committed at least one turnover.

GOOD MOVE: Mayo made an athletic, left-handed catch on a long touchdown pass from Brand, then converted the layup for an 89-68 lead with 45.9 seconds left in the third.

BAD MOVE: Interim coach Terry Porter probably left starters Shved and Luke Ridnour out there too long before going to his bench in the third quarter, allowing the fresher Mavericks to expand their lead against a Timberwolves squad playing the second night of a back-to-back.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: This was Barea's first game in Dallas since helping the Mavericks win the 2011 NBA championship. He received a warm ovation when he checked in late in the first quarter, then sank his first three 3-pointers and scored 11 points in the second quarter. The former fan favorite finished 4-of-7 from 3-point distance and 5-of-5 at the line with five assists and three rebounds.

NOTABLE: Minnesota head coach Rick Adelman missed his fifth game to be with his wife, who is hospitalized with an undisclosed illness. ... The Timberwolves swept the first two meetings this season, winning 90-82 in Dallas on Nov. 12 and 114-106 in overtime in Minnesota on Dec. 15. ... This was the seventh straight game in which the Wolves had a lower field-goal percentage than their opponents. ... Dallas is 13-5 when scoring 100 or more points, including 7-1 with 110-plus. ... The Mavericks are 14-5 when shooting at least 45 percent from the floor. ... Dallas has turned it over 13 or fewer times in six straight games.

UP NEXT: For the Mavericks, Wednesday vs. Houston, Friday vs. Oklahoma City, Sunday @ Orlando. For the Timberwolves, Thursday vs. L.A. Clippers, Saturday vs. Houston, Monday @ Atlanta.