Wolves Fall To Mavericks, 100-98

Wolves Fall To Mavericks, 100-98

The Minnesota Timberwolves were on a quest to get above the .500 time for the first time since Nov. 25 on Monday night at the Target Center. That quest was unsuccessful as the Dallas Mavericks took down the Wolves 100-98 despite an entertaining comeback effort from Minnesota.

That ending was entertaining, but perhaps confrontational, as Kevin Love thought he was fouled on the final shot of the game that would have sent the game to overtime.

The second and third quarter couldn’t have been much different for the Wolves.

Minnesota was outscored 33-20 in the second, due to a combination of sloppy play (the Wolves had 13 turnovers at half) and a sharp-shooting Mavericks squad that shot 60 percent at the break.

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Wolves vs. Mavericks

The star of the first half for Dallas was Shawn “The Matrix” Marion. The 35-year-old forward flashbacked a bit and put up 21 points in the first half while shooting 10-of-12 from the field. He would hurt the Wolves later in the game as well.

There wasn’t a lot of variety for Minnesota early on. Love, Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin scored 34 of Minnesota’s first 37 points.

“It’s really tough to get back on track after a first half like that,” Pekovic said. But then the third quarter came. After a 3-pointer from wing Corey Brewer with 6:14 left in the third, the Wolves got back within 72-60. After another bucket from Brewer and a jumper from Martin, the Wolves opened the third quarter up with a 23-10 to cut the deficit to 72-66.

Brewer would hit another big jump shot later in the quarter to put the Wolves down 77-73 with 2:50 left in the third. The Wolves eventually tied the game up at the end of the quarter thanks to a full-court heave from Love to Corey Brewer (we haven’t seen this before, right?) with 14 seconds left to put the game at 81-81.

The Wolves scored 38 points in the third quarter, 14 from Brewer and 12 from Love.

The fourth quarter had everyone in the building on edge. The game went back and forth, but after two 3-pointers from Marion, the Mavericks led 95-90 with 3:43 left and it appeared as if the Mavericks were going to put the icing on the cake.

Pekovic and the Wolves battled back as the center hit a layup with 39 seconds left to put the game at 100-98. After a Samuel Dalembert travel, the Wolves got the ball back with 6.5 seconds left. That’s when Love received a pass on the right baseline and during his shot attempt, Marion disrupted Love, ending the game. Love walked off the court in disbelief.

“If we play like we did in the second half, we are going to get through this, it’s just disappointing,” Wolves head coach Rick Adelman said. “We got back (to .500) and we just couldn’t get over it.”

Love led all scorers with 36 points to go with 11 rebounds and four assists. Pekovic joined the double-double club as well, putting up 18 points while hauling in 10 rebounds. Martin had 19 points while Brewer finished with 16. Minnesota finished the night shooting 45.6 percent.

Marion led Dallas with 32 points. Dirk Nowitzki had somewhat of a quiet night, scoring 16 points. Brandan Wright finished with 14 points off the bench. Dallas shot 47.7 percent from the field and had 33 assists compared to Minnesota’s mark of 22.

With the loss, the Wolves drop to 15-16 and three games back from the eight seed in the Western Conference.

“We just can’t get over the hump, it’s tough for us,” Pekovic said. “But like coach said, we are on the right course, we just need to keep fighting, keep playing better.”

Leader of the Pack: Kevin Love

If it feels like we’ve been getting spoiled from Love’s performances, it’s because we have. Love was great again in this one, leading all scorers with 36 points, while shooting better than 50 percent, finishing the game 14-of-24. His 11 rebounds were also a game-high.

Highlight of the Night

With 11.9 seconds left in the game, Love hauled in his ninth rebound and found a streaking Brewer on the other end of the court for an easy bucket to tie the game at 81-81. That erased a one-time 21 lead from Dallas and had the Target Center on its feet. It’s safe to say the noise was working at the Target Center.

The Numbers Game

  • With his fourth assist in the first quarter that resulted in a Love 3-pointer, Ricky Rubio picked up career assist No. 1,000.

  • In the first half, Minnesota’s bench was 1-for-6 with 0 assists and eight turnovers.

  • Love had his 11th straight game with 25+ points, longest streak in the NBA this season and longest in franchise history.

  • The Wolves scored on 17 of their final 19 possessions of the third period.

  • Quotable

  • “They came out, it was a big game for them, we beat them twice, we knew that, you know they came prepared. I just didn’t like anything about our body language at either end of the court… Finally everything in the third quarter everything turned around and you know it’s a home game and we should have a lot of energy and why we didn’t, I don’t know.”
  • – Wolves head coach Rick Adelman on his team’s lackluster first-half performance.

    Next Up

    The Timberwolves will stay at home for the rest of the week as they host the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday to open up the New Year before hosting Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday. Both games are set to start at 7 p.m.

    For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter, and join the conversation at WolvesNation.com