Scouting Report: Wolves (15-15) vs. Mavericks(17-13) | Dec. 30, 2013

Scouting Report: Wolves (15-15) vs. Mavericks(17-13) | Dec. 30, 2013


Timberwolves vs. Mavericks | 7:00 PM — Target Center

Where to Watch: Fox Sports North

Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM

View Timberwolves Game Notes

With the West being as competitive as it is every in-conference game is important, but this one means a bit more for the Wolves. Dallas sits just two games ahead of Minnesota for the eighth seed. While it’s early in the season, every game is important and if things come down to tiebreakers, this win would give the Wolves the tiebreaker over the Mavs, as they are already 2-0 against Dallas.

This marks the beginning of a three-game homestand for Minnesota, as it battles New Orleans on Wednesday before taking on Oklahoma City on Saturday. Tonight’s tipoff is ste for 7 p.m. on Fox Sports North and 830 WCCO-AM.

Last Meeting

The Wolves are 2-0 against Dallas this season, with the last win coming on Nov. 30. Minnesota won that game 112-106 on the road behind 27 points from Kevin Martin. Martin was money from the free-throw line, finishing 10-of-11.

The lumberjack duo of Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Love combined for 42 points and 20 rebounds. All five starters for Minnesota hit double digits, as Corey Brewer finished with 13 and Ricky Rubio pitched in 12. The Wolves shot 50.6 percent from the field.

Dallas was led by Monta Ellis, who scored 26 points. Dirk Nowitzki finished with 23 and was 10-for-13 from the field. Big man Samuel Dalembert scored 12, while DeJuan Blair and Vince Carter added 11 and 10 points off the bench, respectively.

This Week’s Results

Wolves Minute

Dec. 30, 2013

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Minnesota won in convincing fashion Saturday on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks, 117-95.

That Love guy was pretty good in this one, scoring a game-high 33 points to go with 15 rebounds and six assists. It was his fifth 30 point/15 rebound game of the season.

Pekovic joined the double-double club as well, scoring 19 points while hauling in 11 rebounds. Martin got off to a hot start, scoring nine points in the first quarter. He finished with 20 points on the night. Brewer added 12. The bench played well for Minnesota and combined for 27 points.

The Wolves had just one other game in the last week and beat Washington 120-98 at the Target Center on Friday night.

The Mavericks are coming off of a 105-83 win over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night behind 22 points and five assists from Ellis. The ageless trio of Carter, Marion and Nowtizki combined for 50 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 assists. The team was hot from deep, shooting 13-of-26 from the 3-point line. Nowitzki was a perfect 4-for-4 from long range.

Dallas was 1-1 in two games before playing Chicago, falling to San Antonio on Thursday after beating the Rockets last Monday.

What To Watch: Kevin Love vs. Dirk Nowitzki It’s hard not to make this comparison as these are two of the best shooting power forwards in the game.

Love is entering a territory that not many have and Nowitzki has noticed, telling Sports Illustrated earlier this season that Love is “way beyond where I was when I was 25.”

That’s saying something.

On the season, Love is averaging 26.1 points, a league-high 13.2 rebounds and a career-high 4.2 assists per game. He’s also shooting 38.6 percent from the 3-point line. In two games against Nowtizki and his Mavs this season, Love is averaging 26.5 points, 13 rebounds and five assists.

Despite getting older (Nowitzki is 35 years old), the German forward is still effective. Nowitzki is averaging 21.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and is shooting 42.1 percent from the 3-point line. That percentage ties a career-high that he set in 2009-10. In two games against Love this season, Nowitzki is averaging 18.5 points and four rebounds.

Expect a few 3-pointers from these two tonight.

Injury Report

The Wolves will be without wing Chase Budinger, who is out while recovering from preseason left knee surgery. The good news is that Budinger has been cleared to practice for Minnesota. Center Ronny Turiaf is out indefinitely with a radial head fracture in his right elbow.

For Dallas, guard Wayne Ellington (illness) is probable after missing Saturday’s game. Guard Devin Harris (toe) is out indefinitely.

Probable Starters
  Timberwolves Mavericks
PG Ricky Rubio Jose Calderon
SG Kevin Martin Monta Ellis
SF Corey Brewer Shawn Marion
PF Kevin Love Dirk Nowitzki
C Nikola Pekovic Samuel Dalembert


For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter.