The Dallas Mavericks (41-28) took one to the jugular tonight. It hurt. After battling back from a 22-point deficit and rallying in the 4th quarter to force overtime, it just wasn’t meant to be. Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love led the Minnesota Timberwolves (34-32) to the 123-122 overtime victory.
How it went down:
The start to this game was anything, but what the Mavericks were hoping for. Minnesota had all the energy and converted 15 fast break points off six Dallas turnovers in the first quarter.
Minnesota would gradually build a 22-point lead in the second quarter before the Mavericks worked their way back into the game with a 12-2 fast break advantage in the frame.
The Wolves would go into halftime with a 66-59 lead after Vince Carter hit a buzzer beater 3-point basket to close to first half.
Both teams would tussle back and forth in the third quarter, neither gaining ground. Rubio was the story of tonight’s game. The Spanish point guard played what may have been his best all-around game, notching his third triple-double of the season with 22 points 15 assists 10 rebounds and also four steals.
Dirk finished with 27 points, but you wouldn’t have known the way his shot was NOT fouling in critical moments throughout the contest. He still converted a few tough shots down the stretch, but several Dirk dagger opportunities failed. Dirk shot 11-of-27 from the floor without an assist.
Monta Ellis was phenomenal late in the final minutes of regulation, kicking off his personal run with an And-1 score then following it up with three straight makes from beyond the arc. American Airlines Center was buzzing with energy until the quarter ended.
In the extra session, the Mavericks started the scoring, but could not build any separation. Dirk would put the Mavs up with 30.3 seconds left, but it was Love’s go ahead basket with 17.1 ticks that put the Wolves ahead for good. Dirk would take one last crack at his free throw line sweet spot, but tonight the winner didn’t fall.
Inside the Numbers:
Without Dirk (0-7 3PT) the Mavericks shot 9-fot-20 (45% on 3PT)
Vince Carter made three 3-pointers tonight and has 1,777 in his career, passing Rashard Lewis for 7th all-time in 3PTM.
Impact Play of the Game:
Kevin Love gets the ball, turns his back to the bucket with the undersized Harris on him. He scans the court quickly before putting the ball on the court, Shawn Marion shifts over to help, but after looking stuck Love slipped through the double team to score a floating jumper over the out-stretched arm of Brandan Wright.
Step-Up Mav of the Night:
Monta really came alive late in the fourth and appeared to take the game over before it resulted in overtime. His rally alone made this a game and gave Dallas a chance when it seemed the Wolves were weather almost every storm thrown at them.
Maybe most impressive of all when Ellis shooting 4-for-6 on 3-pointers tonight. It’s not his game to launch too many deep balls, but Monta really got into one of those grooves where the rim looks huge and the confidence is sky high.
Monta finished with 22 points 6 rebounds and 4 assists.
What They Said:
Dirk: “This feels like a playoff loss. I don’t know what to say.”
3/19/14 11:47 PM
Carlisle: “Our poor play at the beginning of the game is the reason it came down the way it did. Shame on us.”
3/19/14 11:24 PM
The Mavs continue their lengthy 8-game home stand on Friday night when the Denver Nuggets visit. Dallas will be looking for its first win in the last meeting with the Nuggets. The game can be seen on FSSW at 7:30 p.m. CT.
(Photo by Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)