As they approached Wednesday night’s game against the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves, the Dallas Mavericks wanted to have the same passion, the same aggression and the same focus they displayed during Monday’s win in Memphis.
Chandler Parsons (22) and Dirk Nowitzki (16) were the only Mavs to score at least 10 points. But it was definitely more than enough as the Mavs put on a defensive clinic and overpowered the Timberwolves 98-75 before 13,737 at the Target Center.
The win enabled the Mavs (30-11) to join Atlanta (35), Golden State (33), Portland (31) and Memphis (30) as the only teams to have won at least 30 games so far this season.
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It also completed a 2-0 sweep of this brief road trip for Dallas, which held Minnesota to a season low in points and in field goal shooting (34.8 percent).
To a man, the Mavs claimed they paid no attention to the 7-33 record with which the Timberwolves entered the game. To prove their point, the Mavs played as if Minnesota were 33-7.
“I didn’t know they had seven wins, so it doesn’t matter,” guard Rajon Rondo said. “They still get paid like we do, they’re an NBA team, so you’ve got to respect everyone in this league.”
The Mavs shot 51.3 percent from the field, distributed 26 assists and held Minnesota under 20 points in each of the last three quarters. They zoned in on their prey and left no doubt as to who was the better team.
“Overall it was a good effort,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “The win in Memphis means nothing if we come in here and lay an egg.
“This is a dangerous team and they’re very well-coached and you’ve got to play. Our guys took that challenge, they respected them, and we busted our butts.”
Parsons basically put the game away when he went on a personal 10-2 run in less than two minutes to give the Mavs a 52-34 lead with 3:07 remaining before halftime. The Timberwolves, who trailed 59-38 at the half and 75-57 after three quarters, never got closer than 16 points after that.
“My teammates did a great job finding me,” said Parsons, who was 9 of 13 from the field, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range. “When you catch a rhythm like that everything seems easier.
“It’s just one of those games where I got hot, my teammates kept finding me, and we really battled on the defensive end, which led to us getting out in transition and allowed us to get wide-open shots.”
Center Tyson Chandler marveled at the way the Mavs handcuffed the Timberwolves defensively. The Mavs were so effective on defense that they could have gone scoreless in the fourth quarter and the game would have gone into overtime.
“I like that we came out real focused,” Chandler said. “More than anything I loved the way we played defense.
“During the entire game we wanted to build on this road trip and the success that we had, and I like the way that we came out.”
Most important, the Mavs held guard Mo Williams — he scored an NBA season-high 52 points against Indiana on Jan. 13 — to just five points on 2 of 12 shots.
“I didn’t want him to score 50,” Rondo said. “He’s a guy that can get going.
“I played against Mo a couple of series back when he played for Cleveland, so I know what he’s capable of.”
Dallas, which has won 10 of its last 13 games, turns its attention to Friday’s home game against Chicago.
“We needed this one to make the road trip perfect,” Parsons said. “Now that makes the Memphis win even better, and now we’ve got to go in and protect the home court Friday night.”
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760