Dallas Mavericks

Mavericks sunk in Minnesota by Timberwolves’ duo of Towns, Rubio

Karl-Anthony Towns, left, was too much to handle for Harrison Barnes and the Mavericks on Monday as the Wolves center finished with 34 points and 11 rebounds.
Karl-Anthony Towns, left, was too much to handle for Harrison Barnes and the Mavericks on Monday as the Wolves center finished with 34 points and 11 rebounds. TNS

Karl-Anthony Towns had 34 points and 11 rebounds, Ricky Rubio added 13 points and a season-high 15 assists, and the Minnesota Timberwolves snapped a four-game losing streak with a 101-92 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night.

Harrison Barnes scored 30 points for the Mavericks and Dirk Nowitzki had 26, including five 3-pointers.

Towns hit 15 of 19 shots from the floor as the Timberwolves shot 56.3 percent.

Rubio scored nine points in the fourth quarter, including consecutive baskets during an 8-0 run that gave the Timberwolves some breathing room after Dallas had whittled a 21-point lead to 81-77.

He hit three free throws with 2:08 to play to give Minnesota a 97-83 advantage.

Towns got the Wolves off to a fast start, scoring Minnesota’s first seven points and 16 total in the first seven minutes. He finished with 20 in the period as the Timberwolves took a 33-14 lead after one quarter. The Wolves shot 65 percent from the field in the quarter.

They stretched the lead to 44-23 before the Mavericks responded with a 15-2 run to get back in the game. Nowitzki hit 3-pointers on three straight possessions to close the first half as Dallas pulled to 54-46 at the break.

By then, he had expanded his lead as the opponent with the most career 3-pointers made at Target Center.

After he made five Monday, Nowitzki now has 57 in his career at Target Center, ahead of Derek Fisher’s 48, Chauncey Billups’ 46, Rashard Lewis’ 45, Jason Kidd’s 42, Kobe Bryant’s 41 and Steve Nash’s 40.

Towns’ 34-point night was his fifth 30-point game of the season and his first since he scored 41 points in a Dec. 17 game against Houston that his team blew in the game’s closing minutes.

The Mavericks ended the night in the West’s 15th and final place while the Wolves, at 12-26 are still just three games behind Portland for the West’s eighth and final playoff spot even though they’re 14th in the West standings.

Guard Seth Curry has come on strong for the Mavs in recent days, and head coach Rick Carlisle said it's the result of hard work.

Tip-ins

Mavericks: Dallas had won seven straight against the Timberwolves, including four in a row at Target Center. This was the first meeting of the season between the Midwest Division foes. ... Nowitzki topped his previous season high of four 3-pointers. The last time he had six in a game was April 1, 2014. ... Andrew Bogut missed the fourth quarter with an injured hamstring.

Timberwolves: Towns scored 20 points in a quarter for the second time in his career. He had 22 in the first quarter against New York on Nov. 30. Zach Lavine left early in the fourth with a bruised left hip and did not return. Lavine grabbed Devon Harris to get called for a foul, then limped off the court and into the Minnesota locker room. He was replaced by Tyus Jones. ... Shabazz Muhammad scored in double figures off the bench for the sixth time in his last eight games, finishing with 11 points in 20-plus minutes.

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said flow dictates strategy down the stretch of tight games, like last week's loss to Phoenix. Harrison Barnes is among the mix to take big shots in closing moments.

Up next

Mavericks: Dallas plays the Phoenix Suns on Thursday in Mexico City.

Timberwolves: Minnesota hosts the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.

This report contains material from the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Dallas

19

27

24

22

92

Minnesota

33

21

23

24

101

Dallas

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

F

Pt

Barnes

33:59

13-23

0-0

2

1

3

30

Nowitzki

31:12

8-16

5-7

5

4

5

26

Bogut

17:50

1-2

0-0

4

2

3

2

Matthews

36:52

1-7

0-0

4

5

3

2

Williams

33:23

5-9

0-0

2

7

2

11

Curry

30:01

3-6

0-0

2

0

0

8

Harris

14:04

2-5

0-0

1

1

0

4

Barea

14:04

0-4

0-0

2

4

1

0

Mejri

10:08

1-2

0-0

3

0

2

2

Fnny-Smith

6:40

1-1

0-0

0

0

1

3

Powell

5:58

0-1

2-2

0

0

0

2

Anderson

5:49

1-2

0-0

0

0

1

2

Totals

240

36-78

7-9

25

24

21

92

Percentages: FG .462, FT .778. 3-Point Goals: 13-28, .464 (Nowitzki 5-10, Barnes 4-5, Curry 2-3, Finney-Smith 1-1, Williams 1-3, Anderson 0-1, Barea 0-1, Harris 0-1, Matthews 0-3). Team Rebounds: 7. Team Turnovers: 14 (17 PTS). Blocked Shots: 2 (Bogut, Curry). Turnovers: 14 (Curry 3, Williams 3, Bogut 2, Matthews 2, Barea, Barnes, Finney-Smith, Harris). Steals: 3 (Curry, Finney-Smith, Williams).

Minn

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

F

Pt

Towns

37:15

15-19

2-2

11

4

4

34

Wiggins

35:59

5-11

3-6

4

0

3

13

Dieng

25:20

5-8

2-4

5

0

1

12

LaVine

28:34

2-7

0-0

6

5

2

5

Rubio

30:28

3-9

7-7

5

15

4

13

Bjelica

29:19

1-2

0-0

5

2

5

3

Muhmmd

20:18

5-9

0-0

2

0

2

11

Dunn

17:32

1-3

1-2

1

3

2

3

Jones

11:09

3-3

0-0

1

0

1

7

Aldrich

4:06

0-0

0-0

2

1

0

0

Totals

240

40-71

15-21

42

30

24

101

Percentages: FG .563, FT .714. 3-Point Goals: 6-16, .375 (Towns 2-3, Jones 1-1, Bjelica 1-2, Muhammad 1-2, LaVine 1-4, Dunn 0-1, Wiggins 0-1, Rubio 0-2). Team Rebounds: 7. Team Turnovers: 18 (16 PTS). Blocked Shots: 4 (Towns 3, Dunn). Turnovers: 18 (Dunn 4, Rubio 3, Towns 3, Wiggins 3, LaVine 2, Aldrich, Dieng, Muhammad). Steals: 11 (Rubio 5, Dunn 2, Bjelica, Jones, LaVine, Towns). Officials—Bennie Adams, Brent Barnaky, Haywoode Workman

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