The Dallas Mavericks lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves 93-92 Friday night at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks were within one (69-68) early in the fourth quarter, but the Timberwolves proceeded to go on an 11-2 run to build a 10-point cushion (80-70). Minnesota then hung on for a 93-92 win.
Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki appeared in his 75th game of the season (he’s now played in 75 of Dallas’ first 76 games). It’s the most games played by a player in his 20th season in NBA history (the previous most was 74 – Robert Parish appeared in 74 games for Charlotte in 1995-96 and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played in 74 for the Lakers in 1988-89). Nowitzki finished with seven points, six boards and two assists in 26 minutes.
Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes produced a team-high 19 points to go along with four rebounds, two assists and one steal in 34 minutes. Barnes scored 17-plus points for the 13th time in his last 15 games (50th time this season). He is averaging 21.1 points per game over his last 15 contests (2/26-3/30).
Mavericks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. recorded 17 points, a game-high seven assists and two steals in 26 minutes. He scored 17- plus points for the 10th time in his last 12 games. He is averaging 17.9 points and 5.8 assists per game in that span (2/28-3/30).
Mavericks center Nerlens Noel appeared in his 29th game of the season and pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds to go along with four points (2-2 FGs) and one block in 25 minutes off the bench. Noel collected exactly 12 boards for the second time in his last three games (12 vs. Charlotte 3/24). It was his fourth double-digit rebounding effort of the season.
Mavericks forward Maxi Kleber pitched in 10 points, six rebounds and a game-high four blocks in 24 minutes off the bench. It was his ninth double-figure scoring effort of the season, but his first since 2/11 at Houston (10 points). It was also his third game with at least four blocks this year.
Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns recorded his league-high 64th double-double of the season with 20 points (8-21 FGs, 1-7 3FGs, 4-4 FTs) and a game-high 20 rebounds in 44 minutes. He had 10 points and 14 boards in the first half alone (giving him his sixth first-half double-double of the year). Towns registered his second 20-point, 20-rebound game of the season (25 points and 23 rebounds at Boston 1/5).
Timberwolves guard Jamal Crawford netted a season-high 24 points (11-18 FGs, 2-5 3FGs) in 31 minutes off the bench (previous high: 23 vs. Portland 12/18). It marked his sixth 20-point outing of the season.
Dallas never trailed in the first half (there were four ties in the opening half). With the score knotted at 10 in the first quarter, the Mavericks used an 8-0 spurt to go up 18-10. Dallas held Minnesota to just 16 points in the opening period and led by four (20-16) after one.
The Mavericks led by as many as nine (31-22) in the second quarter and took a two-point edge (46-44) into the locker room at the half.
Minnesota used an 18-7 run in the third stanza to turn a five-point deficit (53-48) into a six-point advantage (66-60). The Timberwolves took a 67-64 lead into the fourth quarter.
J.J. Barea (personal), Wesley Matthews (right proximal fibula fracture) and Seth Curry (left leg surgery) remained out for Dallas. Jalen Jones was on assignment with the Mavericks’ G-League team, the Texas Legends. Cole Aldrich (illness), Jimmy Butler (right knee meniscus surgery) and Derrick Rose (sprained right ankle) did not play for Minnesota.
The attendance was 20,244. The Mavericks have now sold out 676 consecutive regular-season home games, which is an NBA-best sellout streak. The streak began on 12/15/01 and Dallas has sold out an additional 67 playoff games during that same stretch.
The Mavericks’ next game is at Cleveland on April 1 at 5:00 p.m. CT